Tips For Making a Really Big Diorama


The absolute most important stage of the whole process of making a large diorama is the stage of planning. You absolutely have to spend more than a few hours drawing up sketches and making sure everything is exactly how you envision it. Once you start building the diorama it is very difficult to make major changes. You have to know ahead of time where all the major components will be located. This is standard practice for making any kind of complex object. Car makers and home builders create complete plans before they start building anything. You should do the same. This process doesn’t just lay everything out for you though. It also serves as a great way to generate ideas. Your finished product will benefit greatly from planning. And I will explain how this planning stage can also save you money. Visit our site :

Size, Access and Usability

Another important thing to think about is portability and ease of use. I have built dioramas that were so large it was difficult for me to work in the center of them. I just couldn’t reach that far in from the edge! If your diorama is this large you may want to consider building it in two halves and then when each half is completed stitching them together with materials. I highly recommend you build a custom table for a large diorama and you put it on wheels so it can easily be moved. You also need to ask yourself if the diorama is going to stay in the room you build it in. Will you be moving it to another location after it is done? If so, will it fit easily through doorways? You might not want to tip it sideways as you move it so it might be a good idea to make it in pieces or to keep one dimension to less than twenty-nine inches so you can get it through even the narrowest doorways.


A big diorama can be made with a low expense if you are very crafty and creative with materials. And twenty dollars will buy you enough paper towels and Plaster of Paris to make even the largest of dioramas. But if you want to use traditional hobby textures and trees the cost can quickly escalate. Trees alone will cost between fifty cents and a dollar each depending on the size. So if you have large forested areas with scores of trees the expense can quickly climb. You can have a big impact on the cost of your diorama during the planning stage.

Biggest expenses?

The two biggest expenses for diorama making are water effects and miniatures. Miniatures can cost ten dollars each or more and realistic water costs around one dollar per ounce. And the ounces go very fast so if you want to keep the cost down be very frugal with bodies of water – and don’t make them deep! Again this can be carefully controlled in the planning stage.

Building for the ease of building

One of the biggest challenges I have when it comes to a large diorama is the addition of special effects like motors, working drawbridges, lights and sound effects. I consider these additions to be the things that take an ordinary project and turn it into something special.

But this adds extra cost, takes time, and adds some difficulties to the process. And the biggest thing to think about in terms of these extras is the wiring. If you have planned your diorama well you already know where all the special effects go and you can pre wire all the wires before you create the plaster shell. This makes it so much easier. But dioramas change and you never know exactly what changes you are going to want to make until you are well underway so I recommend you run extra pairs of wires to difficult areas and build the shell so there are access hole in the back, sides, and even bottom. These access holes will allow you to add more wires and objects without destroying the terrain.

How to Make a Secret Diorama – Insights

A secret diorama is a diorama built in an unexpected place. This gives the diorama a level of not only visual delight but of discovery. And the theme of the diorama can be closely linked to the location which makes it really special. Many years ago I built a complete, and extensive, diorama in a dresser drawer. I remember this diorama very fondly because it was not just a miniature place it was also a hidden place. There is an added level of enjoyment to a diorama that is hidden and waiting to be discovered. Here are some tips and hints on where and how to make little secret dioramas.

Places to hide your secret diorama

It can be hidden almost anywhere but ideally you should hide it in a place where people will discover it. Inside a dresser drawer is a nice place but this will get very little discovery from others!

Think about your hobbies and this will give you clues as to where and how to make your diorama. Do you read a lot of books? You could actually strip out the pages from a large book, build a diorama inside it, and then place it back into the bookshelf. Do you play a musical instrument like the guitar and have an old one that you don’t use anymore? Build a diorama right inside the body of the guitar. Do you entertain guests a lot? How about building a diorama right inside a cookie tin then leaving it on the coffee table with the lid on! When somebody asks if they could have some cookies imagine the delight when they open it up and see a mini diorama. If you have an extra shelf in your kitchen cabinets you could build a little diorama of a kitchen right in it. And this brings me to the next topic of tying the location of the diorama in with the actual theme of the diorama.

Make the theme similar to the location

If you want to add an extra level of enjoyment and wonder to your diorama you should link the location to the theme. What I mean is that let’s say you build the kitchen cabinet diorama you could make the diorama an actual small kitchen scene much like what would be found inside a doll house. If you make a diorama inside a book you could make the diorama in a theme that compliments the title of the book. For example, if you use a book on the history of dragons you could make the scene inside a scene of dragons. Inside your guitar you could make the diorama of a little symphony orchestra. The only limits are the limits of your imagination.

Let’s get really creative

Inside the freezer is a fun place to hide a small diorama and you can make it of an igloo and penguins. This is a wonderful little theme to make and being inside the freezer will bring chuckles to anyone that discovers it. If you live in a climate that snows you could actually spend some time outside making little snowmen, igloos or other things out of real snow then put them in your freezer diorama. If you are ambitious you could start to think bigger by tackling a diorama in a closet project. This is a project that has a lot of potential for creative exploration and it allows you to use either larger objects or to use many smaller objects in a very complex scene. You could even make the closet a small dollhouse like structure. Making a secret diorama is a great project because it has several levels of enjoyment. You enjoy making it, you get to enjoy looking at it and you get the extra enjoyment of watching other people discover it. And there are a million different ideas you could use for your diorama. Just look around your house for little enclosed spaces and you will be surprised at the ideas you come up with.