How to Make a Model Diorama

by Kent Page McGroarty
Use images of real sailboats as inspiration for your diorama.

Use images of real sailboats as inspiration for your diorama.

Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images

Create a diorama to house a model you have created, such as various ships or boats. Make such dioramas for a school project or as an afternoon activity at home on a day that is too hot or too cold to play outside. Use dioramas to surround models you make from kits as well as models made from materials around the home.

Items you will need

  • Box and lid
  • Blue acrylic paint
  • White acrylic paint
  • Blue-green acrylic paint
  • Hot glue
  • Model
  • Card stock
  • Glue stick
  • Sand
  • Small shells
Step 1

Paint the inside of a box with blue paint. The size of the box is up to you, depending on the size of the diorama you want to create. You can use anything from a shoebox to something much larger. Use lighter blues for the "sky" and darker, greenish blues for the "ocean." Make white caps on wave tops with white paint if desired. Paint the outside of the box with blue paint as well. Allow to dry for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Step 2

Place the box lengthwise side up. Glue the lid, face up, to what is now the bottom of the box so it juts out in a diorama fashion. Remember to cut out the portion of the lid that meets the box first. Allow to dry for 10 minutes.

Step 3

Glue your sailboat model in the center of the diorama. Allow to dry for about 10 minutes.

Step 4

Draw and cut out paper animals from card stock. Ideas include seagulls, fish, dolphins and whales. Glue the seagulls to the sky area and cut out and glue the fish and other animals so they appear to "leap" out of the water. Allow the glue to dry for about 10 minutes.

Step 5

Use the lid as your "beach." Smear the rest of the lid with a glue stick on the bottom and cover it with sand and small shells. Use white, tan or colored sand, and arrange periwinkle and other small shells on your diorama beach with hot glue. Allow to dry for about 15 minutes.

Step 6

Display your diorama as desired.

Tips & Warnings

  • Additional embellishments for the beach area of your diorama include small bits of dried seaweed, small beach pebbles and bits of beach glass.

Photo Credits

  • Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images