One of the things my gotta-stay-awake YouTube watching has led to is a renewal in my interest in miniatures. First, I discovered this amazing model of Howl’s Moving Castle made from discarded plastic, cardboard, wire, and lots of re-purposed objects. It’s a long video, but Studson Studio’s delivery is educational and entertaining. He even chants his patron names list, matching it to the music from the movie and making it rhyme.

Jump to 47:52 for the beauty shots and patron list

Then, Bentley House Minis’ Addams’ House Project popped up on my feed, and I was in awe all over again. Ara is an experienced and skilled miniaturist with lots of doll house projects going, some of which are built from scratch with used cardboard.

Jump to 29:19 for a tour of the house.

After hours of watching miniature tutorial and project videos, I wanted to make something myself. I’ve always admired the clever ways miniaturists can turn things I use everyday into something tiny, but seeing fantasy animation turned into a three-dimensional model was really exciting.

Result? I wanted to make a Ghibli build, and decided my best choice is Howl’s bedroom.

Howl’s bedroom from Ghibli’s Howl’s Moving Castle

I know it’s an absolutely insane idea. Look at all that detail! And this is the only angle we see the room from. Still, all the color and clutter has me mesmerized. I so want to make this thing!

However, I have to take in to account that I am compromised at the moment. While my sleep is improving, I’m afraid I would be biting off more than I can chew.

Here’s a close-up of one bit of the wall in Howl’s bedroom. How fun would this be to make?

Even before I started sleep therapy, my chronic health sapped my energy. When I do feel well, I have to spend time taking care of essentials like laundry and groceries, further limiting the amount of time I have to create.

My prediliction for gigantic, complicated, time-consuming projects just makes things more difficult. That I want to make Howl’s bedroom for my first diorama is typical. I rarely do fast or simple, because it’s the challenge of creating my intricate visions that excites me.

The best solution I’ve found so far has been to go small, so that’s what I’m doing here. While I hope someday to make the entire bedroom scene, I’m starting out with one detail that caught my eye and my fancy: the wizard books.

The room is full of them. If I really do the whole scene, I’ll have to mass produce tiny books to fill that wall of shelves and stack in piles everywhere. For now, I’m just making some. There are lots of different ways to make miniature books, so I’ve been collecting tutorials and experimenting with techniques.

Miniature books under construction

I haven’t committed to this project. All I’m doing is figuring out which techniques I enjoy and what looks good to me. It’s proving to be a slow process — as Ara of Bentley House Minis says, “Good miniatures take time” — so I’m still testing methods and materials.

An experiment using bits of magazine spines for the text block.

It’s only a tiny start, but it is a beginning, and I’m free to stop or do more as I see fit. The best part is that it’s scratching my itch to make things, within the boundaries of what I am able to do at the moment, and I’m having fun.

How do you find time for huge projects?

6 thoughts on “A Tiny Start To Making Miniatures”

    1. Exactly! Plus you get all that added satisfaction with each tiny project you complete. Although I’m not sure hundreds of books really counts as tiny…

  1. Waaaah this is going to be so cool!!!

    ” When I do feel well, I have to spend time taking care of essentials like laundry and groceries, further limiting the amount of time I have to create” < That's not so cool. I know we're in different situations, but I just wanted to say that I get what you mean. With my chronic conditions, I rarely have any time left where I'm functional enough to do anything, and when I am, albeit still feeling very rough, that time goes on grocery shopping, medical appointments, washing up, all the mundanities of life. Creativity has, for me, totally gone out the window, along with a lot of self-care.

    I think that does this is a great idea to give you a project to focus on and a sense of achievement during the journey. Try not to put too much pressure on yourself because you're right, this is an insane project idea. But a very, very cool one. I hope you can enjoy doing it without getting too frustrated with it – It'll be awesome to see how you get on if you can give updates throughout! 🙂

    Caz xx

    1. I’m both glad and sorry you understand my situation. It’s a common frustration with chronic illness, so I keep working on focusing on what I can do instead of what I can’t.

      This project (should I choose to tackle it) will definitely take time, as I have plenty of other giant projects that are only partly done. But I will definitely post updates as I go along, and we’ll see if I get obsessed enough to finish. Still working on finding my favorite methods and materials for making books, but I’m so tempted to get my copy of the movie out and pull details from the scene so I can play with ideas of how to make things…

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