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Building The Wylderynn: Part 2, Trees

Last month we talked about my newest craft project, building a fantastic and ancient wood for my adventurers to explore. You got the ideas, the shopping list and a little background. This month, we're starting with trees.

Now let's get into the building. If you remember, we are using fake bonsai trees that I got from Amazon but, I found that you can get these from Wish a bit cheaper, some are downright dirt cheap. If you don't mind the wait, this is really the best way to go to reduce cost.

I start with bases, I use dollar store foam board and cardboard. Cut out the shapes you want, I usually go with oval or circular. I think these shapes look more, organic. I glue the foam board to the cardboard, bevel the edges so its a nice transition from the table to the terrain and then seal the ends with a bead of hot glue all the way around the terrain.

I always use scrap when I can. Old projects that didn't get off the ground are great for this. This was supposed to end up a farm house. Now it's going to be a base. Always save your scrap!

Christmas means cardboard and I save all of my boxes.

I then hot glued my trees to the bases, they are already starting to look like the trees in an ancient fantasy forest. See the miniature in the background for scale? This is a die cast mini I got dirt cheap at Walmart. This guy, and his companions hang out with me in the shop.

Do your projects in batches, like an assembly line. Things move faster this way and you stay in the crafting zone this way. I wanted some gnarled roots to run along the ground from my ancient trees. Cheap, dollar store aluminum foil to the rescue! Twist these up in some crazy shapes and glue them to the base and the trees. I used a cheap glue gun I got at Michael's to "Draw" bark texture in hot glue. It works very well.

Next, I gave the bases a coating of Aileen's tacky glue and scattered some sand and larger aggregate on the base. This added a nice texture to the base and some weight as well. The glue made it quite durable.

Now it's time for a base coat in black paint and Mod Podge. Pour some black paint into some Mod Podge, give it a mix and you're ready to paint. I put in enough black to make my Mod Podge really black. This gives you a nice base coat and it hardens things up.

I'm a lazy crafter. I like my crafting like my hamburger, 80/20. I like to have 80% of the work already done for me. I just want to touch things up a bit. I left the trees the same color and just dry brushed the trees a light grey to bring out the texture on the bark. Do you see how good the foil roots came out? You wouldn't even know that was foil and hot glue, they look like they belong on the tree. Give these a dry brush as well.

Look at the texture pop!

You'll see a boulder and a standing stone in this image. That's just some scrap foam building insulation I had lying around. Always keep your scrap!

I painted the bases brown, just a simple brown. You'll see some of the foam mushrooms I bought on Amazon. These got the base coat in black paint and Mod Podge as well. Then a coat of red on the caps and off white on the stems.

Finally, another coat of Aileen's tacky glue and it was time for flocking. I added fine flock from Woodland Scenics. They are my go to for flock. If you don't have any flock or if it's a bit out of your price range, you can make your own. Always remember, awesome terrain doesn't have to be expensive to look good! More on that later.

There's the base all flocked up.

I decorated the trunks and logs with some moss. This is so incredibly easy and cheap and it looks fantastic.

Get some pencil shavings, I know a few teachers. Mix water, white glue and the craft paint of your choice, I went with a light green. Mix it really well and smear it on your terrain. It looks just like moss.

I assure you the above picture is of pencil shavings, glue and green craft paint.

Lookin' good.

Next month we will talk about adding the canopy and flocking our trees but for now I have to go. It's time to get the flock outta here.

See you next time, in the Wylderynn.

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