There are a lot of leaf punches available for scrapbooking but they’re usually too big for dollhouse stuff, especially half scale. I went on a hunt for alternatives and found punches for tiny leaves at a European store named Green Stuff World. They have supplies for wargaming miniatures that can be used for dollhouse landscaping, too. (They also have a lot of steampunk stuff!)
The one I bought makes four different leaf styles each time you punch the paper. Here are some of the tiny leaves next to leaves punched out with a regular scrapbooking punch. Much better for half scale!
I used the punch on a piece of fall leaves scrapbook paper, after first painting the blank side of the paper red. I’m not finding this paper online so I’m not sure if it’s still available. It’s made by Recollections. I bought a couple of sheets years ago at Michaels.
Here’s the general idea of what I’m going for. I like that there are four styles of leaves, so they’re not all the same, and the size is good. But it doesn’t look authentic yet.
That’s where the leaf litter comes in. I also bought this from Green Stuff World, but based on some stuff I read online I think it’s made from the innards of birch tree seed pods, so if you have a birch tree handy you could make your own. They look just like little dead leaves.
I rolled some leaves around in red paint and dabbed off the excess with a paper towel.
Then I transferred them to a piece of wax paper and let them dry overnight.
I did another couple of batches with different colors of paint, and then mixed them in with the paper leaves.
That’s starting to look more realistic.
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(I live in California, so I can flippantly say “Let it snow!” on Thanksgiving without the risk of it actually happening…)
With the bushes finished, I can move forward with landscaping the four seasons roombox. Today I added snow to the winter scene. It was fun! Maybe not quite as fun as playing in the real snow, but also not nearly as cold and wet. Here’s how the scene started out.
I started on the side with the bush. I spread Snow Tex on the ground, using a scrap of strip wood to keep it from seeping over the edge. I dabbed some snow on the bush and squished it into the snow.
I didn’t glue this — I’m hoping that the Snow Tex will hold it in place once it’s dry.
Here’s the other side. I used a skinny stick to push the snow up beyond the edge of the path, to look like it’s been shoveled. The shovel is made by Island Crafts and I made the snowman. Again, I didn’t use glue… fingers crossed the hardened snow will hold them in place.
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My goal with the four seasons roombox is to show the same scene as if it’s progressing through the year. There isn’t a ton of space for landscaping, but the front door has space next to it for a bush. I’ve made bushes before by covering round prickly things out of a jar of potpourri (or off the sidewalk) with clump foliage for model train layouts.
I dug through the potpourri jar and these are the four biggest ones I have left. I decided to use the largest for winter, since it won’t have any foliage to bulk it up.
To make spring, summer, and autumn different from each other, I used different colors of foliage. This spring mix is finer than what I’ve used for bushes in the past, more like grass. I chose it because the light green seemed spring-like, and the yellow mixed in could be flowers. To stick this stuff on, just cover the prickly thing in glue and roll it around.
The summer bush is dark green. This stuff is clumpier and was a bit easier to glue on.
For autumn, I’d bought what I thought was orange/yellow clump foliage, but it’s actually a sheet. (I’m not sure what this is supposed to be used for?) I cut off a piece and wrapped it around the prickly thing. When that didn’t look bushy enough, I added a second layer.
Here are the four bushes. Unintentionally, it looks like the bush gets fuller with each season. (Someone needs to do some pruning!) These prickly things came out of a harvest potpourri so they’re orange. I painted the winter one brown, and it will also have some snow on it eventually.
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