First it is a tutorial showing you how to easily make diorama water with Elmers clear glues and gels. But it is also an interesting little diorama. The scene depicts the skeleton of Ponce de Leon at the fountain of youth. And the fountain itself flows upside-down. Just as the fountain reverses aging it also flows in reverse. More about this in the tutorial and in the video.
I use a lot of standard materials from woodland scenics and I use XPS foam that i carve. But you can use any number of materials to make your diorama. You are only limited by your imagination and creativity.
This tutorial is all about the terrific Elmer's Gel Glue. It is cheap, easy, non-toxic and makes great diorama water.
Let's Get Started on the diorama
One of the unusual things about this diorama is the upside-down fountain. Seeing as the fountain of youth reverses time I thought it would be fun for the fountain itself to also reverse gravity. So it bubbles backwards and up to the surface where it flows into a river and then down as a waterfall.
One important thing to note!! When using any kind of a liquid or gel to make water effects you need to create a border to contain it while it solidifies! Otherwise it will leak out. In the picture above you see I have made a border all the way around the diorama. I used 3/8 inch wooden pieces. Shown by the arrows. And you should consider that some of the materials in the diorama should be water proof or water resistant.
When making your diorama you should always start with some drawings. Making a list or writing out what you want also helps a lot. I did several drawings and you can see that the end result of my diorama looks a lot like this final drawing. And you can see I have four points numbered. These are the four water effects I wanted to make. They are:
The Babbling Brook
The pond or lake
I cut a piece of quarter inch thick wood for the base then I added the wooden pieces all the way around it to contain the water. And you can see that I also drew out my diorama right on the base. This is helpful when building it. To seal the wooden border pieces I used hot glue to adhere them down and then added more hot glue to get a good seal.
Now for all the various terrain. I used a hot wire foam cutter to cut pieces of XPS Foam. XPS stands for Extruded Polystyrene foam. You can buy it at home improvement stores. Or you can use any number of materials including styrofoam or paper mache.
I cut a variety of foam pieces and glued them in place to foam the basic landscape of the diorama.
Make precise, fine cuts every time with the X-ACTO #1 Z-Series Knife with Safety Cap. This knife features a #11 fine point zirconium nitride-coated blade for sharpness and strength, and the lightweight aluminum handle enables you to make agile cuts with ease. This X-ACTO knife cuts through a wide variety of materials including paper, plastic, balsa wood, and thin metal. An easy-change blade system lets you swap blades quickly to meet the needs of any project, and the included safety cap offers easy portability.