While there are a lot of great figure diorama props out there, sometimes it’s necessary to make your own to get the feel that you want for your photos. In this tutorial, I’ll teach you how to make a modern Japanese-style futon set for your 1/12 scale figures, such as Figma, S.H. Figuarts, and Revoltech.
Step 1: Gather your materials!
You will need:
Thin Cotton Fabric
Quilting fabric works perfectly. If you want printed bedding, make sure the print looks appropriately in-scale with your figures.
I used carpet underpadding, because I had a lot after replacing one of the floors in my house. You can also use thick foam rubber or firm quilt batting.
Sewing Tools and Materials
You’ll also need a needle and thread, sewing machine (optional but recommended), and possibly some straight pins. You’ll also need a ruler, or a box that’s about the size you want your mattress to be.
Step 2: Cut the mattress pad to size
This is pretty straightforward. You can either go for exact dimensions, or just find something that looks bed-sized compared to the figure you’re working with. I did the latter, and used a figure box. If you want to use exact measurements, just search Google for standard measurements of a twin or full size bed, and just replace feet with inches. (i.e. if the mattress you want to copy is 5½ feet long, cut your foam 5½ inches long.)
Step 3: Cut the mattress cover fabric to size
No photo, but this is easy. Just cut two pieces of fabric that are roughly 1/2″ bigger than your foam piece on all sides.
Step 4: Start sewing!
Sew 3 of the 4 sides, starting with one of the long ends. You’ll end up with a sack-like piece of fabric that’s open on one of the short ends.
Step 5: Trim and snip the corners
Use small-point scissors to round the corners, and snip them in toward the corner seams. This will make the corners of your mattress cover nice and crisp.
Step 6: Turn the mattress cover right-side out
Pretty easy. Use a pointed object like a chopstick, or your scissor tips (carefully! ) to push out the corners so that they look clean and… corner-y.
Step 7: Stuff it!
This is the only part that has any difficulty to it. It’s best to fold your foam in half, slide it into the casing, and then gently press it flat.
Step 8: Smooth it out
After pressing the mattress flat, smooth the casing around it, pressing the pad corners into the case corners. Make sure that the side seams are straight, and rest about halfway up the sides of the foam pad.Find the edge of the mattress, and mark that spot, either with a fold, or a pencil.
Step 9: Snip snip!
Trim the end of the case so that it’s about half to three-quarters of an inch longer than the mattress. The exact length is personal preference, but you want something that can fold over the end neatly.
Step 10: Fold it up
Gently fold the end over the mattress so that you have some overlap. It’s a bit like wrapping a gift. Make sure to smooth out the folds on either side, so that they’re not lumpy or puckered.
Step 11: Sew it closed!
Use a whipstitch or a blanket stitch to sew that last end shut, and you’re done with the mattress!
Step 12: Pillows
Repeat steps 2 through 11 in a smaller scale for pillows. You can make pillowcases by folding the edge of the casing down before sewing the other three sides. (I made my pillows with both a sewn-on casing like the mattress as well as slide-on pillowcases. I feel that it looks nicer not to have the foam showing inside the pillowcase.
Step 13: Hit the hay
Now that you’ve finished the bed and pillows, your figures can have a nice nap! Get creative with extra fabric to make quilts, blankets, and sheets. It’s all just rectangles. I stuffed a mattress-case type piece with a double layer of fabric, then machine embroidered over it to make a comforter.
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