Don’t you love miniatures? I do! I’ve created this miniature island scene in a cloche dome to take my mind off the summer heat. Follow along with my tutorial below to find out how to make this cute 3D paper craft!
- Silhouette Cameo® or Portrait®
- Silhouette Studio®
- Cutting mat — Standard Tack
- 2mm Manual Blade
- Cloche dome
- Cardstock (65 lb.) — light green, dark green, brown, yellow, pink, and orange
- Craft foam (about 2mm) — brown, tan, or green
- White craft glue
- Brown acrylic paint
- Foam brush
- Pink marker
- 24-gauge floral wire
- Three 10mm spun paper balls (optional)
- Design ID #63447 by Hearthsewn
- Design ID #344841 by Amanda McGee
- Design ID #407514 by Abelha de Papel
Step One: Prepare and Cut Palm Tree
In Silhouette Studio®, open the Palm Tree design. Then, select the options in the Page Setup Panel that match your machine and materials. Here are my settings:
- Machine = Cameo
- Cutting Mat = Cameo
- Media Size = 12 in. x 12 in.
Next, measure your cloche dome and decide how large you want your elements to be. I’m sizing my designs to fit inside a plastic cloche dome that is 5.7 x 3.6 in. You’ll need to adapt your designs to fit into whatever container you are using. If you don’t have a dome, you could mount the scene to any stable circular base.
With your document set up and ready to go, ungroup and drag the four trunk pieces and six leaf pieces over to an area where you can work with them together. All other parts of the design can be deleted.
Tip: Try using the Fill Panel to recolor the pieces to match your cardstock. This will help you keep track of which pieces to cut with the different colors you will be using.
Draw a rectangle as a reference for the palm tree’s maximum height. Mine is 3.5 in. high. Then, select all the palm tree pieces together so they resize at the same time. Drag a corner handle until the trunk piece with the decorative slices is about 3.5 in. tall. Use the reference rectangle to assist visually with this resizing.
Cut the palm tree pieces with appropriate colors of cardstock. Some of the pieces you’ll cut for this project will be quite small and detailed. I recommend cutting 65-lb. cardstock with a sharp blade and sticky mat for best results. My favorite settings for intricate cardstock cuts are as follows:
- Blade Depth = 4
- Force = 30
- Speed = 4
- Overcut = ON
Step Two: Prepare and Cut Monstera Leaves
Open a new document in Silhouette Studio® and open the Miniature Monstera Plant design. These are already intended as miniature leaves, so no resizing is necessary.
Cut these pieces from green cardstock using the same Page Setup Panel and Send Panel settings as before.
Note: Depending on how full you want your island scene to be, you may not use all of the leaves you cut. I used about 8 leaves in my project.
Step Three: Prepare and Cut Hibiscus Flowers
Open a new document in Silhouette Studio® and open the Hibiscus Flower design.
We don’t need the leaf, so you can delete that.
Select both the flower and stamen, and resize them together until the flower piece is about 1.5 in. square.
Cut one flower and three stamen from yellow cardstock, one flower from pink cardstock, and one flower from orange cardstock.
Note: The stamen will be very thin and delicate. Use the suggested settings I listed above as your starting point. If you lose a couple of stamen tips when removing from the mat, it’s OK.
Step Four: Cut Craft Foam Insert
You could probably do this next piece with cardstock, but I wanted a thick, soft surface that would be easy to poke holes through and secure all my greenery without looking lumpy.
Measure the bottom opening of your dome. My opening is about 3.2 in., so I want my foam circle insert to be slightly smaller and leave room for the dome to completely set in place.
In Silhouette Studio®, draw a circle. I’ve made mine exactly 3.125 in. Cut this circle out of craft foam.
Because this is 2mm craft foam, I cut this piece the 2mm manual blade in my Cameo 4, using the default cut settings for craft foam. This same blade works in the Portrait 3. You could also use an original deep-cut blade with the grey adapter in the Cameo 4 or Portrait 3. Both of these machines have the clearance to cut 2mm craft foam.
Step Five: Assemble 3D Designs
Before we can add these elements to our dome, we need to assemble the individual designs. Follow the designer’s instructions for assembling the palm tree. We did not make their base, so only follow the instructions for the palm tree and the leaves.
Then, follow the instructions from the designer to add wire to the monstera leaves. Leave about 0.5 in. of wire extended beyond the paper stem.
To assemble the hibiscus flowers:
- Color both sides of the yellow stamen tips with a pink marker.
- Press the center and roll the stamen so the tips are pointing upwards.
- Finger-curl the flower petals and bend each petal upwards at the center so the petals are curved up and out.
- Add a dab of white glue to the petal center and attach the stamen piece for each flower.
Step Six: Add Design Elements to Cloche Dome
If you are adding the optional coconuts to your island scene, squeeze and roll the 10mm spun balls to give them a slightly oblong shape, then paint with brown acrylic paint and let dry. You can be creative here and substitute foam balls or wooden beads.
Position the palm tree base as close to the edge of the foam circle as possible, with room for the flaps to bend out. Put tiny slices in the craft foam so you can insert the palm tree flaps, then glue in place on the back side of the foam with white craft glue.
Poke holes into the craft foam circle and insert the monstera leaves in clumps of 1-3 stems per hole. Bend the wire on the back side of the craft foam to secure. Avoid letting the leaves extend beyond the edge of the foam circle.
Glue the coconuts to the craft foam at the base of the tree, or you may want to hang them at the top of your tree.
Glue the three flowers to the monstera leaves.
Secure the craft foam circle directly to the base, or glue to a cardstock circle that can be set into the base. I used white craft glue to glue the foam to cardstock and clamped it until it dried.
Place the dome on top.
I hope you enjoyed this project! What else would you put in a cloche dome?