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Make Miniature Butterfly Koi From Polymer Clay for Dollhouse and Model Scenes

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Make Miniature Butterfly Koi From Polymer Clay for Dollhouse and Model Scenes
Dolls house scale miniature butterfly koi positioned for a feeding scene in a dollhouse pond.

Dolls house scale miniature butterfly koi positioned for a feeding scene in a dollhouse pond.

Photo © 2011 Lesley Shepherd

You can easily make a range of dolls house and other scale miniature butterfly koi for model water features and ponds. Koi have fairly simple shapes, and interesting color patterns, making them a very visible addition to an ornamental model pool. With their delicate swirling tails and obvious side fins, butterfly koi show off well in dollhouse and other scale model water features.

Koi can be fairly large fish, so you can make them in a range of scales fairly easily. The koi shown here have bodies which are roughly 6 inches long in scale, but koi can be up to two feet in length, or as tiny as three to four inches. Their colors range from black with various iridescent patterns through to bright gold, silver and variations of orange. Think of how you want to display them in your water setting. They often rest near the top surface of water, or hide beneath the leaves of lilypads. A fairly social fish, they are easily trained to come to be hand fed, so you can also show them heading for a food source.

To Make Scale Miniature Butterfly Koi You Will Need

  • A Good Reference Photograph - There are lots of photographs of various types of butterfly koi online or in books on pond fish.
  • Polymer Clay - in your choice of colors. If possible use strong flexible brands of clay like Fimo Classic, Cernit, Kato or Pardo Clay. You will need translucent clay as well as your favorite koi colors. Metallic or Pearl colors work well if you have them.
  • Tiny No Hole Beads - or you can make eyes from black clay.
  • Fine Pin - for shaping clay.
  • Iridescent or Mica Paints - These are used to mimic scales. I used Windsor and Newton Iridescent Watercolor Medium and Jacquard Pearl Ex Pigments
  • Soft and Medium Stiff Paint Brushes - to add color patches and blend out clay layers and details.
  • Gloss Acrylic Varnish
  • Polymer Clay Blade or craft knife
  • Acrylic Roller
  • Baking Tile

Note: - If you are new to using polymer clay, read The Basics of Working with Polymer Clay before starting this project.

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