Make a winter woodland diorama

A diorama is a mobile theatre or three-dimensional model landscape. They were very popular in the 19th century, when they were used for entertainment. You can use yours for acting out stories of your own creation, or just to display some of your favourite things. The only limit is your own imagination, so go ahead and think outside the box . . . well, you know what we mean! 


– A cardboard box 

– Black paint 

– White crayon, chalk or paint (it’s up to you) 

– Black crayon or pen 

– Black card 

– White card

– Scissors 

– Glue 

– Sticky tape 

– An unwanted book (make sure you have permission from the book’s owner before you use it) 


1. Take a cardboard box and cut off the lid. Draw a rough elongated semicircle in the front of the box and some ‘S’ shaped curves on the sides.

2. Using scissors cut out the elongated semicircle, and along the ‘S’ shaped curves.

3. Paint the inside and outside of the box black, leaving the base.

4. Make impressions of trees by drawing wavy lines in white and add concentric rings to look like bark. You can use crayon, chalk, pencil or paint for this.

5. For an overall fairy tale effect, collage the floor with torn bits of pages from newspapers.

6. At the top of the arch, stick a torn and jagged strip of a book page to the inside to resemble icicles.


1. Decide how big you want your trees to be and how many you want to fill the space, then sketch a tree on black card in white using the following instructions:

2. Draw a thick trunk. Draw a rough circle for the canopy, around the trunk.  Add branches. Add smaller twigs on the branches. Add a tab to the bottom of the tree, large enough so it can stand freely. It needs to be thicker than the trunk and longer than the width of the canopy.

3. Cut around the shape, then cut around the branch and twig lines.

4. Remember the more branches and twigs you add, the more intricate the design will be and the harder it will be to cut out.

We kept it very simple but it could be very detailed. It’s up to you.

Drawing of a tree in white crayon black paper and the cut out

5. Use white to draw wavy lines and tree knots as before.

6. Fold the tab back to stand the tree up.


To strengthen the trees, try reinforcing them at the back with a piece of tape connecting the trunk to the tab.


On white card draw your woodland creatures. This diorama has a fox, a deer and an owl in monochrome (that means black and white), with bold patterns that imitate their coats. You might want to copy these animals, use stencils or create your own.

Handdrawn woodland creates on white card with folded tabs to stand


Assemble the trees in your woodland setting and stick them down with tape. Leave your creatures unstuck so you can move them about, chop and change or add other creatures to create a whole new environment.

If you enjoy making our diorama and would like a magazine packed full on awesome articles, fascinating facts and marvellous makes then click here to Subscribe today! Or why not check out these wintry activities for some extra yuletide fun!

Written by Tessa Pugsley