Stone Cottage done. Westville to Continue

I pretty much have the quarter-inch scale Stone Cottage done and ready to display. I have not finished the wiring, because my cat ate part of it. He is fine, but the wires are now too short and I’ll have to replace or splice. At least he didn’t eat the LED chips.

(I took these photos before the landscape was completely done, but the grass is all on now.)

This was a good learning experience about what worked / didn’t work with stucco, and how to work with Creative Paperclay (much easier than I feared).

I will return to the Westville and start finishing. Interior first, I think, with tape wiring, then the stucco and stonework when the outside is one continuous surface.

Before that, I will be going to the Bishop show in Chicago–primarily to take classes. I signed up for four! All day ones a couple evening ones. I intend to learn a lot. I’ll share what I made and what I purchased (cause I know that’s going to happen).

Westville: Stonework practice–Painting

I painted the stonework I made with the Creative Paperclay in my last post. I’m fairly pleased with the results. This has been a good learning experience.

Painting started with making a base wash of gray. This is a very, very light wash: 1 drop of black plus one drop of burnt umber mixed in a plastic shot glass of water.

The next step was to paint stones with a darker gray wash in a random pattern.

Next the other stones were painted with a brown wash. Then random stones were highlighted with burnt umber and burnt orange.

It turned out a little bit more brown than I wanted so I washed it over with gray again until I liked it.

That’s my paperclay experiment. I like the results, it’s much easier than I feared, and so I will do stonework on the Westville.

For now, I want to finish this little house.

I’m adding LED lights from Evans Designs (made my own fixture below). Here I’ve strung the wires from the house, which I’ll thread through the base to hook up with the battery switch there (that’s the plan, anyway).

Roof pieces painted and ready. One thing I love about quarter-inch scale is the roofing is ready-made, usually from railroad modeling supplies. So much easier than gluing on one shingle at a time.

I’m almost done with this house, then I’ll switch back to the Westville.

Westville–Paperclay Stonework/Stone Cottage

The paperclay turned out to be easier to use than I feared. I kept it in a ziplock bag after opening, quickly digging in each time I needed some and sealing it back up again.

Here’s the base stonework on the quarter-inch experimental house step by step.

First step is to build up the shape of the walls. Here’s my bare wall coated with yellow glue (wood glue or titebond).

Next I put a roll of paperclay at the base and then smoothed it up with a plastic tool and my fingers (tool easily purchased at hobby store, e.g., Michael’s)

For some reason, I had to remind myself to add the glue to the wood, but it’s essential. I guess I figured the clay would just stick to everything itself (like it does to my fingers), but no. The glue holds it in place while you form it.

Base walls are shaped and ready for the stonework.

The kit includes a mold for the paperclay stones. This is quarter-inch scale. I’ll have to make my own for one-inch scale or figure another way to make stones when I do this on the Westville.

Paperclay smoothed into the mold.

Molded paperclay glued to the base. I cut away the excess and reused.

Poking with a stencil brush adds a little texture.

Made little stones to add to the base. These were easy to roll with my fingers.

I dabbed each stone with glue then placed it at the bottom of the wall.

Filling in the stair wall was a little trickier, and involved lots of fingerwork and trimming. This is the stair wall half done (above).

Stair walls done.

When I came back after letting everything dry overnight, I saw that the paperclay had shrunk (it does that), and it had pulled away from the top of the wall (as you can see above).

I added a row of stones under the ledge. They look darker in the photo because they were still wet, against the already dried portion.

The stonework is mostly done. Now to let it dry and then paint it.

This part was much easier and went much more quickly than I feared. I’ll see what happens in the painting stage!

Westville–Exterior plans

I had this great idea to do the exterior of the Westville with stucco and paperclay stonework.

Not that I’ve ever done anything with paperclay before.

But–I had a quarter-inch scale house kit in my stash which is stucco on top, creative paperclay stonework on the base. So, for practice, I took it out and started it.

This is the structure so far. It’s a simple house (a couple of rooms). I have stuccoed it and put on the trim, and I will do a build-along for the paperclay part. A learning experience for me!

For the stucco, I used carpenter’s wood filler. I’m not sure I will do that again to stucco the Westville. I live in a dry climate (and it’s a dry time of year), and the wood filler was already half dried by the time I took it out of the container. It was impossible to smooth down, and I ended up with a much thicker coat than I wanted. But it’s rustic, right? So I will experiment with other products and see if I can find something better (textured paint comes to mind).

The interior is simple but a nice space. This is Stone Briar Manor from Suzanne and Andrew’s minis. They based it on a real house, which is now a library, so I might make mine a library too. (If I don’t chicken out making all those books …)

This kit has been retired and no longer available. They’ve retired a lot of their kits, which is sad, because they’re fabulous!

But peeking on their site just now (, I see they have a Fairytale house that looks cute. Also a Seaside Cottage that is a variation of the Creekside one I did. I really love their kits so I hope they continue them or bring back retired ones from time to time (which is how I got the Stone Briar one).

More on paperclay to come!