Kabaya Sylvanian Families Mini Series

Hi, there!

Have you heard of Sylvanian Families “mini series” by Kabaya?

These are boxes containing about 1/64 scale Sylvanian Families miniatures and a piece of candy.  You can find them in the snack aisle at Japanese grocery stores. (For US residents, you usually find them on eBay or Rakuten global.)

 

Most of these miniatures scale similarly or equal to Epoch’s Sylvanian Families Capsule Toy series.

This is what it looks like when you set up everything in one of the boxes.

What I like about Kabaya’s mini series is that a complete set will let you create a SF house at that super mini scale.  What’s not to love about that?

It’s pretty detailed, too!  Take a look at the views around this house.

When I put my regular SF doll, which is about 1/12 to 1/16 scale, next to it, this is how it scales.  It is a great size to collaborate with a typical train diorama, too!

Well, you know me, I won’t just display this up on a shelf.  I made an extra mini diorama using these mini series miniatures!  After all, I’m more of a crafter than a collector.

I actually got the idea at Sylvanian Kitchen at Lala port Tokyo-Bay.  When I went there last year, there was this display on the wall.

I couldn’t stop thinking about how adorable it was, and I had been wanting to make my own super mini diorama since then.

This is me, making my diorama! LOL!!

Because the scale is SO different with these mini series, the way I made the items in this diorama are pretty different from my usual 1/16 scale crafts.  I’ll introduce my new extra mini diorama next time, and also will be including tutorials in the coming posts!

 

Palm Tree Tutorial: A Trunk and Two Styles of Leaves

 

Hello, friends! This is the last of the beach town crafts for the year, thanks for keeping up with me! Also,  I have a fun announcement next time (Tuesday, 22nd) so I hope you come back soon!

Today’s post is how to make palm trees for your Sylvanian beach.

First let’s take a look at how to make the trunk.  Don’t worry, it’s not as complex as you’d think – hopefully 😛

First, I cut out some thicker gauged wires.

Next, cover them up, one-by-one, with oven bake polymer clay.  I used this type of clay because it doesn’t shrink as it hardens.

After roughly smoothing out the surface, I baked them.

After they had cooled down, I added texture to the surface of the trunk with a hot glue gun – you can see the texture better in the picture after this.

Next, I painted the trunk brown with acrylic paint.

I then lightly ran the brush over it with very little gray paint.

You can skip this part, but just for the sake of it, I did a dark wash over the trees and let them dry.

Now let’s move onto the leaves.  At first I thought it would be easy if I used the silk flower leaves from the store.  But the difficulty here was to find a big enough size of leaves at a reasonable price.  It took me about a month to finally run into the perfect leaves…sigh.  Anyways, I will show you how to make the leaves with these fake leaves first, because this way is easier to make palm leaves and looks a bit nicer, in my opinion.

Here is the bundle I found at Michaels.

I pulled the leaves off.  It’s good to use 8 or more leaves per tree.

Usually, these leaves have plastic veins on them.  It’s better if you could peel these veins off the leaves at this point.  Luckily, mine peeled right off, but I have seen some veins super stuck, in that case, you might want to just cut off the short ones that run down the side and leave the long main vein in the middle.

Use fabric scissors and adjust the shape of the leaves.

Thinly place hot glue in the middle of the leaf, and quickly place a wire on top. Fold the leaf in half while the glue is still hot, and press on the area where the wire is – be careful not to burn yourself!

Make fine, diagonal slits with a pair of fabric scissors. It’s best if you can make pointy tip for each slit!

Wrap the wires of all the leaves onto the trunk, and twist the top.  (Or you can deal with the wires like I did with paper leaves later in this tutorial)

Cover up the top of the trunk with some putty.  Here, I was making a Christmas Palm.  If you are making other kinds of palm, you might want to adjust the thickness of the putty accordingly.

Once the putty was all hardened, I painted it with some light green acrylic paint, just like actual Christmas Palms.

Finally, adjust the angle of the wires on  the leaves to make it look natural, and your palm tree is finished.

Okay, now from here, I’m going to show you how to make the palm leaves out of paper – in the event that you can’t find silk leaves that you like!

My husband actually prefers the paper look over the silk leaf look.  He thinks these are more “cartoony”, and goes better with the look and feel of SF land.

 

I used tracing paper, but you can use thicker paper, but it will be more papery look when you’re done.

I painted both sides of the tracing paper diagonally. Paint one side a bit darker than the other.

Now, cut the paper out into strips.  Each strip will be one half of a fan.

Glue 2 strips together, like the photo below (make sure you’re matching a dark side with a dark side, etc.). After these have dried, fold it in half length wise, with the dark side folded on the inside. You want the lighter side on the outside.

Cut the leaves out with scissors, leaving the folded center intact.

Open up the fold, and it should look like this.

Put some glue in the middle along the fold line, and place a wire on top.

Fold it up to make sure the wire is glued on to the fan.

Open up the fan slightly and make some curls.

Attach at least 4 fans on top of the tree trunk with a glue gun.

Add another tier of fans below the first tier.

I used a Christmas palm as a model, so I painted the glued part with green.  If I want to make it look more realistic, I would use some air dry putty, gesso, or clay to make it nicer. (Like I did with the silk leaf tree earlier in this tutorial.)

A beach town is no beach town without some palm trees! 😉

 

seaside merry-go-round upgrade

 

Hey there, SF lovers!  Do you own this seaside merry-go-round?  It’s adorable, and really fun for the kids, and not to mention, the fish and whale come off for fun little trip in the ocean for the SF babies!  In the US, this merry-go-round is usually on sale at a pretty good price.  I personally think it’s a great buy!

HOWEVER, haven’t you wondered what to do with it once you owned it?! I know my son can play with it like crazy, but as an adult SF fan, how do I incorporate it on my diorama? It’s a bit strange to just place it on a beach, at least in my opinion…

So, when I thought of making a beach town diorama, I was glad that my dilemma was resolved.  Many beach towns have small amusement parks on the side!

To make this merry-go-round more “amusement ride like,” I added a fence and lights around it.  What do you think?

A bit retro, but a fun little ride for the babies! Let’s see how I made this upgrade.

I used foam board for the base and the fence.  Very typical, but I made the fence wave shape.

After hot gluing the fences up, I glued on some ocean themes charms I’ve been collecting over the last few years.

I painted the base and the fence in wavy gradation with acrylic paint, then I glued on some wooden sea stars I found at a dollar(100 yen) store in Tokyo.

Just recently I found this tape string lights at Michaels.  It was for Halloween, but I thought it would be perfect for this ride fence.

I bunched up extra lights under the rides.

I painted the areas of the tape lights to blend in with the background afterwards.  This is how it looks in the dark.

Nostalgic, don’t you think?