When I shared the Flintstone concrete shelf tutorial, I realized I had forgotten all about this short guide to making miniature sailing boats with a Dremel.
They’re teeny, tiny little things and perfect for a doll’s house, printer’s tray, or fairy garden.
Not only are they fun to make, but you can have them done in less than 10 minutes if you have a Dremel Rotary tool.
Why I love my Dremel tools
Before I share why I love using a Dremel, I just have to say, “This is not a sponsored post”. Dremel doesn’t even know we exist. I wish they did, though. Maybe we’d get a freebee 😉
So why do I love my Dremel tools? Besides being compact and lightweight, they can be used for various applications, including routing, grinding, sanding, polishing, cutting, drilling, and so on much more. They’re way smaller than their traditional counterparts, making them portable and easy to store. But the best thing about them is they take the “fright factor” out of using power tools. I don’t think I would ever have picked up a grinder if I didn’t first try my hand at using a Dremel. We have the following Dremel tools at home (affiliate link below).
They all pack a lot of power and precision in a small package and they’re easy to store. We’ve used our Dremel tools for a variety of projects, from fairy doors with stained glass windows, to bottle art, and oversized puzzle pieces. In my humble opinion, they’re great tools for DIYers, home improvement enthusiasts, hobbyists, and people like me who love making teeny, tiny stuff. I used the Dremel 4000 with a flex shaft to carve the little boats.
What you need
For the sailing boat
- Dried twigs
- Scrap paper
- Spring clamp
- Safety goggles
- Dust mask
- Dremel rotary tool
- Dremel carving bits
Understanding Dremel Carving Bits
Before diving into the miniature sailing boat tutorial, let’s have a quick look at the different Dremel carving bits and what they’re used for. These little things come in all shapes and sizes, so pick the one that best fits your needs.
Types of carving bits
- Diamond bits have teeny, tiny diamond chips embedded all over them and they’re great for carving or engraving hard materials like glass, ceramics, and stone. We used a diamond bit to make this fairy throne in a bottle.
- Tungsten carbide bits are super strong, and we use them to cut or carve into dense materials, like hardened steel, cast iron, and harder woods.
- High-speed and engraving cutters are designed for shaping, hollowing, grooving, engraving, carving, and sculpting wood, fiberglass, plastic, and other soft materials.
I used a high-speed ball cutter to make the miniature sailing boat.
Shank sizes and compatibility
Dremel carving bits come in different shank sizes. That’s the metal bitty that goes into the tool.
Shank sizes include 3.2mm, 2.4mm, 1.6mm, and 0.8mm with the most common one being the 3.2mm. Check the specifications of your Dremel model and choose the appropriate shank size for a secure fit.
Tips for carving with a Dremel
Any time you’re carving or chopping something with a power tool, put those safety glasses on. You might look ridiculous, but chips and fine particles will fly all over the place and your eyes need to be protected. Carving is a dusty business so wear a mask.
Keep your hands out of harm’s way and use a clamp or a vise to secure the piece you’re working on. For smaller pieces or irregularly shaped objects, place them on non-slip mats to prevent slipping and sliding while you work. I don’t have one of those so used a spring clamp to hold the tiny sailing boat while I finished her off.
The speed, angle, and pressure you apply all play a role in achieving desired carving results. When you want to remove material quickly set your Dremel to a higher speed. For intricate detailing and fine lines, lower the speed. It gives you better control and precision, minimizing the risk of mistakes.
I normally hold my Dremel like a pencil and use the sides of the bit. Going in at a 90-degree angle just makes a big fat hole, like stabbing a pencil into a piece of paper. You want to “color in” the area with the carving bit if that makes sense.
Let the bit do the work. Don’t push down hard, let the bit touch down gently and take it from there. If you push too hard that bit is going to bite into the wood like a terrier on steroids and not let go. It’s an accident waiting to happen, plus the bit will overheat and wear out quickly.
How to make miniature sailing boats with a Dremel
Using good old-fashioned garden shears cut one end of a dry twig at an angle. This will form the hull of the boat. On the twig, sketch a rough outline of where you’ll be carving.
Rather than trying to explain step-by-step how to carve the hull of the little sailing boats, we made a short video that will show you how it’s done.
Once you’re happy with the shape of the hull, sand lightly. I flattened the bottom so the little boat wouldn’t fall over in my printer’s tray.
Measure and cut a toothpick to make a mast of the miniature sailing boat. Drill a small hole in the hull and glue the mast inside.
Tear the scrap paper into triangles and glue them onto the mast.
And that’s it. Pretty straightforward. Carving a tiny sailing boat is a beginner-friendly project if you’ve never used a Dremel before, and they’re great for any miniature scene. You could even organize a tabletop regatta with the kids.
Do you have a Dremel? What have you made?
If you like the idea of making miniature sailing boats, don’t forget to pin it for later.
Sharing is caring
Oh, and if you’re looking for some of the things we used, we’ve got you covered. Disclosure: Clicking on the links below, means we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us make more amazing crafts to share with you 😉
And if you prefer to buy rather than DIY, then maybe these beauties will appeal.
And as always, wishing you a wonderful, crafty week filled with lots of love. Thank you for popping in for a visit.