4 Ways Ghibli Miniatuart Helps You De-stress

4 Ways Ghibli Miniatuart Helps You De-stress

Miniatuart Ghibli models, made by Sankei here in Kyoto, Japan, are kits of laser-cut paper pieces that you assemble to create intricate 3-D dioramas of your favorite scenes from Studio Ghibli movies.

While they might seem intimidating because they are breathtakingly intricate and tiny, these models are totally doable and just require a bit of time and patience—with magical results! Whether it’s Kiki's Delivery Service, Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro or another Ghibli classic, you’ll be swept into the fantastical world of Hayao Miyazaki and emerge refreshed and recharged.

Here are four reasons why Miniatuart models are the perfect way to de-stress right now.

Hands carefully placing a paper cutout of Chihiro using tweezers onto a miniature diorama from the Ghibli movie Spirited Away

Miniatuart | Spirited Away: Chihiro and Aburaya Hot Springs Video

1. The Pleasure of Flow

A flow state, sometimes called being “in the zone” is the pleasurable mental state when you’re fully absorbed in an engaging activity. Since Miniatuart paper models have a clear goal, are slightly challenging (but not overly so!) and involve meditative acts of cutting and assembling, we think it’s an awesome way to experience a state of “flow”. This might just be the escapist, therapeutic activity you didn’t know you needed.

2. “Travel” to New Worlds

One reason Ghibli films are so popular is the phenomenal realism—the worlds in the movies are just so meticulously detailed and enchanting. By actually recreating a part of a Ghibli movie, you can truly get a taste of the magic and feel like you’re transported into its beautiful world. To enhance the experience and let your imagination run free while you work, we recommend playing the matching Ghibli movie or soundtrack in the background!

Hands carefully placing a paper cutout of Mei using tweezers onto a miniature diorama from the Ghibli movie My Neighbor Totoro
Miniatuart | My Neighbor Totoro: Dondoko Dancing Video

3. Delightful Control

Miniature crafts can provide a serotonin boost with the sensation of control and productivity that it provides. In The Guardian, author Simon Garfield writes about this allure of miniature art:

“The ability to enhance a life by bringing scaled-down order and illumination to an otherwise chaotic world – a world over which we may otherwise feel we have little control – cannot be overvalued. The fascination of holding in our hands something completely realised at an impossibly reduced scale is a wholly fulfilling one, and the satisfactions of inquisitive observation will never tire.”

4. Tactile Satisfaction

In our digital world, it feels so good to regularly disconnect from our screens and make something with our hands instead. Sankei’s Miniatuart paper models are made with gorgeous, high-quality paper, and are laser cut with breathtaking precision making it a true pleasure to assemble. Established in 1963 in Kyoto, Japan, Sankei began by creating models of historic architecture for museum exhibitions and this “museum-level” attention to detail is reflected in their Miniatuart models. All that being said, you will be impressed by the “made-in-Japan” quality of these kits AND they’ll look fantastic on display in your house. Each time you admire your completed Miniatuart you can pat yourself on the back for creating something truly awesome, feel the magic of Ghibli, and impress anyone who comes to your home. 

Paper diorama of the moving truck from the Ghibli movie My Neighbor Totoro

Ready to begin? Here are the tools you’ll need:

  • Cutting mat
  • Fine tweezers
  • Glue
  • Craft knife
If you don't these tools readily available, we’ve got you covered with our tool kit, which includes all of the above for $31.00 USD

Cutting mat with tweezers, a craft knife and a paper diorama of the Ghibli movie My Neighbor Totoro
Note: Some of the Miniatuart kits can be colored; for this, we recommend colored pencils rather than ink based colors, as they can bleed and spill into other parts of the paper.

With winter fast approaching, now’s the time to discover a relaxing craft for super cozy home time and Miniatuart models are just the thing for relaxing. And if you have any Ghibli fans in your life, these make for fantastic Christmas presents too. With over 30 different models recreating scenes from My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle, and more, there is something for everyone!

View the whole collection here. 

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