How to add snow scenes to your miniatures

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miniature snow scene
Miniature winter scenes can test the most skilled artisan
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Tips to add snow scenes to your miniatures for the holidays

Miniature nativity scenes or other winter-related village scenes are wonderful holiday additions to your home or office. For the artisan or craft-loving sort, constructing these snow scenes from scratch makes for an ideal seasonal project. What your family and friends don’t need to know is there are several methods of construction, and many of them are not difficult in the slightest.

Add some winter and holiday-themed accessories to your miniature rooms, deck the table for the season

So feel free to let those who admire your work think you slaved for days over winterizing your miniature village; it’ll be our little secret.

Snow Scene Products

There are a number of different products and methods of creating your own snow scenes, and most are relatively inexpensive. The right product for your miniature creation is dependent on your plans, how much work you would like to do and the desired effect.

For example, if you intend to construct a wind-blown snow scene effect spray on snow (along with the right modeling) can produce a natural, wintry weather appearance. Use winter-time miniature garden accessories like crystal glitter, snow-covered trees and adhesive "snow" sheets to complete the look. If your objective is to create a quiet, beautiful Christmas or winter season look and feel sheets of snow or cotton batting work wonderfully.

There are also powders and what amount to white, dust-like shavings that can be sprinkled onto a glued surface that produce a realistic snow appearance. These can get a bit messy of course, but the ability to apply thicker layers in some areas as opposed to others results in a three-dimensional look perfect for snow banks and intricate dioramas or scenes. Snow scenes that utilize these products for a light layer on top of miniature homes, cars and nativity scenes also look great.

Project Ideas

For snow mountains or hills, try this technique using cotton batting. First, determine how big you want your mountain or structure to be, then use heavy duty tin foil and shape it to your desired dimensions. Try to avoid overly pointy or sharp edges.

Now, cut a piece of cotton batting large enough to cover your foil structure, with a little extra to pinch under the sides. Lay your batting out flat and spray a health dose of fabric stiffener, working the solution in with your fingers. The treated batting shouldn’t actually drip, but rather tacky and moist. Now, lay the batting over the foil and use your finger tips to create peaks, small crests and ridges.
Finally, surrounding your new snow-capped mountain with miniature houses and small trees or brush will provide an excellent centerpiece for your snow scenes.

A note of caution for this and other snow scenes – be careful with exposed lights. The heat in direct contact with the cotton matting or one or more of the other snow products can cause a fire. The fabric stiffener is particularly susceptible to intense heat. Using miniature homes and storefronts with enclosed lights are best.

Another project idea begins with stacking books at various heights, appearing somewhat haphazard. Then, drape a snow sheet over all the books, tucking the sheet in where appropriate. The result is a snow scene of hills and valleys ready for perfectly placed miniature homes, shops and people (maybe even a reindeer or two).

You can add to the scene above using snow powders or flakes and dust the roofs and even some of the people with snow as well. Adding ice beads will produce a lightly melted effect, and the lights from your homes and shops will glitter as they reflect off the ice beads. This makes a great effect, particularly in the evening.

A Couple of Other Ideas

Want to make snow scenes that include a snowball fight, or preparation of one? Making snow balls are a piece of cake. Begin with regular, off-the-shelf cotton balls and roll them up with glue. They’ll compress down into miniature snow ball-like implements of wintry destruction in no time. A pile of these directly behind a wall created with cardboard and a snow sheet or cotton matting makes a great scene.

For the centerpiece of a winter wonderland place a small mirror, ideally round, just off center on a thick sheet of faux snow. Now set a few miniature forest creatures around the “lake” dusted with a bit of snow. Miniature trees, dusted with snow of course, and lights hung in the background to simulate a starry, wintry night will complete your scene.

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