Beach and Nautical Themed Miniature Projects

The beach or nautical-themed miniatures on this list of tutorials can be used to add to your scale scenes or summer keepsake boxes and scrapbook pages. Several of these projects, including the boat signal cushions or the nautical knot rug, can be made in full scale, to add a nautical theme to a house or cottage. As a back to school project, these miniatures add a new twist to "How I spent my summer vacation'.

  • 01 of 13

    Make Tiny Air Mattresses from Drinking Straws

    Dollhouse doll with a 1:12 scale miniature air mattress made from plastic drinking straws.

    Lesley Shepherd

    These little air mattresses are fairly simple to make from plastic straws. They look great in miniature pool settings or laid out with sleeping bags on top.  One enterprising miniaturist used them to decorate a retirement cake, along with the palm trees below.

  • 02 of 13

    Make Miniature Seashells

    Miniature conch, mussel, scallop and clam shells made from polymer clay in dollhouse sized scales.

    Lesley Shepherd

    You can use air dry clay or polymer clay to make shells in popular miniature scales, or you can use 3D nail art molds which give you a range of common shell shapes. The nail art molds can be used to cast seashells from PVA glue, epoxy putty, polymer clay or other materials

  • 03 of 13

    Make Miniature Palm Trees

    Finished scale model palm tree made from fabric leaves and kraft paper.

    Lesley Shepherd

    Use these miniature palm trees for tropical beach scenes. They are easily made from painted paper, and wire or fabric leaves. You can build them to a range of sizes and scales and they work equally well for cake decorations, desert gaming terrains or nativity scenes, depending on which size you make them. If you need a particular type of palm tree, just pay attention to the style of the fronds, and the way the fronds are arranged.

  • 04 of 13

    Make a Quarter Scale Beach Scene in a Teacup

    A 1:48 scale miniature beach scene with a beach shop and pier, all set into a teacup and saucer.

    Lesley Shepherd

    This quarter scale teacup scene with a pier and beachfront shop is made from free printables, with a bit of floral foam and sand. You can use the storefront to display beach food including ice cream or fish and chips, or use the space for toy boats, air mattresses and other popular beach shop items.>

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  • 05 of 13

    Make Miniature Seagulls

    A dolls house scale miniature seagull made from air dry clay and bits of wire is perched on a log.

    Lesley Shepherd

    Made from air dry or polymer clay, these seagulls are easy to sculpt to add to a miniature scene. You can perch them on pilings, rocks or add them to the roof of a house or boat.

    Seagulls are an easy shape to sculpt, even in the small scales used for dollhouse displays. This is a good bird to practice with, and an easy project if you make it with air dry clay. Once you work out how to make them, you can make them larger for home decor, or make them out of fondant icing to add to summer cakes or cupcakes. The process of sculpting them remains the same, regardless of which material you use.

  • 06 of 13

    Make Miniature Sailboats

    Toy sailboat in dollhouse scale carved from scrap craft wood

    Lesley Shepherd

    These sailboats can be made in a range of scales and are easy to make with paper or fabric sails and simply carved hulls. If you don't want to make them from carved craft wood, shape the hulls from floral arrangement foam, and give them a good protective coating of paint.

  • 07 of 13

    Make an Ocean Plait Rug in In Full Size or Miniature Scale

    Doormat made from a 60 metre length of retired climbing rope.

    Dianne - Gjetost Blog 

    Tie an Ocean Plait Rug from a length of string or decorative cord for a miniature rug, or use regular rope, or a retired climbing rope to tie a rug in full size as a welcome mat for your home.

    Try tying a few of these using different weights of rope and cord. The knot can be used to make placemats or coasters as well as rugs.

  • 08 of 13

    Make Miniature Water Features From Sheet Plastic

    water from sheet plastic

     Lesley Shepherd

    This type of miniature water feature allows you to add fish, plants or other items into a scene built below the surface of the 'water' without worrying about bubbles or seals to hold in epoxy resin or other materials as they dry. You can make a swimming pool, a child's paddling pool, or a lake using this method. All you need is a sheet of plastic which is stiff enough not to bow across the width of your water feature.

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  • 09 of 13

    Make a Flashing Miniature Light House Lamp for a Dollhouse

    A miniature two inch high lighthouse built from an LED and beads.

    Lesley Shepherd

    Make a flashing or steady beam working miniature lighthouse lamp for a scale scene. These lamps are easy to make using LED bulbs and wooden beads, along with scraps of wood for the keeper's cottage. The lamps can be made to run off the transformer for a dolls house or made from LED lamps that run from watch batteries so they can be set in room boxes or other locations which aren't wired for power.

  • 10 of 13

    Make Nautical Pillows or Boat Cushions

    Miniature pillows for a nautical theme design in a dollhouse, based on naval signal flag designs.

    Lesley Shepherd

    These bright pillows are based on standard nautical signal flags. Their simple bold designs can be used in a cottage or on a boat, in full size or miniature scale. A list of the flag meanings is included in the instructions, in case you want to spell something out in particular for someone who knows their flags!

    In miniature, the signal flags are made from bias binding tape. In full scale, you can make the patterns using cotton quilting fabric.

  • 11 of 13

    Make a Felt Tricorne For a Miniature Pirate or Naval Officer

    A tiny cockade made from paper decorates a dolls house scale tricorne hat.

    Lesley Shepherd

    If you need a hat for a pirate, the standard felt tricorne is fairly easy to shape from a scrap of wool felt. Also worn by revolutionaries and naval officers, the tricorne can be made for men or women, in a range of colors. The one shown here is fairly standard, you can make more elaborate tricornes with larger brims, or brighter trims.

  • 12 of 13

    Make a Miniature Trunk or Chest

    Interior of a dolls house scale wooden tack trunk with moveable drawers and space for a scale saddle

    Lesley Shepherd

    This trunk is modeled on one owned by a sea captain in the late 1880's. The chest has a movable tray and can be used as a traveling trunk, captain's chest, or tack trunk.

    Seaman's chests were rarely the round-topped boxes seen in Hollywood movies. In tight quarters, everything must be made to do double duty or at least stow away efficiently. Round-topped chests were designed for coach travel, where their round top design prevented other chests from being stored above them.

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  • 13 of 13

    Make A Miniature Water Feature for a Scale Scene

    Beginning the landscape around a dollhouse scale pond made from E-Z water.

    Lesley Shepherd

    If you need a water feature to suggest a beach theme, you can use a range of materials to suggest fresh or salt water. These instructions show you how to determine the shape you want, and how to cast and landscape simple water pools for miniature scenes in any scale.