Model Zen Dojo With Video: Steve’s Forest Zen House


Temples, Shrines and a Model Zen Dojo

Today, I would like to introduce you to the number 4 in the Forest series, Model Zen Dojo: Steve’s Forest Zen House.

I was having trouble coming up with an idea for my next 3d model. It was my husband who suggested doing a Zen dojo. As soon as he mentioned it, I was able to conjure up up the image in my mind. It took me back to our life together in Japan, where we loved to visit old shrines and temples. We often just sit there, enjoying the peace and tranquillity of the gardens, lost in our thoughts.

As with my previous models, I used recycled cardboard boxes and containers in the construction.




The Making of a Model Zen Dojo

Recycled Twiglets Containers and Cardboard Boxes

The tower and the main room were made using Twiglets containers (British Marmite-flavoured snack). The eaves were made using the excess material from the container. The floor of the main room was made from recycled cardboard, with balled-up newspaper underneath, to add support.


Recycled Twiglets Containers and Cardboard Boxes

Using aluminium foil to mould the shape of the eaves.

I then moulded the eaves and other areas with aluminium foil to get a more natural surface shape and texture.


The Importance of Planning a Model Zen Dojo (or anything else)!

All surfaces covered with masking tape.

Next, I covered everything with masking tape.

At this point, I intended to add the colours. Unfortunately, I discovered that it was far too cramped to work with and impossible to reach into the corners. I ended up having to disassemble everything, do the interiors, and then join the two containers together again later. Of course, I should have thought about this in the planning stage but the good news is that I am learning something new with each model I make! ?



Finland Moss and Handmade Paper Flowers

Model Zen Dojo. The roof was created using Finland Moss and handmade paper flowers.

The roof is made of corrugated cardboard, covered with paper and then painted. Finely cut Finland Moss was applied to the surface along with some handmade paper flowers.


Picking Up Sticks

Model Zen Dojo: Swing doors and fence made from twigs collected in the woods.

The swing doors and fence were made with twigs I picked up in our local woods and tied with natural twine.


A Zen Garden for a Model Zen Dojo

Zen Book and miniature garden by And al-Hayy Moore.

Some time ago, I bought a Zen book and garden set in a local charity shop. The rock garden that came with the set was too big for this model, so I made a new frame and just used the rocks and sand.


Stained Glass Window, Floorboards and Floor Cushions

Model Zen Dojo: Stained glass window made with acetate and painted with Pebeo Vitrail.

Here, you can see the interior half moon window and the rock garden, with the sand raked in a traditional style. The stained glass was made with acetate and painted with Pebeo Vitrail. The floor cushions were made from natural twine.

The floorboards were made by embossing some craft card. After the embossing, I coloured it using Distress Ink, and then cut it into smaller pieces and glued them to the cardboard floor. Finally, I glazed the surface with PVC glue.


ステンドグラスはアセテートに Pebeo Vitrail で色をつけました。


Sand and Paper Clay

Model Zen Dojo: Ground made from 2 colours of sand and mushrooms from paper clay.

For the ground, I used two colours of sand mixed together and glued it to the base. The mushrooms were made using paper clay.


Model Zen Dojo Complete!

For the pathway, I used an egg carton ripped into small pieces. I then glued the pieces to the base and coloured them with acrylic paint and glazed the surface with PVC glue.

The rocks to the side of the pathway were made using paper clay. I also used Finland Moss for the vegetation.

Would you like to meditate with Steve in the woods?




Materials Used for Model Zen Dojo 使用品

Twiglets Containers ツイグレットの箱、Recycled Cardboard ダンボール、Craft Paper クラフトペーパー、Kitchen Paper キッチンペーパー、Aluminium Foil アルミホイル、PVC Glue PVCグルー、Found twigs and Pinecones 森で拾った枝や松ぼっくり、Recycled Egg Box 卵の空き箱(敷石)、Natural Twine l麻紐 (円座)、Acrylic Paint アクリル絵の具、Sand 砂絵用の砂、Paper Clay 紙粘土 (石、マッシュルーム)、Distress ink

紙粘土 DAS Modeling Clay

ガラス絵の具 Pebeo Vitrail 

苔 Finland Moss

花のダイ Sizzix Thinlits Die Set 15PK-Spiral Flowers by Tim Holtz

年輪のダイとエンボスフォルダー Sizzix Bigz Die Texture Fades-Tree Rings by Tim Holtz

木目のエンボスフォルダー Sizzix 3-D Textured Fades Embossing Folder Lumber by Tim Holtz

Color Copy Copier Paper Premium Super Smooth 160gsm A4 White Ref CCW0350 [250 Sheets]

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10 thoughts on “Model Zen Dojo With Video: Steve’s Forest Zen House”

  1. This is amazing, Nozomi! Such detail – the little mushrooms and rocks. The paving stones and floorboards and cushions. Love the stained glass window. There is a Japanese garden in Oslo that has a garden like this. The waves in the sand are like waves in the see, right?

    • Thanks for the lovely comments, AJ! Yes, you are correct. The waves in the sand signify waves in the sea and rocks are land or islands. I’m surprised to hear there is a Japanese garden in Oslo!

    • Thank you, Patricia! It’s great that you studied zazen. I went to a Buddhist Girl’s School, so we had to go for a 1-week zazen retreat every year! And the monks were very strict! :-D You should definitely go to Japan one day if you have the opportunity. I think you will like it there! Feel free to ask me if you have any questions. :-)

    • Asamiさん コメントありがとうございます。多分最初の文字が消えてしまったと勝手に思ってしまったんですが良いですか?(素)これからもお時間が空いたら遊びにいらしくださいね ?

  2. WOW this is amazing and seeing how you created it and it all coming together – very clever – could move right in….. Emmax

  3. Amazing work once again Nozomi, love the moss roof, stained glass window, little mushrooms just to mention a few! It looks so peaceful and relaxing … lucky Steve! I wonder what will come next … Steph x

    • Thanks, Steph! Already thinking about the next instalment! I didn’t think I would make more after the first one but my husband really loves them and has pushed me to do more! x


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