Garden Diorama

Explore and recreate the exciting world of bugs and critters in this garden diorama craft.

View more shoebox dioramas: Coral Reef Diorama, Pet Diorama, Rainforest Diorama, All Diorama Crafts
Garden Diorama craft


  • Shoebox or similar-sized box
  • Paper
  • Craft foam
  • Self-hardening clay or salt dough
  • Crayons
  • Acrylic paint
  • White glue
  • Scissors
  • An assortment of decorative materials: drinking straws, pipe cleaner, beads, cotton, pompoms,
    wiggle eyes, etc.
  • String (optional)

Safety Tips

  • Keep the glue gun out of young children's reach.
  • Small craft materials such as beads, wiggle eyes, and tiny pompoms are choking hazards. These are not suitable for children below the age of three.
  • Watch out for this sign Ask for an adult's help.. It means adult help is needed for the particular step.


Step 1 Garden Diorama Ask for an adult's help.1. The more common practice in making box dioramas is to use the bottom part of a shoebox. In this tutorial, I used a one-type piece shoebox (lid is attached to the box) and included the box lid as part of our diorama design.

To keep the lid permanently fixed at a 90 degree angle, use glue gun to attach a small box at the bottom portion of the box hinge.
Step 2 Garden Diorama 2. Painting the outside of your box is optional but if you wish to do so, use acrylic paint.
Step 3 Garden Diorama 3. Paint the inside of your box or you may line it with colored paper like I did.
Step 4a Garden Diorama 4. Glue on some details for the background. On the right side of the box, I glued on cotton clouds as well as bushes cut out from green felt.
Step 4b Garden Diorama On the left side of the box, I made a window out of paper cut-outs.
Step 5 Garden Diorama 5. A common way of adding objects to a diorama is to make paper cut-outs with side or bottom tabs. The tabs allow you to glue the object to the sides or bottom of the box.

You can also combine paper cut-outs with other materials. This potted sunflower has a drinking straw stem. The parts were glued together before gluing the pot's bottom tab to the bottom of the box and the center tab onto the background.
Step 6 Garden Diorama 6. You may also cover the bottom of the box with a thick layer of self-hardening clay or salt dough. Flowers and other objects can be planted into the clay or dough, a great concept for a garden-themed project.
Step 7a Garden Diorama 7. Here are some suggestions for creating more plants:

a.) Make a large plant by cutting out long leaf shapes from paper, gathering them together on one end and taping around that end. Plant the taped end into the clay, adding a little more clay around the base to hold the plant firmly in place.
Step 7b Garden Diorama b.) Create flowers from any of the materials below and plant these into the clay or dough.
  • Flowers- flower-shaped sequins or cut out flowers from paper/craft foam
  • Stems- pipe cleaner, craft wire, or toothpicks
  • Flower centers (optional)- beads or clay rolled into little balls
Check out more ideas for making plants and trees for your diorama.
Step 8a Garden Diorama 8. Make bugs and critters out of construction paper, craft foam, felt and/or pompoms. Here are some ideas that you can follow or use to create your own bugs and garden creatures:

a.) SNAIL- (1.) Cut out a snail's body and a round shell from paper or craft foam. (2.) Glue these two pieces together, add a pair of wiggle eyes, and draw a spiral on the round shell using puffy paint or crayons.
Step 8b Garden Diorama b.) BEE- (1.) Cut out a bee's body (with head) from yellow craft foam or construction paper. Cut out a pair of delicate wings from white crepe paper, coffee filter or wax paper. (2.) Glue the wings at the back of the bee. Stick a small black pompom for the head or you may just color the head with black crayon. Draw black stripes on the bee's body.
Step 8c Garden Diorama c.) LADYBUG- (1.) Cut out a red oval from red construction paper/craft foam. Draw an identical oval on black construction paper, add a small round head on top, and then cut out the entire piece. Cut out three thin strips from black construction paper for the legs. (2.) Glue the legs on the red oval. (3.) Glue the black body on top. (4.) Turn the bug over and bend the legs slightly at the tips. Draw black dots on the ladybug using a crayon or puffy paint. You may glue on a black pompom for the head.
Step 8d Garden Diorama d.) BUTTERFLY- (1.) Cut out a pair of butterfly wings and a worm-shaped body from craft foam, felt sheet or construction paper. Cut out small shapes to decorate the wings. (2.) Glue the body at the center of the pair of wings and stick the small shapes on the wings. You may add other materials such as small beads or stickers on the wings. For an extra cute butterfly, glue on a pompom head and a pair of wiggle eyes.
Step 8e Garden Diorama e.) CATERPILLAR- Create a fuzzy caterpillar by gluing small pompoms together. Add a pair of wiggle eyes and draw a mouth.
Step 9 Garden Diorama 9. Add the bugs and critters to your garden. (1.) Glue on a center tab at the back of the bug similar to that of the sunflower in Step 5. This will allow you to glue the bug onto the background or atop a flower. (2.) Glue the bug directly onto the elements in your diorama. (3.) Anchor the bug or critter onto the clay ground. (4.) Attach a string and hang the insect from the box's ceiling.
Garden Diorama 10. Self-hardening clay will set overnight while salt dough may take at least 2 days to dry. Enjoy your garden diorama!

Check out our collection of Diorama Crafts for more diorama-making ideas.