Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Stone path for a dollhouse/miniature

This is how I made a stone path to lead up to the Nutcote cottage kit from Red Cottage Miniatures. The kit came with some laser cut wood steps so I used them as a template and traced them on some rolled out Paperclay. However, I made the stone path free hand. Keep in mind that his technique will work in any scale. I placed my cottage on the base for the layout but will not be gluing it down incase I sell this piece when it is finished. This way it will be easier to ship and all my hard work will stay safe.

 Outline where your path will be on your surface. Use a pencil! I used a pen and it kept bleeding into my clay. I temporarily put my steps in place and started about 1/8” away from them.

  Start by cutting a palm full of Paperclay from your package and then seal up your bag. Knead the Paperclay with your fingers on wax paper and then roll it out to about 1/8-1/16” thick. I am using a plastic clay roller. You could also just use a bottle.

 I cut out my step tops and set them aside to dry. Then I laid a piece of thin clay over my path outline and started cutting stone shapes like a jigsaw puzzle, but I left room in-between for the grass to grow in between the stones. I have built stone paths in real life and know that they are never a perfect fit unless it’s an artificial path so don’t worry if there are uneven gaps because this will only add to the charm. I would take an organic natural stone path over a machine made one any day!

 When you get about 4 stones cut to shape, smooth their sides and spread wood glue down and place them down pressing very gently.  Add any texture you may want to make it look like a specific stone. I used a crumbled up piece of fabric I had on hand. Paper may be too sharp but you could use foil. If you use foil, you need to really crumble it up and press it as flat as you can on a hard surface so the texture is very faint and doesn’t cut into the clay.

 While it is drying, go back and check on it because Paperclay shrinks and you may need to pat it down if it curls while it is drying, but only if you missed gluing an area. For the step tops, I kept flipping them over while they dried because they are not glued down yet and were curling up. Once dry, I glued my steps together using the Paperclay pieces for the tops and the step base wood pieces that came with the kit. Then glued the steps in their place with a weight on them.

Painting stone
 Mix some Ceramcoat Brown Iron Oxide with a good amount of water to make a wash. Brush onto the stone being sure to cover the sides as well as the top of the stones.

 Go back over with a wash of Ceramcoat Khaki but just on certain parts of each stone to add another layer of color.

 I dabbed the stone with a cotton cloth to get a nice blend. Let dry.

Applying grass
 Grind up some reindeer moss in a coffee bean grinder to get it nice and fine.

 Add some glue around the stones with a toothpick. If you have Elmer’s white glue the cap will be narrow enough to apply without a toothpick.

 Apply the fine reindeer moss material into the glue. Press with your fingers to get it deep in the gaps.

 Go in with small scissors if there are any stragglers that look too bulky.

Looking back,  I should have painted the board in a matching green first!


  1. You're quite the landscape stonesetter Auralea, and the path you've done, seques well with the front steps and the stonework foundation of Nutcote cottage; and thank You for this trim little paper clay tutorial which I look forward to trying!

  2. Te quedó muy realista!!

  3. Love how that looks. You're slowly convincing me that paperclay would be a good experiment.