Who doesn’t love carving pumpkins? This fall-favorite activity is a great way to pass the time while also getting in the Halloween spirit. There’s only one problem to carving pumpkins: They decay over time, leaving you with nothing but a memory.
Give your pumpkin carving an upgrade this year with the help of a DIY pumpkin diorama.
In this pumpkin diorama tutorial, we go step-by-step on how you can create your very own diorama in no time at all. Let’s get started!
- Foam pumpkin
- Serrated knife
- Hot glue/adhesive
- Moss/grass/ground materials
- Cardboard boxes/ways to create layers
- Paper for template
- Festive lights
Step One: Cut Oval into Pumpkin
Before you can start, cut an oval into your pumpkin. You can create a template using paper before cutting the oval if you prefer.
Since I’m a perfectionist and didn’t want to mess it up, the pumpkin I purchased from Michael’s came with the hole pre-cut, which is another option.
If you want to paint the inside of your pumpkin like I did, after cutting the oval is the perfect time to apply the paint.
To make my inside pure black, I added 3-4 layers of paint.
Step Two: Decide the Layout of Your Diorama
How much height do you want with your diorama? Will your diorama be spooky or cute? These are some of the things you need to figure out before you get to work.
I created a rough sketch of how I wanted my diorama to look before I even pulled out my supplies.
Whether you draw a sketch like I did or play it by ear, some of the decisions you need to make include:
- How many layers will your diorama have
- How many figures will you use
- How can you balance your diorama to create a strong composition
Step Three: Add Your Layers
Creating height to your diorama is easy, especially when you have miscellaneous items around. For my diorama, I cut up a small box several times to add three different layers.
I also used two empty, clean yogurt cups to add a little extra height.
Once you figure out the best way to layer your diorama, apply hot glue or another sturdy adhesive to keep everything in place.
Step Four: Make Your Scene Realistic
Adding moss, grass, or other floor surfaces makes your diorama more realistic. Whether you’re making an outdoor scene like I did or an indoor Halloween scene, picking up realistic floor options from your local craft store is perfect.
Don’t be afraid to add lots of different flor layers, especially if your diorama takes place outdoors. This’ll help mimic the unevenness of the ground.
Once you figure out where to place your flooring, secure it with hot glue or other adhesive.
Step Five: Add Your Figurines
Now comes the fun part of figuring out where each of your figurines will go inside your diorama. Play around with different layouts before figuring out which speaks to you the most.
Make sure your diorama isn’t too cluttered or the viewer will be too busy looking everywhere to appreciate the full diorama. Consider learning a bit about the Rule of Thirds and how photographers use this quick skill to experts compose eye-catching photographs.
Secure your figurines in play with hot glue or the adhesive of your choice.
Now’s also the perfect time to add any festive lights you may want. To hide all the wires for my lights, I cut a small hole using a serrated knife in the back of my pumpkin and fed the wires through.
Side note: Don’t be afraid if you have leftover figurines if you find a layout you like. I had several figurines that I bought but didn’t use. That’s okay! You can use these on your next diorama.
Step Six: Share Your Diorama Online
You’ve spent a couple hours making your DIY pumpkin diorama, go ahead and share it with the world! Post to social media, and make sure you tag me so I can see all your great designs!
Here’s the final version of my spooky cemetery pumpkin diorama. I can’t wait to see yours!