Miniature model trees are a great way to spruce up a wide variety of different things, whether you’re updating your storefront or creating an A+ diorama for a school project.
Whatever your needs may be, you have options. Some people will decide to buy premade mini model tree kits, while others tend to be craftier and want a DIY version.
What are the best options for miniature trees? It all depends on what you want and need. Some people may enjoy the art of crafting and prefer to make their own personalized miniature model trees, and there are several ways to do them. On the other hand, you have the option of purchasing easy-to-use kits to spice up your scenery in a flash.
If you need some miniature model trees but don’t know which option is right for you- premade or DIY- then you have come to the right place.
We are going to discuss the best choices for premade miniature tree kits, while also describing the best ways to create your very own mini trees from the comfort of your home.
- Who Needs Miniature Model Trees?
- 2 Ways to Do-it-Yourself Miniature Model Trees
- The Top Picks for Pre-Mades and Kits
- That’s a Wrap!
Who Needs Miniature Model Trees?
Most people don’t think about miniature model trees unless they are a hobbyist who does plenty of scenic setups. However, there comes a point where almost everyone can benefit from a miniature model tree.
Here are the top reasons you might be in need of a mini tree:
Displays for a storefront
This is perhaps one of the most common reasons why anyone would need to acquire a miniature model tree. This is especially true if you are trying to create a ‘woodsy’ feel to the storefront. In this situation, you will likely need many model trees to get the perfect scenic view for your potential shoppers.
Terrain for other miniatures
When you are creating a scenic view of something, one thing that is likely going to be added is miniature trees. They can completely change the way your view looks, and you can even shake things up a bit by using the trees as terrain for other miniatures.
School project coming up with your little one? How about setting up a top-notch diorama for your company’s new storefront idea?
Whatever your reasoning for creating a diorama might be, it wouldn’t be complete without plenty of quality miniature model trees. They can truly make or break your project, so having enough of them is always a must.
Model train sets
If you are setting up a model train set, then you know how important it is to add scenery to your train tracks, too. After all, what are the tiny model passengers going to look at during their train ride?
To spruce up any model train set, plenty of miniature model trees are a great idea.
Think about being an architect and trying to explain your idea behind a new backyard for your client. Sure, you can do plenty of drawings, but providing a 3D version they can see with their own eyes is one easy way to seal the deal.
To be fair, there are endless possibilities when it comes to miniature model trees and their uses. These versatile, tiny trees can be found anywhere from kindergarten classrooms to big-time corporations.
The only problem remains is what is the best option for miniature model trees? Let’s dive in.
2 Ways to Do-it-Yourself Miniature Model Trees
Some people pride themselves on being crafty. They prefer to do everything by themselves and let their creative spirit take the lead.
Well, you can get your artistic mind pumping with DIY miniature model trees, too. We have found two great ways to change the way you look at model trees.
One shows a DIY tree with realistic materials, while the other has a great step-by-step process of upgrading cheap, plastic, undesirable tree models.
Ultra-Realistic Trees Made With Real Materials
Just because miniature model trees are ‘fake’ doesn’t mean they can’t start out with real materials. In fact, you can make an amazingly realistic looking tree using real materials, without having to worry about watering your plants or placing it in some nutrient-rich soil.
So how are these ultra-realistic trees made with real materials done?
1. Start by acquiring some dead bushes.
Now, you are better off finding some bushes that don’t have any greenery to them. One example of a great bush to use is the salt tree bush because it offers a blank slate to the artist with plenty of branches for decorating.
If you can’t find these, then finding a dead bush with lots of branches will work well, too.
2. Break down the smaller branches to get to the trunk.
You want to find the base of the tree. The best way to do this is by simply cutting off the excess, thin branches. Continue cutting until you have come to the thick trunk, which will act as a base for your miniature model tree.
Cut off the end of the base so it’s flat.
3. Drill a hole in the bottom to place your mounting pin.
Of course, your mini tree is not going to stand up all by itself. You will need to drill a small hole into the bottom of the base of the tree to hold the mounting pin.
Keep in mind that most mounting pins are on the small side, so you should be careful not to drill a hole that is too large. Otherwise, your base will end up sliding from one side to the other.
4. Use super glue and baking soda to place the mounting pin.
Dab a bit of super glue onto the hole in the base you just made. Then, place the mounting pin inside. Sprinkle a little bit of baking soda over the exposed area of glue.
Once it is dry, blow away the excess baking soda and cut off any extra wire from the mounting pin.
5. Attach twigs to the trunk.
Cut off some of the smaller twigs left over from before.
- Place them on the base of your miniature model tree.
- When satisfied with the way it looks, super glue it to the base.
- Continue with more twigs and branches until you are happy with your product.
- Make sure to cover up the superglue with baking soda to ensure it doesn’t leave a mark. Shake off baking soda once completely dry.
6. Add foliage.
Now, with this step, you can be more creative.
- If you’re going for a forest look, then you will obviously want darker greenery for your DIY mini model tree.
- However, someone who wants something more bright and perky can opt for lighter colors. It all depends on what look you are going for.
- You will only need to cut off a little bit of fabric, less than one inch at a time.
- You can then tease the fabric so that it is no longer thick and stuck together but has a frayed appearance.
- Pull off smaller pieces of the frayed batch and place it over the branches on your miniature model tree.
7. Add Density.
Once you have added a bit of frayed foliage to the tree, you will want to spray the tree generously with adhesive material.
- Next, pull out your coarse turf in the shade you desire for your tree.
- Sprinkle the product over the miniature tree.
- Spray with adhesive and repeat. Continue until you are satisfied with the tree density.
8. Add Leaves
Next, we will add even more depth and dimension to the miniature model tree by adding leaves. Again, the leaves you choose will depend on the type of look and style you are going for.
Try to keep it the same color as the rest of your products, unless of course, you are opting for a ‘fall’ theme.
The same process is done- spray with adhesive and sprinkle the leaves around your tree. This helps to blend everything together.
To see the step-by-step process done live, check out this amazing video.
Make Cheap Trees Look Better
There are a lot of cheap trees on the market, but we can’t say that they look realistic.
If you want to upgrade the cheap miniature model trees you have lying around, like those ones from your favorite Christmas Village, we are going to describe how you can enhance them and make them look 100 times better while still being cost-effective.
1. Buy Your Cheap Trees
Of course, the first step is to buy your trees. Now, it’s easy to find Christmas trees that are ridiculously cheap in craft stores. If you end up buying these trees, some of them might have ‘flocking’ on them.
To get rid of the flocking, all you need to do is soak the trees in water for a few minutes and then gently brush off the flocking.
2. Remove the Plastic Bases
If your trees came with any type of base, then now is the time to remove them from the tree. For the most part, bases should be able to pop off or twist off with ease. Be careful not to damage your tree, though.
3. Trim the Trees
Cheap trees tend to have extra fibers that simply don’t look right. They will either be too long, turning in a weird direction or simply look like they do not belong with the rest of the tree fibers.
That being said, take a pair of scissors and give your cheap trees a nice haircut so they look nice and professional.
4. Flock the Trees
Spray the trees with adhesive or dip them into an adhesive solution.
- Then, sprinkle them with the green flocking of your choice. It should be finely ground.
- Remember- let your creativity be the boss here. If you want darker trees, then find dark green flocking. For cheerier or brighter-looking trees, you will need to skip the dark green isle and head for something that suits your style.
5. Add More Adhesive.
While your trees are drying, you will need to spray them down with more adhesive. This will help the flock to stick to the miniature model tree better. Once dried, you have the option of adding the base back to the tree or creating a different base.
To see the step-by-step process for these upgraded cheap trees, check out this video.
The Top Picks for Pre-Mades and Kits
Of course, not everyone has an artistic touch. If you aren’t so crafty or simply don’t have the time to make your own miniature model trees, you can always buy quality pre-mades and kits.
We’ve compiled a list of our top three miniature model tree pre-mades and kits on the market, all guaranteed to provide you with the life, realism, and overall texture you’re seeking.
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When it comes to Woodland Scenics, it seems as though they have an endless supply of ready-made trees that offer beautiful, realistic textures in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and tree species.
You can find all sorts of trees on their website, from woodland classics like Blue Needles and Early Lights to Birches and Dead Elms.
What we love about these ready-made trees is that they are structured to replicate real trees, and thanks to the high amount of detail in the foliage, it is easy to identify the tree species.
With every tree, you will find specific tree leaf placement that mimics nature, while the textured trunks give you a glimpse into real bark.
There are endless opportunities when it comes to the Woodland Scenics Ready-Made tree. You can find just about any species you are looking for with ease.
Aside from that, you have the option of buying each tree separately or opting for a value pack to bring your storefront or diorama to life with ease.
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When you think of a miniature model tree, your mind probably wanders to the woodlands. While this is probably the most commonly picked miniature model tree type, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for other trees to make their mark, too.
What if you are trying to create a beautiful oceanside storefront view for your hot shop by the beach? You wouldn’t want to douse it in beautiful flocked pine trees. Instead, you will want some fabulously created miniature palm trees to bring your dream to life.
We their palm trees because they offer a stellar amount of detail. From basic palm trees to Royal Palms, Washington Palms, and Date Palms, it’s a cinch to find exactly what you are looking for and be confident in your purchase.
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Want to add some personality and customization to your miniature model trees, but don’t want to make them from scratch? Your next best option is to opt for a tree kit.
With these kits, you have the option to bend and paint the trees to your heart’s content. They come with a wide variety of trees that come in different sizes, shapes, colors, and species.
Tree kits allow the buyer to become the creator with ease. You have a lot of options when it comes to tree kits from Woodland Scenics, including:
- Small tree kits
- Large tree kits
- Forest kits
- Forest canopy
- Realistic tree kits
With so many different options to choose from, it’s a breeze to find exactly what you are looking for. These kits are super easy to use, even for the amateur who doesn’t consider themselves to be a great painter in any way, shape, or form.
And don’t worry about the price- even though you might think a tree kit is pricey, they really don’t cost too much and won’t put a dent in your wallet.
The fun thing about tree kits is that you can add a dose of your unique personality to your miniature model trees. Want to make the trees a little bit darker?
Paint them! Want them to bend in, so they cover over your railroad tracks? Then go ahead and bend them! There are truly endless possibilities and you are in charge when you decide to go with a tree kit.
That’s a Wrap!
Miniature model trees are used in a number of different ways, from school projects to professional endeavors. Whatever you may need a miniature model tree for, the good news is you have options.
Crafty and artistic individuals might enjoy upgrading their Christmas village trees or making their own trees from scratch, while others will love the simplicity of ready-made trees.
And for those who are in between, there is always the option of cost-effective and easy to use tree kits!
Image Credit:Tom Rolfe