- Brown cardstock or construction paper
- Crepe paper or tissue paper
- White glue
- Pipe cleaner
- Scotch tape
- Flower sequins, flowers, paper or craft flowers
Color some cotton green following these steps. Once dry, fluff up the cotton and shape them into bushes. Glue the bushes onto your diorama. You can glue some flower sequins or craft foam flowers on the cotton bushes.
Another simple idea for making bushes is to scrunch up some green tissue paper or crepe paper and glue them on to your diorama.
FERNS AND TROPICAL PLANTS
A. Making Ferns out of Feathers
Bunch together at least 6 green feathers and bind them at the base with tape. Arrange the feathers so that they fan out like a real fern.
B. Making Ferns and Tropical Plants out of Crepe Paper
1Cut a strip of crepe paper.
Cut green crepe paper or tissue paper into a long strip. Mine is about 12 x 4 inches. Make a 1-inch wide fold on one short edge. Continue to fold the entire length accordion-style (back-and-forth folding).
2Draw a diagonal line.
Draw a diagonal line on the topmost fold, starting from the top corner to about half-an-inch above the bottom corner.
3Cut along the line.
While keeping the folds in place, cut along the line.
To make a fern, cut fringes along the curved edge.
Carefully unfold. This would be how the fringed fern would look like.
And this is how a plain one (without the fringes) looks like.
6Gather at the base.
While holding the strip on one bottom corner, slowly gather the crepe paper towards the center.
7Tape at the base.
Bind the base with tape to hold the plant in place.
8Arrange the leaves.
Arrange the leaves so that they fan outwards.
9Create other leaf shapes.
Once you get the hang of it, try experimenting with other leaf shapes. Instead of drawing a plain diagonal line in Step 2, try some zigzags, curly, or other lines to come up with interesting leaf shapes. You can also make the plant out of paper instead of crepe paper.
C. Making Philodendrons and Other Large-Leafed Plants
1Create paper leaves.
Cut out heart-shaped leaves out of green construction paper or cardstock. Use a pair of wavy or scallop edging scissors if you want the leaves to have wavy edges. Draw veins on each leaf using markers or colored pencils.
Cut a length of green floral wire or pipe cleaner to make a stem. Glue a stem behind each leaf. Let the glue dry.
2Join the stems at the base.
Twist the bottom of the stems together.
3Arrange the leaves.
Bend each stem towards a different direction so that the leaves fan out like a real philodendron plant. Flatten the bottom end of the stems before positioning the plant in your diorama.
FLOWERS AND POTTED PLANTS
Create some stemmed flowers.
Cut out your own flowers from paper or craft foam. You can also use pre-made paper or foam flowers, sequins, or beads. Poke a small hole at the center of each flower. Insert one end of a pipe cleaner, craft wire, or toothpick to make the stem. Add a round paper or foam shape, or a small bead on top to make the flower center. Fold the end of the pipe cleaner or wire jutting out from the top.
To add the flowers to a diorama, cover a section of your diorama's floor or ground with green air dry clay or salt dough. Plant the bottom of the pipe cleaner stems into the clay. Pat the clay around the stem.
Make plants with flowers.
Create a leafy plant following the steps in the previous section on Ferns and Tropical Plants. To add a flower, insert a craft wire or pipe cleaner at the center of the plant. Place a craft foam or paper flower at the tip of the wire.
Create potted plants.
Bottle caps make nice and colorful pots. Fill them with clay or dough then plant some flowers or paper plants in them. The plant in this photo was made by cutting several leaf shapes out of green construction paper, curled at the tips, and then planted one at a time into the pot.
If you need slightly larger pots, you can use small paper cups (trim them to the desired height), yoghurt cups or egg carton sections. Make the plants with flowers as described above. Besides pipe cleaners or craft wire, you can use drinking straws to make the stems. Include the scrunchy part for a bendable stem. Fill the pot with clay or sand before putting the plant in.
1Make paper grass.
Cut green, yellow or brown paper into a rectangular piece. Cut blades of grass along one long edge of the paper.
2Glue the paper grass.
Glue the straight edge of the grass at the base of an object in your diorama such as the bottom of an animal's legs or the base of a tree.
3Create a bottom tab.
To create grass that can stand on its own, fold the strip of grass at the base to create a bottom tab. Glue the bottom tab onto the diorama's floor.
1Twist crepe paper.
Cut 1-inch wide strips of green crepe paper. Twist the entire length of each strip tightly to make a jungle vine. To make your vines coily, wrap them around a pencil.
2Place inside the diorama.
Glue one end of each vine onto a tree branch or to the box's ceiling.
1Make a paper tree trunk.
Cut brown cardstock or construction paper into a small rectangle. Mine is about 3.5 x 2 inches. The length of the rectangle corresponds to your palm tree's height. Roll the rectangle along its long side. Glue the edge in place to come up with a cylindrical tree trunk.
3Join the leaves and trunk.
Put some white glue around the base of the palm leaves. Put the base of the leaves inside the tree trunk. Let the glue dry.
4Arrange the leaves.
Carefully open up the layers of palm leaves.
See Steps 3-10 of our Rainforest Diorama for detailed instructions.
You may also find these printable tree trunk templates helpful. Use any of the first four templates to make trees for your diorama.
Make a three-dimensional paper tree. Check out the instructions and templates for making one at our 3D Paper Tree craft.