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Dollhouse Miniature Projects

Rustic Cottage Chimney

This tutorial will show how to make a very rustic accessory for a miniature scene or dollhouse - a chimney made of 'stone' which is really styrofoam, a very easy to work with material.

Dollhouse Miniature Projects - the chimney

I used the pink Styrofoam insulation for this, the one inch thick kind, but really almost any kind will do. 

The beauty of Styrofoam is how versatile it is. 

Not only can you shape it, but it takes paint as well, or as in the case of this chimney, glue sprinkled with sand gives it a completely realistic look.

Slicing it with a serrated knife is the easiest way to do the rough shaping, and finer work can be done with an Exacto knife. A rasp can take off the burrs, and sandpaper finishes it.

Keep in mind that the little bits that shed off are extremely static and want to cling to everything. If this is an issue, keep a dryer sheet handy and wipe your hands on it periodically.

Cutting the rough shape of the chimney with a carpenters saw or serrated blade

Cutting the shape of the chimney to make it in 'relief' or standing out from the background makes it more realistic.

The shape of the chimney...

The 'stones' are shaped with the end of a saw blade, or a screw will also work for this. 

When the aim is to make it look rustic, it's not necessary to have it perfect.  Leave the need for perfection behind.

A saw blade from a reciprocating saw worked well to cut out the stone shapes.

The 'stones' are shaped with a saw blade

The final carved out shape is sealed with black acrylic paint, to stop the small debris from flaking off.

Sealed with acrylic craft paint

Each 'stone' is painted with a mix of white, silver and black to create the natural look of real stone.

Tested to see if the shape fits the spindle

Then the magic happens...

The chimney still needs something - how about mortar between the stones? 

Here's how to take your miniature to the next level.

For mortar, the lines between the 'stones' are filled with slightly diluted Mod Podge using a syringe and the fine dry sand is sprinkled onto it.

A cheap veterinarian syringe is filled with Mod Podge or other white glue, and the lines around the stones are outlined.

The mortar lines are filled with Mod Podge

Sand, garnered from the driveway - this is where you take what you can get. I sifted out the larger stones and bits of twigs.

Sifted sand

Sprinkle it all over the glued chimney, making sure it goes in all the crannies that you glued earlier.

Sprinkle onto the glue

The excess is shaken off, and the piece is left to dry. 


Next, the whole chimney will be glued to the recycled table to make a porch vignette, complete with firewood, an apple harvest and a tiny broom.



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