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How to Make a Really Creative Shoebox Diorama


A shoebox diorama can be much more than just a miniature scene. It can be a creative display that people are really amazed by. Here are some creative tips and hints on how to make your shoebox diorama really special.


Select A Unique Housing for your Diorama

When making a shoebox diorama the very first thing you should do is think outside the box! I mean this literally in that you really don’t have to use a shoebox to make your shoebox diorama. You can use any number of interesting containers to make a really unique diorama housing. But I recommend you take this thinking to a second step and use something that adds a level of meaning to your diorama.

For example, if you are going to make a diorama about coffee plantations you might want to use a big coffee can as the actual diorama housing. This adds a level of uniqueness that also adds meaning to your diorama. It gives people something to talk about. Think about what your diorama is going to be about and then look around for housing ideas. Another good example of this would be an ocean diorama. This is a very popular theme for a diorama and I made a diorama by hollowing out a Styrofoam lobster trap buoy. It looks really nice and gives the whole diorama a very nautical feeling. Of course if you are going to make a diorama of a shoe store or a shoe factory then a shoebox is perfect!

Tell A Story or Capture a Moment in Time

One of the best things about a diorama is that they can not only show a scene but they can tell a story by capturing a single moment in time. A good example of this is if you want to build a medieval diorama with a castle you could put a dragon and a knight in battle. If you are making an ocean diorama you could capture the moment just before a big fish is about to gobble up a little fish. This tells a story. There is an event frozen in time and it gives your audience something to think about and questions to ask. What is happening in this diorama? What is going to happen next?

Explain something with the structure of the diorama

This is a little bit harder to do but can be the most rewarding aspect of diorama making. Think about how the structure or materials of the diorama can be used to explain the story or point you are trying to make. A good example of this would be a rainforest diorama. The rainforest has five layers from the over canopy to the ground layer. You could build your diorama in five different layers. This way the actual structure of the diorama helps to make the point of how the actual rainforest is.

A shoebox diorama can be a beautiful little facsimile of the real world and there are lots of ways to make it creative and special. All you have to do is think outside the shoebox!

More Shoebox Dioramas you can make


Dinosaur Diorama

Dinosaur Diorama- This is an active diorama - The meteor flashes across the sky and the volcano erupts. Easy to make and teaches about the theories of dinosaur extinction. Nice learning shoebox diorama. The Active Dinosaur Diorama


firefly diorama

Firefly Diorama

This is a great little shoebox diorama that uses tiny blinking lights as fireflies. Battery operated and you can make it. See the project tutorial and the video of it in action Firefly Diorama


Ocena Diorama

Ocean Diorama

This is a unique little ocean diorama shaped like the porthole of a submarine and made out of a cookie tin. I have full instructions and artwork for you to print and make. Easy and fun project. A new take on the ocean diorama. Imagine looking out the porthole of your submarine and discovering Atlantis! Now you can. Ocean Diorama


A rainforest diorama

RainForest Diorama.

This easy project uses the concept of the 5 layers of the rainforest canopy as its building structure which is a nice way to learn about the rainforest The Rainforest Diorama


Tatebanko Diorama


Tatebanko: The Lost Japanese Art of Paper Dioramas - This is a wonderful way to make dioramas just with paper. I have a complete download of this tatebanko castle, pictures of a professional tatebanko and a download of the empty box if you want to fill it with your own diorama. Tatebanko Paper Dioramas


knight battling with a dragon diorama

Dragon and knight Diorama

The diorama we will be making is called "The Battle With The Dragon" and it is pictured to the left. It shows a fire breathing dragon battling with a knight. The knight has his shield up to protect him from the fire. In the background you can see a castle.

Dragon and Knight Diorama


Woodland Scenics Diorama Kit, Basic

Woodland Scenics Diorama Kit, Basic

  • This versatile kit is great to create a basic; flat; landscaped surface
  • This package contains 36 square Inch of foliage fiber
  • Made in America