How to Make a Haunted House Shoebox Diorama

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Dioramas are small, three-dimensional representations of a moment in time. They can tell a story, much as a photograph can. Shoeboxes are the perfect size container for encapsulating a diorama. A haunted house diorama makes a fun project for kids and adults alike. Use the 3D element of a diorama to create a many-layered depiction of a spooky house, complete with ghosts, goblins and ghouls.


Things You'll Need

  • Shoebox

  • Spooky Embellishments (Tiny Plastic Spiders, Baby Pumpkins, And Netting That Looks Like Spider Webs)

  • Cardboard

  • Markers

  • Doll'S Furniture (Optional)

Step 1

Decorate the box to look like a haunted house. Consider cutting windows and doors in the side of the shoe box. Cover it in black paper, using a paintbrush and decoupage medium. Or, make it a light gray and use a marker to add details like a turret, bay window or widow's walk.

Step 2

Create a multi-level house -- just like the quintessential haunted house -- by cutting two or three strips of cardboard the length and width of the shoebox and taping them in place. While your diorama may be most stable with the long side of the box resting on the table, balancing it on the short side will give you more room to create multiple floors in your haunted house.


Step 3

Add vertical strips of cardboard, between floors, to create additional rooms within your diorama. Don't forget to add doorways between the rooms.

Step 4

Decorate the rooms, using your imagination freely. For inspiration, look to movies about haunted houses, like "The Addams Family" or "The Haunted Mansion." Doll's furniture can be used as props, but may need to be painted in darker colors to fit in with a spooky atmosphere. Try to include classic haunted house motifs, like grandfather clocks, spooky oil paintings, and ghoulish chandeliers. Use the decoupage technique to add scrapbook paper wallpaper to rooms.


Step 5

Add spooky elements to the haunted house. Liberal drapings of cobweb-like fabric, grinning pumpkins and tiny plastic spiders send a creepy message. For ghosts, use plastic figurines with their faces scratched off, or go the classic route, using a circle of white fabric, bunched and tied off to create a ghost.


The most compelling dioramas tell a specific story, using minute details within each scene to draw attention. Construct a mental story about your haunted house's history before you begin the project.