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You Miniature water effects for dollhouses, roomboxes and dioramas

Ponds, Rivers, Lakes, Fountains - how do you make them?

Also see ice, snow, fish

For ice skating, see winter

Consider water splash techniques in the bathroom, laundry, kitchen. What about those beverage. or food spills?

See also mermaids, sushi, Mediterranean, beach, pirates, water, boats  marine and seafood



FountainSide by Nancy (nobleday)http://s26.photobucket.com/albums/c143/nobleday/?action=view&current=fountain2-1.jpg#!oZZ25QQcurrentZZhttp%3A%2F%2Fs26.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fc143%2Fnobleday%2F%3Faction%3Dview%26current%3Dfountain2-1.jpg%26

Links to miniature water projects

Closeup of Fountain by Nancy (nobleday) http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c143/nobleday/fountain.jpg
Puppenhaus mit Aufzug und Pool
Madame Bellerose's - Sink and Bucket


Castle Starcaster - Week 27
Fantasy Castle Room Box for J. Bush
  • photo albums, blog posts, webpages

Old Deserted Dock - by Dr Bob

Water Gardens - by Acanthus Miniatures

Water Jug - by Tanya

Water Mill in 1:48 - by Sue from Garstang, UK

Water Scene in Altoids Tin - by Lee Strobridge


Water in miniature blogs

  • Blogs concentrating on water or categories/labels about it in blogs


Water groups

  • Discussion groups, forums (or forum categories) and photo groups dedicated to water.


Supplies for sale

  • Supplies needed for making water projects. 

Delux Materials - water effects

Kleer Coat Table Coat Epoxy

Tar Gel - for spill effects, available from Dick Blick. See tips and hints below.

Unreal Details - resin product


Miniatures for sale

  • Do you have a section for water in your shop? Add a direct link to that item here.



  • Books about miniature water projects (also books with chapters about them)


Instructions for miniatures


Miniature printables



  • Wallpapers that go well with water projects


Other Printies

  • Book/magazine covers related to water

Autumn River Painting

Brita Box - from Marisol



  • links to sites showing how to make items related to water

Create Splash Effects for Miniature and Model Scenes - from About.com

Create a Miniature Water Garden

How to Make a "Frozen Moment" Miniature Featuring Solids Poured Into Liquids - from About.com

Fountain - from Dollshouse Miniatures Club

Kiddie Wading Pool - from bangle bracelets, scroll down for water printie

Garden Ponds, Rock Gardens, Landscaping Around Swimming Pools - from About.com

Hot Glue Waterfall - from Instructables 

Make Scale Miniature Model Water Features With Clear Sheet Styrene or Acrylic - from About.com

Make Scale Miniature Flag Iris - from About.com

Make Scale Miniature Waterlilies - from About.com

Making Drips - from Sprockets Small World

Making Water with Tin Foil - from Hilo Creations

Miniature Wading Pool

Puddles - from About.com

Simple Miniature Ponds - from About.com

Splash Effects - from About.com

Splashing Water - from Fantasy Games

Turn on the Taps! - flowing water effects from the Dolls' House Magazine, tut by Catherine Davies

Water fountain in 1:6 scale - from Doll Diva

Water Fountain - from Shaper Maker

Waterfall -from Storm the Castle

Wall Fountain

Waterfall in a Cave - from LUSstuff

Woodland Scenics Tutorial Page

Working Fountain or Faucet - from About.com

Working with Epoxy - from Lee Valley  




  •  YouTube videos about miniature projects related to this subject


Rivers and Streams - from Luke Towan

Waterfall - from Laser Creation World


Research/ Inspiration



  • Water is one of the most difficult scenic items to model in a realistic way. The most un-natural looking water on a model is real water! When modelling water two main factors have to be considered, is the water running or still; and how deep is the water to appear. 
  • The technique used to achieve the depth and reflection are the same for all water types, although movement can be introduced in a river or the sea. The pond appears to have depth by illusion as it is only about 1mm deep. The depth is formed by painting the pond base with a selection of colours that will create depth - dark green, brown and black.
  • The reflective surface is a by product of the material used to represent water - clear gloss varnish e.g. Ronseal. Several layers of varnish (3-4) are applied to give depth and reflection. Movement can be created by 'drawing' the top coat of varnish before it dries I.e. To represent the wake of a boat or perhaps a duck! Waterfalls can be made using a glue gun to form thin strands of resin glue from the top of the fall to the bottom. Remember to varnish the surrounding rocks to make them look wet from the splash! The finishing touch is to blend the water to the scenery using the same technique used in forming rock faces above.
  • The pond and the surrounding grass are formed on the same piece of plywood. The extra coarse foliage covering the join between the pond and base grass makes the pond appear slightly lower. Always form the water before the scenery and allow to dry for at least 24 hours before adding the scenery. This prevents the scatter powders falling into the water.
  •  Quick Water can be found it at the craft store and it's used in full size flower arrangements to make it look like there's water in a clear vase. Mix half and half, like most of them. Environtex has a polymer base and will turn yellow. The manufacturer confirms it will yellow over time. What ever you get, make sure it doesn't have a polymer base.In a pond, don't make the pours too deep. They take forever to dry and sometimes stay tacky on top. You can add layers as needed. The separations won't show. When adding something like water lilies, glue them on after itt set up. You wouldn't believe how they could sink over night !! If you want reeds sticking up,  glue them to the base before pouring. Make sure the glue is dry. However, if making something like a fish aquarium, make it in one pour or a line between the pours will be visible. And on a pond, put down a layer of aluminum foil and paint it blue/brown, etc. for depth, then pour the resin. This is to make sure there are no leaks. That can be a problem !  


Running  water in fountains:

  •  It is really easy but takes multilple steps. First start with the clear plastic wrap in strips and place it where you want it. Then coat it with thin coats of clear Gallery Glass glass paint. It goes on white but drys clear. Use really thin coats and build up, it looks better that way. Make sure each layer is dry all the way before you add the next coat or it won't get all the way clear.  You can manipulate the plastic a bit using a toothpick while the first coat is still wet to get the placement right.

  • For water coming out of a faucet or sprinkling can, fountain, etc, use stretch bead cord. You can find it at Michaels, or Joannes and it comes in different thicknesses. you glue it to one end You glue it to one end and to the bottom to where you want the water to fall. You can then drip glue down the cord. Also fishing line filament comes in different thicknesses and you can find it in any hardware store or where they sell fishing equipment.


  • Using E-Z Water - It dries very fast, so you must act quickly. Work with small amounts and don't overheat it or it will turn brown. Use a teaspoon for pouring the water into the right places, especially for when making running water for ponds and fountains
  • Look  for Realistic Water and Water Effects in the model railroad section. This stuff is so easy to use, dries clear and made a fabulous clear creek bed and waterfall for a campground. It needs no mixing, comes in medium-sized containers and takes a few days to dry between pourings. Be sure to clean off the cap and bottle top with water after use so they don't stick together. Soaking the stuck bottle and top upside down in warm water will also loosen the top. With Realistic Water, you can pour 1/8" at a time, let dry, add more until you get the depth you want. It helps to use a bit of acrylic paint to color the bottom of your basin to give it the look of being shadowed. Realistic Water turns cloudy during the first few days after each pouring, but clears up. It has a tendency to dry a bit concave, but adding more will take care of that, and it's not really all that visible. Once poured, don't mess with it if you want a clear finish. Also, it is permanent and can't be moved oo removed after it starts to dry.


  • With Water Effects you need a non-stick cookie sheet and make lines of the white-glue-looking substance, then run a toothpick through it to give a waterfall look. Once dry, this can be pulled off the cookie sheet or anything you put it on until you seal it down with more of the water effects substance.
  • For a drinking fountain, you could use the clear Realistic Water in the bowl and on top of the bubbler, then just string some of the Water Effects over the edges. After the "effects" dry a bit, you can add small amounts to build up the look you want.
  • Download the PDF's from this site - Very informative, using scenic water product.
  • Hints and tips
  • Patty's Pond
  • Pond Basics
  • Scenic Water works amazingly with bubbles. You melt it (in the microwave or in a cup in boiling water) and then pour it into the cauldron/bath/sink etc. You then whip up a really strong solution of dishwashing liquid until you get foam. Next - suck up some of the bubbles in a syringe and squirt them just under the surface of the still molten Scenic Water. They rise to the surface and set with a thin film of SW on top of them. This is shown in Sue Heaser's book, Dolls House Do it Yourself - Food Displays,  the Georgian food chapter - the cauldron is all polymer clay too. The pic is on this page - down at the bottom.
  • Bubbles- Fill the container you want the bubbles in with clear caulk, creating highs and lows as a real bubble bath would have. Before the caulking dries, place the large bubbles, clear iridescent plastic beads.  taking care to conceal the holes.  Use a few dozen or so in varying sizes.  Then add some larger clear glass no hole beads and then sprinkle everything with tiny clear glass no hole beads to fill in any remaining gaps.  After a final light sprinkle of fine irredescent glitter, allow the project to set up and dry.  The caulk may shrink and pull away in places as it cures.  If it does, just add more caulk and more beads as needed.  When its throughly cured, give it a good shake to knock off all the excess beads and glitter. The key to a good looking bubble bath is in having many sizes of bubbles.
  • Styrofoam glue also can be used to simulate water- an inexpensive alternative to SW. Pour carefully to avoid bubbles, and wait to dry, which takes a long time. This Fountain uses nylon fishing line covered with the glue

    • 2 part epoxy coating used for bar counters can be used for ponds. Paint the wood base, apply a 2 part epoxy over the painted wood. Before the epoxy is dry.  use a stiff brush and go over the surface, creating small waves and - whitecaps! The whitecaps are actually white when 'whipped/lifted up' - not painted white. The whitecaps are  created when the brush is lifted.

    Kiddie Pool

    • Get some Fimo/Sculpy and roll out some snakes (try to keep them about the same thickness) and then place them around a glass bottle or tin can to get the diameter you want. Piick nice bright colours... Red, Yellow, Aqua Blue, etc. Then bake according to the package...at least 30 mins to cure them properly.
    • Then slip them off the can/bottle and glue and stack them onto each other. Use thick vinyl (like you would find on the bags that set sets come in) cut 2 rounds and glue one to the bottom. Attach cute stickers (fish etc) to the bottom and then place the other vinyl round and there you have it :o)
    • Or use plastic children's bangle bracelets, aquarium tubing. container lid


    • Carve out a pond shape in landscaping base, or form a raised area (about 1/4" high)
    •  Paint the bottom of the pond black or blue or green, add a few plants with orange Fimo fish.
    • Glue clear acrylic plastic over the hole or raised area. To tint the water, paint the underside of the plastic with Tacky Glue with blue or green added for shading.
      Apply a row of stones or bricks to cover the top edge of the pond.
    • For spills, spatters, try tar gel, as described in About.com
    • Waves can be made using sandwich wrap and rolled up socks....lay out sandwich wrap over top and pour the resin in a wave shape on top of the wrap, let dry. Froth up some resin and put on the edges of the wave. If you color the resin with ink, you can get a pretty good looking wave. I use ink.  Once the resin has dries, remove the sock and gently peel off the wrap.
  • Ideas about what is needed for these projects

    • links to inspiring pages
  • Miniature Waterfalls - Pinterest search
    • ideas for shop names
    • YouTube videos about the subject

    Hits since 20 Sep 2009: 


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