When I bought a bunch of Ghibli papercrafts back from my trip to Japan I wasn’t really expecting them to be hard to put together. I saw the difficulty rating that ranged from one to three stars and this was one star so I thought, “How hard could it be?” If I read the bottom of the box I probably would have known better ^^;
So, I decided to put this post together show casing one of the kits by Sankei. There are actually quite a few around by different manufacturers but I think the one thing all the small ones have in common is the price… At 18GBP, they are not cheap.
For my first attempt I went with number 5 in the mini series, a Totoro one I bought when I visited Ghibli Museum. Difficulty level was one star. For a complete amateur who was doing this the first time it took 5 – 6 hours of time so, be prepared to leave a day free for it, lol.
What you’ll need…
- Retractable Blade / Papercraft Knife
For cutting out the tiny parts from the cardboard. You might want a proper papercraft knife instead of the retractable ones you use to cut open packaging because you will want to press the knife into the cardboard rather than slice. The retractable one I used kept retracting and didn’t clean cut the pieces very well.
For opening the small packs of confetti that is used for the vegetation such as bushes, grass, trees and flowers. You’ll be using to cut a tiny hole in the bags if you don’t have those little tubes some crafters use to hold glitter so that it’s easier to sprinkle.
- PVC/PVA Glue
For well… glueing it all together. PVA will give you more time to adjust after you’ve put the pieces together. Translucent glue i.e. glue that’s transparent would be good because then you can’t see it if you applied too much.
Or whatever you can use to apply tiny, needle point sized dots of glue.
- Coloured Pencils
I don’t recommend felt tips or ink based colours because the ink can spill to onto parts you the card.
To pick up and move the tiny (and I mean tiny!) parts into place.
- Self-healing Cutting Mat (Optional)
Basically a mat you can work on without worrying about damaging your table top when you’re cutting. The self-healing means even when you cut through the paper and into the mat, the mat will slowly heal itself again.
- Display Case (Optional)
After spending hours putting the miniature together you’ll probably want something to proudly display it in and to give it some protection. Small display cases don’t cost much, especially the one’s that don’t use glass.