Diorama Making Banner



Youtube graphic
I have a youtube channel with over 900 Videos!


Will's Big Dioramas

Fast Tutorials

Types of Dioramas

Diorama Themes

Time Periods



More Stuff

Hi, Thanks for visiting my website. My name is Will and if you have questions
or would like to
contribute projects or ideas contact me Will

Make easy Diorama Water, Including Waterfall - Ponce de Leon and the Fountain of Youth

This tutorial shows you how to quickly and easily make diorama water effects including a waterfall with Elmers Clear Glues and Gels.

I also show you the whole process of making this tutorial including tips on how to carve it, and how to handle the water.

I have a video for this tutorial at the bottom of the page.

YoutubeWill has a youtube channel with over 800 videos on projects you can make. Check it out right here - I also have a whole lot of diorama making vidoes in my playlist here: Diorama Making Videos


Diorama Water Ponce de Leon Diorama


Overview of this project:

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.

Note Jump straight to the water effects part. If you want to just learn about using the Elmer's Gels to make diorama water you can skip ahead to that part right here

How you can make a diorama any number of ways:

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.

Tools and Materials:

Elmer's Gel

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


The upside-down fountain

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.

Borders on the diorama

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.


The drawing of the diorama

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:

  1. The Fountain
  2. The Waterfall
  3. The Babbling Brook
  4. The pond or lake


Add borders to contain liquid

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.


Cutting foam

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.


Glue the foam in place

I cut a variety of foam pieces and glued them in place to foam the basic landscape of the diorama.

Note Let's continue making the diorama



Watch the Video here:

Would you consider a donation of $1 to support my work? Paypal makes it very easy and safe. Click here to donate $1 - Every little bit helps Will to keep making great tutorials and projects. Thanks!





Elmer's Liquid School Glue, Clear, Washable, 5 Ounces, 1 Count


Elmer's Liquid Gel School Glue, Washable, 7.625 Ounces, 1 Count


DOW Craft Styrofoam Foam Sheets, 1 x 24 x 48, (4 sheets)

  • 1 Inch Dow Craft Styrofoam Foam Sheets, 1 x 24 x 48, pak 4
  • High density Dow Styrofoam craft foam
  • Boxed and Shiipped to your door
  • Over sized packages, low actual weight, but UPS calculates dimensional weight of approximately 30-35 lbs
  • Paintable


Xacto knife

X-ACTO #1 Knife, Z Series With Safety Cap

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.