Category Archives: Manualidades


How to make trees for nativity scenes, models and dioramas.


Christmas is coming and although it is too early, those who want to make their own nativity scenes are preparing stuff. One of the things that worth the effort (but takes a little while) are trees.

As already told, we have been dedicated to making models for a long time, and for decorating, the trees generally used were purchased at any hobby shop, but most of the time they were not typical trees here..

In this case we will make some olives and some ilex trees. The process is the same, basically the difference is in the type of “green” and the treetop form.

To begin we cut a piece of wire which has many fine threads. Particularly I prefer keeping a piece of the cover to help me to keep them together while doing so. We just have to go on twisting the wires themselves. We make it easier by helping with pliers.

When finished shape the trunk and branches we decide whether to leave a pointed end to stick it somewhere, or make a shape of roots to hold it up. I usually opt for the latter, but is’t a matter of what interests us at all times.
In the case of the olive trees, for example we know they have a trunk with knots, and those who are very old are very twisted, the cup is lower and less compact. The round trunk oaks have a more dense and uniform top and a darker color.
Here is the structure of some olive trees:

In the next picture we see two types of synthetic vegetation. The dark is from a hobby shop, it may be harder to find and more expensive. The moss appears at any store that sells things for Christmas you will find it easely and cheaply. At this time in any place, for the rest of the year maybe you have to search at specialized shops.

Once we have the structure we can cover the trunk with clay (if we have no interest in it last forever) with some kind of putty or wood pulp. (In my case I have immersed them in polyurethane resin, but it is something that is not usually at home). Let the branches conveniently separate to receive the cup and uncovered in order to remain flexible and allow us to model it at the end.

To the top we take the adecuate amount of foliage and paste it to the wires we have left aside for it. Everyone usually use glue he likes. Many people do it with white glue, but it takes time to dry, I prefer to do it with superglue (cyanoacrylate) although I stick a little my fingers.

As the top wires are separated and remain flaxibles we can model the shape until we like how it has been, and if we do several trees, the important thing is that they are all different to give more realism.
As for color, you can touch up with a brush if it seems appropriate.
Finally here are some olive trees and some ilex.

And placed in a model in which the trees were needed to be olives.

If you don’t want to make them, they are available in our store.

Acid etching



We try new techniques and this time to etching.

At first seemed a most delicate matter that has come to be, but being careful and with good templates, we can achieve very good results.
The liquid used for engraving can be purchased at craft stores, but should be a fairly specialized, because it is a relatively expensive and not many shops have it.

Here they are a few glasses in the process:

Above all, as far as we have seen there are two more or less important complications:

The first is that as we all know there are several types of crystal, so the results are not the same as the material may vary. (Better if we can do a test).

The second is that it can be tricky to put the template if the piece is not plane. If it is a relatively flat surface we will have no problem, and once attached the mask we just have to give the product an even layer and let it dry. Once dryed you’ll wash with water. It can also be done by immersion, but to me it seems an unnecessary complication, at least with the brand I’ve used, which is quite thick and is well placed with a brush.
Our first test was a vase with the “white tree” of Gondor, from The Lord of the Rings (to put it together with our mirror of The doors of Moria )

It is more problematic in a cup-like piece. The mere fact that a cylindrical surface, makes us consider the total length of the circumference, but also many of the vessels are slightly tapered so, if we place a drawing that loops through the entire piece we find that the top of the mask will have a different radius than the bottom, which leads to undesirable deformations and wrinkles. Each wrinkle is a possibility that the liquid where it should not and lose definition.

To our knowledge, we can only solve this by making small changes to the design of the mask and being very careful when moving the brush if it has wrinkle. But well worth a little care, when the result will be a nice cold beer in the style of Middle Earth.

This cup has about the registration of the One Ring. This is what it says in common language, in a fairly faithful translation:

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.

Once we learned the basics as we dare with any type of customization, from initials to images. Changing saga, we made a set of shot glasses with four shields of houses of A Game of Thrones. You have them available in our store.

Magic Cube

We are opening a new category: “Toys” with something we did out of curiosity, (which is our weakness), a few years ago, when came to our hands a puzzle. Well, It is not really a puzzle, because one must not think anything, just manipulate it, so that in a curious way they appear images. Generally we have seen as a funny advertising medium and it was fun to see how we could build one.

In this case I decided to personalize it with images of my town, Villavieja Yeltes in the province of Salamanca (Spain), and the truth is that it was quite successful among my countrymen that year.


So much so we finally made some of them personalized as a gift for a birthday and a wedding.

It is built with blocks of wood, laser prints with a good resolution and laminated to prevent spoilage with use.

Following this toy, I studied the Kaleidocycle, a rotating object created with paper, rather curious. Starting with a flat surface (a sheet) folded in a certain way, you can turn on itself showing the different faces. The truth is that when we made it, I spent hours turning over and around. You can learn more about them here


According to the Wikipedia article, the cube we have shown at the beginning of this post is also a variety of kaleidocycle, reading it, I’ve discovered this Yoshimoto cube (coming soon…)


Visit our store and ask us for a budget with your photos