Thursday, December 8, 2011


I've had dioramas on the brain for weeks. Months, maybe. Who doesn't love self contained miniature worlds? As a kid I would get absolutely lost in them and as it turns out my adult self isn't much different. I'm a sucker through and through. Anyway, my sister (who has also had dioramas on the brain - go figure) and I brainstormed on how we could turn our diorama fever into a force of holiday joy spreading good. Here's one of our ideas.The beginnings of it anyway. I'm still up to my elbows in bottle brush trees and deer cake toppers and I have 6 more ornaments painted, glittered and ready for inhabitants. Not to mention the glitter that has bedazzled our entire apartment. And our persons. How do you combat that? I'm a novice, a glitter virgin really, so I have no idea how to contain the outbreak. Any sage advice out there?Now for the how. I got plain, brown craft ball ornaments from Micheal's and cut windows in them with a small hacksaw, or lady-saw as Beckett calls it. The insides were not paper, much to my dismay, but hard dark plastic. It took a few coats to cover it, but it accepted the paint fairly well. I found some pre-made all paper balls online here and here, but I didn't want to wait for shipping, so I made do.

Then I painted the insides and outs. I added metallic pipe cleaners or glitter to the openings, mostly to hide my shoddy saw skills, but also because it makes them look super vintage.I found bottle trees, mini wreaths, mini snowmen, glittery foliage and other bits at Micheal's. I scored some spun cotton mushrooms, those little German birds and I made a huge haul of vintage cake toppers at a wonderful, cluttered hole in the wall called Home Cake. If you're in Seattle, check it out. If not, etsy has all kinds of great deer, mushrooms and elves. The Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs set is definitely worth a look!We're in full scale holiday mode around here. The house looks, smells and feels great and our advent calendar (a mischievous gnome who hides each morning with our activity or adventure for the day in his pocket) has filled our days with fun. I just love December.


  1. i made diorama ornaments out of egg shells 40 years ago. kept some for myself and gave some away. they are all still in great shape! i took raw eggs and tapped holes in them so i could blow them out. after washing and drying them, i painted inside and out with model paint. used fabric trim around the edges (but i love the idea of shiny pipe cleaners), then made the scenes inside. they are still treasured ornaments! i used angel hair inside before assembling the diorama - don't know if that is still available.

  2. oops, i forgot to mention that i used cuticle scissors to carefully cut the diorama opening in the eggs before painting.

  3. This brought great memories to me. My mom use to do this with me when I was young. I have been trying to find how to do them. It has been so long that I have forgotten.