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How to make a bonkei -continued

In this part of the tutorial we start the building of the miniature landscape. And I also show you how to make your own tray if you don't have one.


Let's Make our own tray. For this you can use cardboard or foam board.

Mark lines on it like this.

Cut a piece of cardboard or foamboard 14" x 11". And mark a border all the way around it. The border is 2" wide. Cut those border lines, only cutting through the top layer of paper. This will allow you to fold on those cuts.


Cut the four corners like this

Cut each corner like this.


Fold up and glue

Then fold up and glue the edges. Now you can see how cutting through the top layer of paper on those lines allows you to fold it -right on those cuts.


Add a strengthening layer

You can strengthen it by adding another layer of foam board in the bottom.


A bonsai tree

I didn't exactly have a bonkei dish lying around but I do have bonsai trees. And some of them are on dishes. This one here is perfect. So I am going to use this for this bonkei project.


Add a layer of foam

I cut a piece of foam that is one inch thick and glued it into the tray. This is the base of the scene.


Add layers of foam

Then I cut and added more layers of foam to form the hill and the cave. I Glued all these layers together with hot glue.


I used a rasp to shape the hill and cave. A rasp works extremely well on this type of foam. It shapes it easily and you can get some pretty good detail work.


Carving out the cave

And I whittled out the cave with an x-acto knife.


Dow craft styrofoam

DOW Craft Styrofoam Foam Sheets, 1 x 24 x 48, (4 sheets)

  • 1 Inch Dow Craft Styrofoam Foam Sheets, 1 x 24 x 48, pak 4
  • High density Dow Styrofoam craft foam
  • Boxed and Shiipped to your door
  • Over sized packages, low actual weight, but UPS calculates dimensional weight of approximately 30-35 lbs
  • Paintable


Two red LED's

At this early point in the build I wired up two red LED's with a battery pack and a 100 ohm resistor. These are the eyes of the beast. I wanted to do this early in process so I could wire it in before adding all the various terrain details.


I drilled a hole in the back of the cave and ran the wires through it.


I positioned the LED's right where I wanted them then glued them in place.

NextLet's continue


Foam board

Elmer's Acid-Free Foam Boards, 20 x 30 Inches, 3/16-Inch Thick, Bright White, 2-Count (902015)

If you are looking for high quality, archive quality or you are looking for a backing for photographs you should use an acid free foam board It is more expensive per sheet though.


Xacto knife

X-ACTO #1 Knife, Z Series With Safety Cap

Make precise, fine cuts every time with the X-ACTO #1 Z-Series Knife with Safety Cap. This knife features a #11 fine point zirconium nitride-coated blade for sharpness and strength, and the lightweight aluminum handle enables you to make agile cuts with ease. This X-ACTO knife cuts through a wide variety of materials including paper, plastic, balsa wood, and thin metal. An easy-change blade system lets you swap blades quickly to meet the needs of any project, and the included safety cap offers easy portability.


an Origami Bonsai Tree

Make an Origami Bonsai Tree

I love this project because it is a combination of two things I love: Bonsai and Origami. The only way it could get any better was if it were alive and needed care! But, you might consider it a bonus that this tree needs very little care. lol!

Make an origami bonsai tree - oh and the tree itselft is a brown paper bag that has been twisted and shaped. Neat.



Japanese Castle DioramasJapanese Castle Dioramas Here are pictures of two very elaborate dioramas of castles in Japan. I took these pictures while on a trip to Japan. Japanese Castle Dioramas