It’s not surprising children love to make dioramas. It remains one of those classic school projects, where they can dream up a moment in time, an imaginary miniature world, filled with tiny characters and decor, all contained in a little box.

Many adults also make dioramas, shadow boxes and assemblages, some of which you can view below:

Marc Giai-Miniet

Philippa Rice

Lori Nix

Alan Wolfson

Jim Doran

Miranda Brandon

Great ideas in this book: Mixed-Media Dollhouses by Tally Oliveau and julie Molina


  • container eg. cigar box, shoe box, kleenex box
  • scissors
  • glue stick
  • white glue
  • glue gun
  • double-sided tape
  • assortment of items and found objects to create your miniature world eg. small toys, coloured paper, magazines, twigs, bark, pine cones, moss, pressed and dried leaves and flowers, etc.


1. Dioramas are 3D scenes created in box-like containers. The best and most durable of these are cigar boxes because they are made out of wood. They are surprisingly easy to come by at smoke shops, and are usually free. They also come with lids which you can choose to keep on or remove. Shoe boxes are the next best thing and in a pinch, kleenex boxes will do. Just cut the top off and you’re good to go.

2.You’ll need a theme for your miniature world, so you know what supplies to collect. It can be based on a book you read or a movie you saw; something you’re passionate about like insects, pirates or music; travelling back to prehistoric times, to dinosaurs, to the roaring 20’s; an enchanted garden; the most amazing candy shop in the world, etc.

3. The inside of the box can be painted, or covered with coloured paper, magazine cutouts or printables. Double sided tape is great for sticking the paper on, so you don’t have to wait for glue to dry before working on the rest. The rest involves filling the space with small items that fit in with your theme.

Tip: Some things, like branches, can be secured by sticking them in a small piece of plasticine and gluing that down to the base with a glue gun. Once attached, the plasticine can be easily covered up.

FYI: The little creatures in this diorama were made using wool roving, which was gently rubbed between slightly moistened hands. A glue gun was used to attach the eyes, and to attach the little creature to the base.



Filed under dioramas

18 responses to “Dioramas

  1. Ana

    I absolutely love dioramas. This was my favorite art project as a child.

  2. I love this little habitat!

  3. I love it, never heard of dioramas but they sure are adorable. Your mind could go crazy with ideas to do with this. So glad to know about it. Thanks for sharing your creative inspiration at Sunday’s Best.

  4. Oh, when I was a kid I love, love, loved making these.
    Thanks for linking to Kids Get Crafty! ~Alissa and Maggy

  5. love this

    Thanks for linking up to Serenity Saturday link party. hope to see you there today!

    Natasha xxx

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  7. I love the way you take typical projects, yet when your unique touch has been applied the result is utterly whimsical and charming! This diorama is a perfect example!

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