In this new article, I will be researching how to make a miniature waterfall, fountain, beach, and stream in a new tutorial. So it will be all about making miniature water in all kinds of ways and forms.
I will be making more and more articles soon about how-to-do this or that, as with my previous article about miniature stone walls.
Also, you might wonder what products would be best to create a ‘miniature waterfall effect’, therefore I have written extensive reviews of those here (epoxy resin) and here (water effects)!
Let’s dive right into it?
1. How to make a miniature waterfall
Materials needed :
– (wood) glue
– toilet paper
– a saw
– acrylic paint: green, red, white, black, and burnt amber
– a flat brush
A little tutorial :
If you want to see how the rocks are made, you can go watch the video underneath from the beginning. I am explaining what he does with the water itself, it starts about 6 minutes into the video.
– the base of the waterfall is a mix of toilet paper, wood glue, and water. Just apply the glue to the surface, put the toilet paper on it (2 or more layers, depending on the waves you want to create), add extra wood glue, and push it onto the plywood
– leave it to dry for at the least 72 hours
– have black, green, white, and burnt amber acrylic paint ready and go steadily from white, add some green and brown further on (see video )
– smooth the edges with a wet brush
– leave it to dry for at least 8 hours
– the miniature waterfall itself:
– apply a ‘water-effect’ product to a black background and a piece of plastic and brush it with a flat brush
– tip white acrylic paint onto the water effect with the brush and make patterns for the waterfall
– leave it to dry
– apply varnish on the waterfall surface and leave it to dry
– when it’s dry, add a layer of wood glue on top to add depth to the water underneath the waterfall
– apply 5 layers of varnish to finish it off
– peel the waterfalls from the plastic and try to add them to the place you want them. Add some water effects.
– on the bottom, add a little bit of white acrylic paint by tapping a brush to it, the further off, the less paint
– add water effect to the bottom and smooth it out with a brush
This one I found on Facebook, with a very good idea indeed!
Materials needed :
– aquarium silicone ( the one used for this fountain was called Sikaseal Aquarium)
– pale blue glitter or alcohol inks or food coloring
A little tutorial :
Making this miniature waterfall is easier :-).
-Silicone is a thick type of glue, used around the house for plumbing, roofing, etc, and comes in big tubes. But apparently, aquarium silicone comes in smaller tubes and is so much handier to make miniature water ànd is waterproof, so perfect for an outside fairy garden!
– Stack shells on each other in your miniature garden scene. Fill it up with the aquarium silicone and make a small ‘waterfall’ from it.
– In this picture, pale blue glitter was sprinkled over the silicone while it was wet. Then resin was poured into the shells and over the silicone. You could also use a food dye or a tiny little bit of paint.
– That’s it, The End 😉
PS. You can also make an indoor miniature waterfall using hot glue, but somehow I don’t think the effect looks as amazing as the previous 2 ways. You might disagree? I mean, you can just see that it’s clumps of glue, sorry to say… (the pond looks fantastic though, look at the fishes wow !)
Have a look at this video also:
2. How to make a miniature beach
Let’s take a look first at how we can make a miniature beach indoors. Maybe you would like to make a ‘beach’-dollhouse for example? Most video’s I find on YouTube or all about railroad modeling, but we can apply the same for our 1/12 scale or other size miniatures.
This is the more complicated way, but it sure looks fantastic, so realistic! Buckle up though, this is the long and hard way, with the use of lots of materials :
Materials needed :
– plywood for the base- ruler
– a saw
– strips of pine
– acrylic paint: dark gray, light gray
– an airbrush
– epoxy transparent resin, Royal Blue and Kelly Green, and hardener
– a sharp blade ( a crafting knife would be handy )
– baking paper
– a piece of glass
– air drying clay
– latex rubber
– woodland scenics ‘water waves’
– model color ‘white’
A ‘HUGE’ tutorial:
– cut the plywood in the size you want
– glue and nail strips of pine to the sides to add structural integrity
– also, add some cross braces to prevent lateral bending
– design the scene on the board that you would like to get, based on pictures online, to get a good idea
– make the rocks and sandy beach as told in the video
( We are interested in the water-part in this tutorial, so sorry if we skip this part and move on to the water-part. It is a very interesting way to make the sand though, but very intense labor and many materials needed ) :
– paint the water area dark gray
– use an airbrush to simulate the edge of the sea/sand area with the dark gray paint
– brush some light-gray over the dark gray area to add some variation
– glue tape on the edges to prevent resin to flood everywhere
– calculate how much resin you need to fill up your scene and prepare the mix of resin, hardener, and colors
– poor out the resin mix into the scene, but avoid pouring it out too deep!
– a butane torch gets rid of any bubbles, let it dry for about 12 hours
– you can cut off the edges with a sharp blade or crafting knife
– use some baking paper to draw the shoreline and the shape of the waves
( OH MY GOSH, this is pretty complicated, can you still follow up 😉 ? )
– use some Sculptamold to make the contours of the waves and make a bottom layer to get it started. Make the desired shape and smooth it out as it shows in the video, as it hardens.
– put the hardened wave on a piece of glass and use air-drying clay to get to the final shape. Use a brush to get some ‘white water’ -texture.
– use latex rubber to make a mold (6 layers of latex are involved in the process). This procedure is quite complicated, so I advise you to watch the video closely.
– insert the mold into the shell and it’s ready for the resin, which has exactly the same mix as before with the same ratios. Pour the resin slowly to give it chance to level nicely. Bubbles can be removed again with the torch. You can now apply the mold. Same procedure as before, with the tape on the sides and a smaller amount of resin mix.
– excessive resin is brushed over the wave and along the sides of the diorama, then again we can remove the tape and the sharp edges from the tape
– use the product called ‘water waves’ from Woodland Scenics to create ripples in the water
– make a thick paste of model color white with ‘water waves’ and ‘ Noch-snow’ and apply it to the board to make ‘white water’
-PFJUUUU, what a JOB! BUT highly realistic!
This one we are going to make a lot shorter, promised 😉
Materials needed :
– toilet paper
– acrylic paint, a mix of acrylic green, ivory black, burnt umber, and titanium white
– a soft round brush
– white silicone
– acrylic spray
A little tutorial:
– put Modge Podge on the piece of plywood or waterproof glue
– Mix toilet paper with Modge Podge ( mod podge is a waterproof glue plus sealer) and put them on the piece of plywood that you have cut out beforehand in the size and shape that you want.
– Apply several layers (3 at the minimum ) and always use mod podge in between. If you have a pattern on the toilet paper, you can brush it away with a brush. The same goes for the lines of the toilet paper.
– make waves by pushing the brush forward
– paint the waves. Separate all the colors in one bowl and water in another bowl as a thinner. Start with the area closest to the beach, where the color is a mix of brownish-green. A bit more green in the mix further out. Don’t thin the colors out yet, keep them thick at this stage.
About halfway start to add black to the mix. The last bits will be more green-black and at the end almost black.
Next is to blur the edges of the colors by using a clean brush, dip it in the water, and move from the light area into the darker areas. Leave it to dry for at least 72 hours!
– seal everything with Modge Podge, I would use 3 layers
– use white silicone to create wave crests
– seal it again with acrylic spray
– let everything dry very well before putting it outside because otherwise, it might crack!
3. How to make a miniature stream/pond
– Modge Podge (gloss)
– plaster of Paris
– Vallejo European thick mud
– acrylic paint: raw umber, burnt sienna, black, blue, green, light blue, white
– scenic fiber
A little walkthrough:
Making a miniature river or stream, works a bit like making the base off a miniature waterfall, but of course slightly different, so here we go:
– Cut out a ‘river’- shape from polystyrene and glue it together with Mod Podge
– use Sculptomold to give the entire river and edges structure, apply it quite thickly
– make the river smoother with ‘Plaster Of Paris’
– make ‘rock’ molds and stick them on the river bed with Sculptomold
– apply Vallejo thick mud on the riverbanks and acrylic paint washes on the ‘rocks’ ( a mix of raw amber, burnt sienna) and a bit off black wash
– paint the bottom of the river blue-black and make the edges a lighter color
– finish the land around the river however you want (see video)
– use scenic fiber to create rapids on the river and rocks
– apply tape on the edges of your scenery
– prepare the epoxy mix, together with a dark color
– pour the epoxy mix in the river and apply more scenic fiber as you go along and according to your taste
– repeat the procedure of adding epoxy mix, this time with a lighter blue color and a touch of green
– cover the final result with mod podge gloss to create ripples
– create some ‘white water’ with white acrylic paint
– remove the tape on the edges and finish your scenery the way you like
Well, you can make a réal stream outdoors with réal water in your fairy garden, but that would take me a little too far to discuss on a miniature website, so I would advise you to look for it on YouTube, there are lots of tutorials on there 😉 Would be amazing to see though!
But the easiest way to make a fake outdoor river for a fairy garden would be like this:
– piece of plastic foil
– acrylic spray paint Krylon (blue)
– blue glass beads
– different grey stones
A little walkthrough :
– Make a surface outside ready for your river or pond, flatten it out with sand
– fix a piece of plastic foil with stones and spray it with blue spray paint
– fill the river or pond with blue glass beads
– finish the edges with different kinds of stones
There you go, I think I covered everything you need to know about making a miniature waterfall, beach, or river. It kind of should because this article turned out to be 2250 words long 😉 Some tutorials are pretty easy, but yes I know, there’s one very, very long and difficult. Those are for sure pretty damn good artists if you ask me, when I don’t even know if I would have the patience for it!
The good news is, I am sure you could support artists like that on Etsy if you have no patience whatsoever to make those sceneries yourself.
But if you have something to add or want to talk about another way of making these, feel free to tell me about it in the comments! Or you can join me now on my Facebook group!
4 thoughts on “How To Create A Miniature Waterfall, Beach And Stream-DIY style”
No way this is so cool @ Lizzy. Your website is a wow factor. The tutorial is easy to follow. I want to make one. They look so beautiful. I can only do this when my toddler is asleep or will end up with a funny looking water fall or beach. Its great activity I can share with an older child. Hopefully when she is grown and she is not busy I will ask her if we can do one., The videos are clear and easy to follow. Good guide and instruction. The tutor makes it look easy but its worth it. Thanks for sharing.
Very long article and very informative. I happy to have spent my time going through the whole piece and videos. This has sure given me a to do list for end of next week with my children. I love to make thier weekends very informative, creative and colorful so this is a sure deal try on my list. Thank you very much. But i hope you consider doing slightly shorter DIYs pieces in future 🙂
Hello there and thank you for the wonderful post. That is some amazing looking scenery. I have never tried to do something like that, but your review is inspiring enough that I might try it someday. I don’t currently have a lot of space where I am living, so it would be difficult at this time. Is there a market for these high quality models and if so, how much would they cost?
Thank you for the compliments, I am not sure what you mean though by ‘high-quality models’, do you mean the waterfalls and such created by artists? You could have a look at Etsy if you like, I am sure you will find plenty of artists on there and you can range the products according to price 😉
Have a nice day David!
happy crafting !