This is my first time doing something like this, so I didn't make anything to crazy or complex.
Step 1: Planning the Model
Well, first things first. I started out by tracing and cutting out pieces of paper in the shapes that I wanted. I then I made them as efficient as possible so I would waste as little material as possible.
Step 2: Cutting the Shapes
Now you have to transfer your drawings onto a piece of wood. I used some 1/2 inch thick MDF, but any other types would work as long as they are not too thick.
Step 3: Side Note
Don't start your cut from the outside as it will leave a mark that won't go away easily.
Step 4: Sanding
Here I only made the cuts and edges clean with some sandpaper and machine sanders.
Step 5: Final Check Before Paint
Just make sure that you are happy with the shapes and make and quick last minute changes before painting.
Step 6: Painting
Since I wanted to go for an Island look, I painted the base blue, the bottom layer yellow (for sand), and the rest of the layers green, with the top being a darker shade.
Step 7: Final Assembly
Just some simple wood glue and clamps to hold the model together.
Step 8: The Result
Overall, I was happy with the result. I could have used less wood glue and more coats of paint to make the model neater, but that is for a later project.