Model Building With Poster Board and Craft Paper

Updated on April 5, 2020
Tricia Deed profile image

This is both an art and craft project which anyone can do. I enjoy creating miniatures. I've constructed my dream home, now it's your turn.

Mediterranean Buildings

A miniature model view of Mediterranean Houses.
A miniature model view of Mediterranean Houses. | Source

New Hobby Challenge

Would you like to experience a new hobby challenge?

This writer was introduced to model making in a high school art class. It was a fun project and one which made me feel proud and accomplished. We were studying the development of suburban communities and were asked to build a futuristic house.

Today, suburban communities exist everywhere providing a popular and comfortable lifestyle for many people.

What is the new challenge which I am presenting to you? Consider building an architectural model of a futuristic house, a fantasy structure, a duplicate of your childhood home, or a model of your current house or dream home.

Model making gives you a visual and tactile scenario of the structure. Architects build models of their structures to help clients see the final product before real construction begins.

Why not build a model of your dream home according to your plans to help you see what you have visualized? Nowadays, computer programs can do this for you. However, the physical model helps you to see “the walk through” more realistically.

Single Residence Home

A simple single home model structure.
A simple single home model structure. | Source

Model Building Materials and Tools

The least expensive method is to use poster board and craft paper. The poster board may seem flexible and weak, however, as the pieces are glued into place the structure will strengthen.

Locate craft paper which has designs of roofing, brick, stone, wood strips, and other textures which may be included on, around or about the structure.

Toothpicks and ice cream sticks are two wooden items which may be considered for small wood accessories.

A pair of scissors, a craft knife, scalpel or a sharp blade, a metal ruler, paste or glue, cutting mat, and pencil and paint will be the minimum tools required. If you wish, you may want to invest in an architectural scale to help calculate model scale and dimensions should you decide to habitually construct models.

Other materials which may be used include foam core or cardboard, chip board, and wood. Other tools will be required to work with these materials. These materials are for architectural students, serious model hobbyists, or advanced or professional model builders.

For a one-time project or beginners start with poster board or cardboard.

Scale Model of a Medieval Castle

A miniature medieval castle.
A miniature medieval castle. | Source

Model Building Tips and Building Guide

Building a model replica follows similar steps in building a real house. Start with an idea, draw the house plans, build the foundation, add the walls, and top the building off with a roof.

Building Steps:

  1. House plan
  2. Floor
  3. Walls
  4. Roof
  5. Finishing refinements

House Plan:

Make a copy of the actual blue prints or house plans. Decide on the scale. For example, one inch may represent one foot. The scale has much to do with available work surface and display area.

After the scale has been determined, draw the plans, label, and then section cut. Cut one piece at a time and place into position. Cutting all of the pieces at once will cause confusion. Consideration may be given to marking dimensions and a code labeling system to avoid placement errors.

A platform to illustrate landscaping and the house may be considered. The platform affords mobility. Or, just build the house directly on its flooring size. The finished product will be the house.

Duplicate the house plan to be your guide for the structure. The walls can be cut and pasted directly to the floor layout. Brace the glued walls with a metal ruler or any object on hand which will hold the wall corner accurately in place until the glue dries. Just as a real house needs to be squared accurately, the same requirement is needed for the model.

Windows and Walls:

Using the floor plan and a picture or a photo of the finished house will assist you in choosing wood, tile, or carpet to place on the floor as you move from room to room.

The walls which have windows may be represented with cellophane paper, a window pattern, curtains, or a window sill with flowers. Are you considering brick, stone, wood, or siding on the exterior walls? Craft paper with these designs can be adhered with paste to the poster board cutouts as you assemble the pieces.

Most supplies can be found at an arts and crafts stores or hobbyist model shops. If you are creative, imaginative, and resourceful, look around your home for materials. It’s amazing what can be found in our surroundings when looking with a different mind set.

Flooring and Roof:

Additional flooring will be needed if the house is a two story building. The house may or may not have a basement or an attic. This is the importance of having a house plan.

The roof is the crowning glory. Craft paper may be used to represent shingles or other choices of roofing finishes.

Paint the interior or the exterior as you wish. This is your building design. See it to its completion.

Model Making of Modern Architectural Building #3

Architectural House Floor Plan

Architectural drawing of a house floor plan.
Architectural drawing of a house floor plan. | Source

Measure Twice; Cut Once

It is critical to measure twice or more and cut accurately. You will want the building to stand true and strong. After time, detailed labor, and patience have been invested in the structure it would be very disappointing to have it fall like a house of cards or to not stand strong and erect like a real building.

Model Railway Station

Model buildings are very popular for use in model train railways platforms. The train, all types of buildings, vehicles, and people are also built to scale whenever possible. This picture is an illustration of a train depot with its miniature people.
Model buildings are very popular for use in model train railways platforms. The train, all types of buildings, vehicles, and people are also built to scale whenever possible. This picture is an illustration of a train depot with its miniature people. | Source

Scale Modeling

You built a replica of the house, but what did you really do?

This technique is called scale modeling which is duplicating a real object but scaled down to miniature sizes.

This is a technique used by architects to help their clients see their house, commercial building, and housing or commercial sites.

Engineers use this technique for building bridges and other structures. The film industry creates real or fantasy structures in miniature form and film to make it appear large and life-like.

Model building can be more then a hobby. It is a professional career with a salary range of $30,000 to $60,000 a year or more.

3D House Puzzle

3D Plastic House Puzzle.
3D Plastic House Puzzle. | Source

3-D Jigsaw Puzzles

As a hobbyist, this writer views model building to be similar to assembling 3D puzzles.

As you build a model it may make you feel as though you are assembling a puzzle, but you are the designer and therefore take more responsibility for its design, measurements, cutting, materials, and finishing. The end result is different. There is a purpose to model building. Assembling a 3D puzzle is mainly seen as a leisure activity for pleasure.

Miniature Models Built by Markus Rothkranz

Questions & Answers


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        2 years ago

        this is very cool.


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