Ambience is an important part of creating a quality miniature setting. With a period outdoor miniature, a tiny cobblestone street is just the ticket for creating a realistic tone. You can create your own cobblestone paving in the size and shape you need for your miniature project and set the stage for a detailed, realistic and eye-catching scene.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Fish tank gravel pebbles
- Air-dry earthenware clay
- Cotton swabs
- Spray lacquer
Cut a piece of cardboard in the size and shape of the miniature cobblestone-paved road you want to create.
Sort through the fish tank gravel pebbles to find rocks that will make good cobblestones --- stones that are smooth, relatively flat or have a flat edge and measure between a quarter inch to three-quarters of an inch wide. Set aside about a teaspoon of pebbles for each two-inch square portion of paving you want to create.
Combine two parts clay, one part water in a mixing bowl. Mix the water and clay by hand into a smooth, pasty mixture of even consistency. In pottery making, this watery mixture of clay is called slip. Make about one tablespoon of slip for every two square inches of paved road you want.
Smear the cardboard with a coat of slip about a quarter inch thick. Let it dry and thicken for about 15 minutes.
Press the stones into the slip and cover the surface. Leave no more than an eighth of an inch of space between any two stones when you position them. Try to submerge the stones so that only their flat edges are visible in the slip.
Let the slip and stones dry overnight.
Clean the exposed surface of the stones with a wet cotton swab to remove the residue of clay paste on the rocks. You may need to rinse the swab often or switch to a new one.
Spray the cobblestone with craft varnish in a well-ventilated area. Let dry according to the varnish manufacturer's instructions.
Tips and warnings
- If you want to apply the cobblestones directly to an existing floor or ground surface in a miniature scene, apply the slip and stones directly without cardboard.