Coral Reef Habitat Diorama
|Learn all about coral reefs and ocean life in this fun coral reef habitat diorama craft.
View more habitat diorama projects: African Savanna Diorama, Polar Diorama, Rainforest Diorama, All Diorama Crafts
- Shoebox or similar-sized box
- Printable card stock or construction paper
- Crayons or colored pencils
- Acrylic paint
- White glue
- Paint brush
- Sea shells (optional)
- Paper bowl or egg carton (optional)
- Watch out for this sign . It means adult help is needed for the particular step.
Prepare the boxMost box dioramas would be standing on its wider panel. In this tutorial, we wanted to show that a vertical box orientation can be used to emphasize depth, which is a great concept for an ocean-themed scene.
Start off by painting the inside of the box with blue acrylic paint or covering it with blue-colored paper. You can also paint the outside of the box if you like.
|If you're using a box other than a shoebox, cut out the front panel. Use tape or glue gun to fix any open flaps in place.|
Make the animalsDraw different kinds of sea animals, including corals and bottom dwellers (e.g. starfish, crabs, clams, etc.) on white construction paper. You can also print out these sea creatures, fish shapes, and corals on card stock.
Color and cut out the animals.
Create paper tabsMake side, bottom, or center tabs for your sea creatures. These will allow the animals to be attached to the bottom and/or sides of your box. There are a number of ways to make the tabs:
a.) Make an L-shaped paper tab and glue this at the back of the animal's body. Position the tab at the bottom portion of the animal (bottom tab) or at the sides (side tab).
|b.) Draw side and/or bottom tabs before cutting out your animals in Step 2.|
|c.) Fold a rectangular piece of paper on both ends to create a center tab. This tab allows you to attach a paper animal to the background.|
Add backrgound detailsGlue some animals and corals onto the background. These pieces obviously do not need any tabs.
Paint more animals and other details onto the background if you like.
Add ground detailsYou may add other pieces on the ground besides the paper cut-outs. For instance, this paper bowl section (bowl cut into quarters) can be used as a rock where one of the animals can be positioned. Besides paper bowls, egg carton sections or small boxes can be cut and painted to create rocks or small caves.
Position the animalsAnimals without tabs can be positioned onto objects on the ground. The paper bowl we glued on in Step 5 is perfect for the octopus to rest on.
|Position the rest of the animals inside your diorama. The creatures on the ground all have bottom tabs. Glue the tabs in place.|
|These swimming fishes have side tabs for gluing onto the sides of the box. Fishes with center tabs can be glued onto the background.
Another option for creating swimming animals is to hang them from the box's ceiling with strings.
|You can also create a fish hiding among corals by creating a slit each on the bottom edge of the fish and on the top edge of a coral. Interlock the slits to position the fish in place.|
Add sandOnce all the animals are in place, apply glue on the entire bottom surface of the box. Spoon on some sand over the glue to create a sandy ocean bottom.
Position the paper starfish on the sand. Add real seashells if you have some.
More IdeasEnjoy your terrific Coral Reef Habitat Diorama"!
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