Instructables

How to make miniature roof tiles out of clay

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I've been trying to make miniature houses lately, and one of the things I love the most about miniatures is trying to make them as similar as possible to the real big ones.
For this reason, I wanted to give a realistic look to the roof of my miniature houses using these little roof tiles sold in hobby stores. The problem about them though, is that there are not many tiles in a single package and I can never know for sure how many I need...
Luckily, my problem didn't last long because I immediately had the idea of making them using clay...so why spending money when you can create your own tiles?
You can make as many as you want and, believe it or not, they are very fast to make!
 
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Step 1: What you need

For the clay cutter:
  • (empty) soda can
  • cutter
  • scissors
  • ruler
  • scotch tape

Step 2: Prepare your soda can

Picture of Prepare your soda can
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The fastest way to make identical tiles is to use a clay cutter, just like cookie cutters.
I didn't have one (and I didn't even want to buy one) so I thought I could easily make one using a piece of soda can!

The first thing you should do is washing your can and let it dry, this way you won't find drops of soda when you cut it.
Once your can is dry, cut both the top and bottom using a cutter.
Finally, open the cylinder you obtained cutting from one side to the other and flatten the strip.
Be careful when you handle the can, the edges are sharp!

What you have now is an aluminium sheet you can work with!
Luboyo1 month ago

impressive!

lindarose92 (author)  Luboyo1 month ago

Thank you so much!! :)

shazni6 months ago
very well done! 5 stars
lindarose92 (author)  shazni6 months ago
Thank you so much! :)
Lethrwolf6 months ago
If you want to make them even more authentic, you can make them a little smaller on one end. Then you would have pans for your barrels. Just turn the small end UP (towards the roof ridge) for the barrels and the small end down (towards the eave or bottom edge of the roof) for the pans. put them on the roof the same as you are.
Cool, though... I love miniatures. I carve would and stone into miniature cars, trains planes, animals, what ever.
NOTE: the pans would be round side down and the barrels round side up. Put the pans down first then the barrels 'inside' the pans.... make sense? look closely at a tile roof and you will see what I mean...
Keep craftin
OK, last note... also you would put the 'barrels' across the ridge (peak/top) of the roof and across the top edge of the slanted pitched roof to keep the rain from going under the tiles where it is opened up. Don't know if you want to spend that extra time with the pans and ridge tiles, but it would look more authentic.
lindarose92 (author)  Lethrwolf6 months ago
Wow, thank you so much for your advice!
This was the first time I made roof tiles like this so I didn't think about all that, but I really want to try to do what you said, it sounds really nice and realistic, thank you! :)
Siete i benvenuti, Linda
I put roofs on houses for almost 20 years so just something I notice,
Most people don't think of 'pans and barrels' for roof tiles unless you have put them on a roof.
But they look great and really rustic the way you have them. Buon lavoro.
You don't have to make the one end smaller, but that is how you get the old style tile roof look. I like the 'tile cutter' you made and it can easily be modified to make these tiles, also. Using your measurements, one end would be 8mm, the other end you should start at 6.5mm and see how that looks. Making them thinner would also help. If you make them this way, make them maybe .5mm, but no more than 1mm, thick, if you can.
Once you have the tile cutter made, it will be just as fast to make them as it does now.
Good luck with that and would like to see how it comes out if you do it.
And, that WOULD be "I carve WOOD and stone..."
I don't have any pics of the carvings due to a computer crash and lost them, but I do have a couple projects I could take pics of. I do mostly Leather goods, but the carvings are what I do in miniature. You can see some of my leather on my Facebook page 'One Horse Town leather company'.
I keep would like to an instructible, but don't think about it till I am reading what others do here.
Tenere lavorazione
lindarose92 (author)  Lethrwolf6 months ago
Thank you! I will definitely show it to you when I try it :)
I've just looked at your leather work and it's amazing! What you make is really, really good. I hope you post the instructions for those things soon, it would be nice to see how you make them and I'm sure that many people would love them :)
Grazie, Linda,
Since most all my projects are custom made for customers, I never seem to have the camera around when I do them.
I have thought about doing a short series on tooling leather, or maybe a small leather project. Just haven't found the right project and the camera at the same time.... hahahaa.
But, thanx again and good luck with the tiles.
Tenere lavorazione
That should read..... "I would like to do an instructible, but......."
lindarose92 (author)  Lethrwolf6 months ago
By the way, I am so curious to see what you make, it must be great! Are you going to post your projects on this site?
abunda6 months ago
¡Beautiful! ♥
lindarose92 (author)  abunda6 months ago
Thank you! :)
User16 months ago
Can I suggest putting something in the pic that shows the size of the house? I'm thinking something like a dime or a quarter. (sorry for any foreigners reading)

Nice job on this btw.
lindarose92 (author)  User16 months ago
I've just added a couple of pictures...I hope the size is more understandable now :)
lindarose92 (author)  User16 months ago
Sure! I thought about it a few days ago but I forgot :D Thank you for reminding me, I am going to do that tomorrow! :)
AmyCat596 months ago
Not sure where you are, but where I live (Oregon, USA) you can buy craft clay that's already a terra-cotta color. No need to paint!

If you can't get terra-cotta-color clay, and since you're air-drying rather than kiln-firing, try mixing terra-cotta-color tempera paint with the clay before molding the clay into tiles. You can thus tint ALL your clay to the right terra-cotta color, and then you just have to form it into tiles. If you have the clay pre-colored, it can also be used for things like floor tiles and bricks in other parts of your miniature houses, and will match the roof-tiles (which is authentic: places with terra-cotta-tile roofs would use the same clay for other construction too).
lindarose92 (author)  AmyCat596 months ago
I live in Italy, and yes, you are right, they actually sell it in terracotta color too but the white one was the only one I had when I made these tiles and I forgot to mention it. Thank you for the advice! :)
handprints6 months ago
this is adorable!!! I love it!!
lindarose92 (author)  handprints6 months ago
Thank you so much! :)
doccat56 months ago
What type of glue are you using?
lindarose92 (author)  doccat56 months ago
I used hot glue because it dries much faster, but you can use white glue too.
Soooooo cute! i love miniatures! voted :)
lindarose92 (author)  Muhaiminah Faiz6 months ago
Thank you Muhaiminah! They are so fun to make :D

ps: I miss your creations!!
mghorbani16 months ago
Kidding?!
lindarose92 (author)  mghorbani16 months ago
why?!
ChrysN6 months ago
Cute, I didn't realize how small they are until I saw the pencil. Will we get to see your finished houses.
lindarose92 (author)  ChrysN6 months ago
I've just uploaded the new pictures :)
They look lovely, nicely done!
lindarose92 (author)  ChrysN6 months ago
Thanks!
lindarose92 (author)  ChrysN6 months ago
Sure! I am going to post pictures today :) Thank you!
Voted for you dear :). As usual AWESOME :)
lindarose92 (author)  Tarun Upadhyaya6 months ago
Thank you soooo much Tarun! :)
paulaenf106 months ago
ótimo!!!!
lindarose92 (author)  paulaenf106 months ago
Thank you!!
Gregbot6 months ago
Nice!
lindarose92 (author)  Gregbot6 months ago
Thanks!
ezbuzzit6 months ago
what a great idea. :)
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