How to Make a Fake Mountain for a School Diorama

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Dioramas are miniature displays of scenes, often constructed inside a shoebox set on its side. A school project might require creating a diorama of a mountain environment or a scene from a book that has a mountain. Making a mountain in the background can also enhance any type of diorama, even if the mountain is not part of the scene. Creating the fake mountain is a process that takes a few days because you have to allow time for the mountain to dry at each stage.

Things You'll Need

  • Newspaper
  • Shoebox or other diorama base
  • Hot glue gun
  • Saucepan
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • Spoon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • Paintbrush
  • Paint
  • Craft moss
  • Toothpicks
  • White glue
  • Crumple newspaper into the shape you want your mountain to be. The finished mountain will be slightly larger than your newspaper base, so make the newspaper mountain about 1/2 inch smaller in all dimensions than you want your mountain.

  • Glue the newspaper mountain into the shoebox or other diorama base using a hot glue gun. If there are parts of the mountain that are not staying in the shape you want, use the hot glue to hold it in the correct shape.

  • Measure 2 cups of water and 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour into a saucepan and mix them together with a spoon. Cook the mixture over low heat, stirring regularly, until it comes to a boil.

  • Remove the flour and water paste from the heat and stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons of granulated sugar. Allow the paper mache paste to cool for at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, before you use it.

  • Tear additional sheets of newspaper into strips measuring approximately 2 inches by 4 inches.

  • Dip a strip of newspaper into the paper mache glue and place the newspaper on your mountain. Press it on and follow the contours of the mountain.

  • Continue adding strips of newspaper until the mountain is completely covered. Make sure to use some strips that go from the base of the mountain onto the floor of the diorama. When you are done, allow the paper mache to dry for at least 24 hours.

  • Paint the mountain with the color you would like the ground to be. Depending on the type of mountain, this might be white for snow, tan for sandy rocks, dark brown for soil or gray for mineral rocks. Allow the paint to dry completely before continuing.

  • Glue craft moss to the mountain to make it look like it has foliage. If you would like trees on the mountain, stick toothpicks into it and glue craft moss to the top of each toothpick.


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