How to Make a Forest Diorama

Father and Son Working on Dinosaur Project

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We've completed an ocean diorama and a desert diorama for children. Now, let's make a forest diorama. This project is so much fun. This could be one excellent over the weekend craft. Read on to discover the steps. You'll be all set to make one with your child. You don't need to wait for it to be assigned as a school project.

  • Age guideline: 5 years and up
  • Time required: 45 to 60 minutes (does not include drying time)

The age and time guidelines listed above are estimates. This forest diorama craft can be modified to suit other ages and may take a little more time if you alter the craft to fit your needs.

Materials Needed

  • Shoebox or another type of sturdy box
  • Fake grass/green felt
  • Construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Paint and paintbrush
  • Glue (both school glue and hot glue)
  • Tissue paper
  • Small figurines or clay to make figurines


  1. Select a box for your forest diorama. You can use a shoebox, which is the most common. For our forest diorama, we went with the bottoms of two of our 24-pack of water bottles. We wanted to glue them together so that one stood up in the back so that we could add tall trees to the background. Any box will do, though.
  2. Cover the bottom of the box with fake dirt and grass. You can use some real dirt and grass from outside if you want, or just glue some green felt to the bottom of the box. Fake dirt and grass from the fake flowers section of your local art shop would work.
  3. Paint the sides and back of your box blue like the sky. You can skip this step if you'd like. As with anything craft related, it is excellent to make suggestions for your children, but ultimately it is a good idea to let them be creative and decide how they want to present the craft. 
  4. Once the paint dries, you can add trees and forest wildlife to the diorama. You can use felt cut-outs and glue them to the back of the box, then use hot glue to attach figurines on top of the fake grass. If you don't have felt cut-outs, you can easily make trees out of construction paper, or plain felt pieces.
  5. Some animals to add to a forest diorama include a fox, squirrels, deer, owls, wolves, birds like woodpeckers, snakes, rabbits, insects, lizards, and coyotes. This is just a small list. Have your child research forest habitats to discover more animals to add.
  6. Next, you need to create a stream or a small lake to show how your forest creatures get a drink. You can cut a lake for the corner of the forest diorama from a sheet of blue tissue paper, but there is even a blue glue available at craft stores that you can use to create a river if you want.
  7. Finally, you need to add a food source for your forest creatures. For example, if your forest is featuring a fox, then you might want to add berries to the habitat (in addition to rabbits and chickens if you don't already have them).


  • Give your child an old shirt to wear and spread out a few newspaper sheets on your workspace area before you begin. This will protect your child and your table from becoming soiled with paint.