How to Make Your Own Nerdy Christmas Decorations! | SFG 12 Days of Christmas

Hey gang!

It’s Stuart here, Marketing Manager at Steamforged Games. I’m bringing you Day 9 of our 12 Days of Christmas – a guide showing you how to make your own miniature baubles!

(And by that I mean miniatures in baubles, not really small decorations…)

Each year my partner and I look to ‘nerd up’ our Christmas decorations. This year we’re making new baubles to go with our set of RPG dice and many, many doggy decorations. It’s always good to find new ways to show off your minis!

Start with a plan

I wanted to get at least a couple of baubles, but this isn’t something I’ve done before so I wanted to have a bit of a plan going into it.

I decided on three types of decoration:

  • a wintery-themed mini
  • a mini that could fit the Christmas theme if it had a paint scheme to match
  • a mini that I just wanted to paint (see if this worked without a Christmas theme)

For something wintery, my first thought was the Epic Encounters Frost Giant…

But, alas, it was about three times the size of the bauble! Morrigan from Godtear was a straight swap and a perfect fit, and with the turn in the weather we’ve just had, the leader of the Cold Bones felt just right. 

For my Christmas paint job, the Goblin Mine Artillery Slinger from Epic Encounters Labyrinth of the Goblin Tsar won out. It was just begging to be painted as a pair of mini Santa Clauses going full goblin mode “delivering” presents!

And lastly, the mini I just fancied painting has to be the Cepid from Bardsung. The gribbly mushroom baddy is one of my favourites from that entire game. 

For the size of the models, Morrigan can sit on the bottom of the bauble, however the Cepid and Gobbo are a bit smaller, so needed some sort of platform to stand on to sit more in the middle of their bauble. 

I also planned to add some artificial snow to make the baubles look like little snow globes. 

Grab some hobby supplies

Obviously some clear baubles are a must. Clear acrylic ones that snap together are pretty easy to grab from local craft and hobby stores this time of year. (Or – shhh! – Amazon if you can’t find them anywhere else.)

I also grabbed some packs of artificial snow – although the set of baubles I got actually came with some artificial snow so I ended up buying WAY too much. 

I grabbed some sheets of cork, left over from a previous project, to make the Gobbo and Cepid’s platforms, as well as all the required hobby stuff: super glue, spray paint, PVA glue, hobby knife, and cutting mat.

Lastly I grabbed a new set of the ‘Two Thin Coats’ paints we were kindly sent by Duncan Rhodes. I’ve really been enjoying using these paints recently, getting a couple of armies painted for our weekly SFG gaming nights. 

Slap some paint on the minis

I won’t go too much into how I painted the minis. They’re going in baubles with fake snow on a Christmas tree. So they don’t need to be super high quality… Which is lucky for me!

Put the decorations together

I cut the bases out of the cork (a compass helped mark out the circles), chamfering the bottom to make a better seat on the edges of the baubles. This bit’s a messy job with a sharp knife, so be careful. The cork was sprayed white, and supplemented with a thin layer of the fake snow with PVA glue.

After doing a test fitting I realised the gobbo looked a little sad on his own... But, rather than just add some buddies, I thought about making a diorama. Trawling through the horde of STL files I’ve collected over the past couple of years, I 3D printed some little presents and a tree. (Don’t worry – if you don't have a 3D printer, there’ll be lots of places to get bits and bobs to make a little diorama).

So, next we’re gonna glue the base in, using the hoop at the top of the bauble to make sure it’s as level as possible, and add a small amount of artificial snow to cover the joins.

Considering our clumsy dogs, I’m a little paranoid the baubles might open, and the snow might go everywhere. So, I think a dab of ‘peace of mind’ glue to keep each half stuck together is on the cards. 

Sit back and admire your handiwork!

I’m delighted with how these came out – they look great on our geek tree!

We’re always on the look out for more brilliantly nerdy ideas, so tag us if you have a go at making your own geek decorations!

Oh and I almost forgot – have a wonderful Christmas!