Buckle up, because we are going to talk about another long tutorial. An important part of miniature making is of course: how are we going to make a miniature stone wall, so let’s dive straight into things.
Some more info on miniature walls.
There are several ways that you can make or want a miniature wall for your dollhouse. In this example of my personal work (my treehouse), I made them in a certain way that I will probably never, ever do again, as it was too complicated and a huge struggle (although I am very happy with the results ). In that article, you can see, picture by picture how I made my walls.
I have made these as suggested by my friend: cut out the beames in wood, then add the walls’ with architect paper and then plaster them. Euhm I’m sorry, buddy, but never again haha. There are much easier ways. I probably do have a very unique treehouse 😉
Wooden houses (like in this work of mine) is a different subject and is something I will not talk about today. Because basically, any carpenter that puts up real-life houses with wood, could explain to you how to do that, and then you just transform them to the scale that you wish for.
Today I will talk about ‘brick’ stone miniature walls and fake (or even real) ‘rock’ stone miniature walls.
A. Tutorial on ‘rock’ stone miniature walls.
There are several ways that you can make a miniature wall look like it’s made from rough stones (for example medieval castles).
First Way: Use Clay
Materials needed :
– pottery clay
– MDF plate/wall
– a mixture of water and PVA
– acrylic paint: raw umber, ultramarine, burnt sienna, white, yellow, blue
Little walkthrough :
– Sand the MDF plate, to make the clay stick to it forever in the future. If its to smooth it could fall off.
– apply the clay to the MDF plate
– sculpt the clay into bricks with sculpting tools (don’t forget to mark the windows as well)
– apply the PVA mix to the finished structured bricks ( Polyvinyl alcohol forms a very good film and has very good emulsifiable and adhesion properties. It is not affected by oil, grease, and solvents. It is odorless and non-toxic)
– mix the water, ultramarine, burnt sienna, white acrylic paint, and filler together to fill up the gaps
– mix these acrylic paint colors together: burnt sienna, raw umber, and white, and add filler and water
– paint some rocks with this mix, not all!
– paint a few again with a mix of pre-mixed brick color and raw umber
– do this again with a mix of pre-mixed brick color and white this time
– and yes, paint again: different variations of colors, pre-mixed colors in combination with blue, yellow, burnt sienna
– finish it up and dry brush it with a mix of ultramarine, burnt sienna, and raw umber
– then FINALLY (I know, miniaturists have to be patient, but we are, no ?), wet brush it with just water
Make sure to let it all dry in between. Video-source of this walkthrough:
Second Way: Use Polystyrene.
– a mask (against dust)
– polystyrene (aka styrofoam)
– a knife or use a hot wire foam cutter
– mod podge (in some cases), all about mod podge and glues here
– pre-colored grey grout
– non-toxic sealer
– colored sand
Little walkthrough :
There are different ways to use polystyrene for making ‘brick walls’. But u can use styrofoam to make ‘castle walls’ as well as more ‘neat, flat walls’, less ‘rough’ looking if you know what I mean? (in part B, I will also be using styrofoam)
Get a more ‘rocky’ bricks look for a castle or other rougher-looking building like this:
– make your castle or house with styrofoam
– mix the pre-colored grey grout (you don’t need any paint when you use grout). But you could add some acrylic black paint to make the walls look darker.
– apply several layers
– use a thick layer of grout to finish it up and so you have it more detailed and ‘rougher’
– use a mold to get a nice structure in the bricks
– use an old spoon to make the stones look weathered
– seal all with an acrylic shield
– use colored sand to increase the dry-look
– brush away excessive sand
Have a look at the source of this walkthrough in the next video:
A variation on this last walkthrough:
– just use large pieces of styrofoam ( a LOT!) and glue them to plastic or wood, that is if you ever feel up to it I mean. Just look at this amazing girl in this video.
Would I do it this way? Maybe yes I would go crazy like her haha. And spend days and days on it.
Especially because I will be doing something in the future that seems even crazier, to cover a roof. But that is going to be a surprise!
Third Way: Use Real Rocks!
Now, this is the way I would go if I ever want to make a castle (indoors) or a small house for my fairy garden.
Like me, you will probably say at first: no way that’s it’s easy to go and use real rocks, it is just too heavy. And what if you need to move it in the house or want to put it outside? But that is not going to be a problem if you make it like in the next tutorial. You will see what I mean.
Materials needed :
– lava stones. In a garden center, you should be able to find those because they are used for clay ovens to retain heat. Or find them online on Amazon.
– mortar (use quite wet mortar because the stones are porous)
Little walkthrough :
– sort out the stones. The ones that look best, keep those for the top and sides off the wall. The rest you can keep for the bottom and the back off the wall ( unless you make a castle or house where you can look on the inside as well and make that look nice as well)
– divide the stones into 3 piles. One with flat edges, one with big stones, and one with the leftovers.
– draw a line on a newspaper where the wall is going to be
– make a firm foundation for the rest of the wall, with a few lava stones. Paste them all together with the help of mortar.
– make the rest off the wall, it takes about 6 to 8 hours for it to be dry.
This Youtube video explains how it’s done.
B. Tutorial on ‘smooth brick’ stone miniature walls.
– a knife
– a grey mixture of acrylic paint
– black paint and burnt amber acrylic paint
– cut out your styrofoam walls in the size you want ( it’s probably better to make a plan first on the size you want it)
– cut out the ‘bricks’ with a knife
– cover the bricks with plaster, put on a thin layer, and press it tightly.
– sand the plaster once it’s dry, to get a more even structure than in tutorial A when using styrofoam
– paint with the grey mixture of acrylic paint
– add some details with burnt amber color
– ‘wash’ it with diluted black color
You can see a video of it here:
Second Way: Use Egg Trays.
– egg trays
– acrylic paint: white, black
– Cut the egg trays into bricks
– glue the bricks on a piece of cardboard
– paint everything black
– make a mix of black and white acrylic paint to get a grey mix
– paint the grey mix slightly over the black wall
– dry brush the wall with just a tiny bit of white
That’s it: done!
Third Way: Use Foam Cups.
– enough foam cups for your needs
– crafting knife
– MDF plate
– glue (not sure which glue to use ? Have a look at this article of mine )
– a piece of aluminum paper
– grey acrylic paint and brick red paint
– cut out bricks from the foam cups
– glue them onto an MDF plate
– Push a piece of aluminum paper together, then press it against the bricks, so it makes them look like real, weathered bricks
– to make them look more like bricks, ‘prick’ and ‘scratch’ them with a sculpting tool
– paint the wall grey with acrylic paint
– wipe off excess paint with wet wipes
– ‘buffer’ the wall with brick-red color and dry cloth
– paint the bricks some more with slightly different colors till all is done
Source off the walkthrough:
Fourth Way: Use Different Colors Of Sandpaper.
And finally, this one speaks for itself, using different colors of sandpaper to make a ‘brick’ wall. Looks pretty easy to do, no?
It is, of course, completely up to you on which method you would choose to make a miniature stone wall. I think I would go for wood at first, but I plan to build a castle sooner or later, preferably before I die ( I know, sounds dramatic, but I have so much more to do in the miniature world 😉 ).
That would mean I will probably go for the real rocks or the clay or the egg trays, just because I am kind of an eco-freak as well, so I prefer to work with non-toxic, degradable materials. Or materials that I can recycle or ‘upcycle’. But I can imagine that using styrofoam is a very handy product to work with, so there’s your advantage!
Do you have any questions or do you want to point out to me that I forgot about a way to make miniature walls? Feel free to tell me all about it in the comments below or join my newest Facebook group, we are a happy bunch of miniaturists! 😉