How to Make a Diorama in a Shoe Box

eHow may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Things You'll Need

  • Shoe box

  • Paint

  • Paintbrushes

  • Scissors

  • Heavy paper

  • Glue

  • Modeling clay

Image Credit: Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images

A diorama is like a miniature scene. You can make a diorama to mimic the real world, or invent your own universe and display it in small form. A shoe box makes an ideal base for a diorama project because it is portable and it has a lid you can close to protect your work. Set up your scene and get your creative juices flowing when you make a diorama in a shoe box for school or play.


Step 1

Paint the inside of your shoe box to match the background of your scene. For a desert diorama, paint the top half blue like the sky and the bottom half tan like sand. For an ocean diorama, swirl blues and greens together to imitate the deep blue sea. For outer space, consider black or a deep navy blue, and then dot small white or silver stars all over it. Allow the glue to dry before moving on.

Step 2

Cut the shapes of other background elements out of heavy paper such as card stock or construction paper. Glue them to the background (the bottom and sides of the box). You might include a yellow sun, green and brown trees or even blue bird shapes on your diorama walls to make it seem more realistic.


Step 3

Sculpt figures out of modeling clay to finish your diorama. You might sculpt the planets in their various scale sizes, animals for a particular habitat scene or even people. Let the clay dry and then glue these figures onto the floor of your diorama, which is actually one side of the box, depending on how you will arrange it.

Step 4

Close the lid on your diorama to protect it, or leave the lid off to display it on a shelf.