My Weekend DIY Project: How to Make a Doll Room Diorama

I have been considering making a diorama to feature my doll in when I blog about or take pictures of her.  I wasn’t sure how I was going to go about it, or how it cost, so I was hesitant.  There are not too many tutorials on how to make one. I seriously Googled tons of different things, but nothing really came up, so I decided to go on this DIY journey alone and then share it with you all if things went well. The good news is, this project is really inexpensive and fun!! It cost me only about $10 total.

Materials You Will Need

I’ve never written a tutorial before, at least I don’t think so, so hang on! I’ll try my best. I bought all of my materials for this project at Lowe’s. What you’ll need:

I forgot to show the wood before, but at Lowes, these 4 pieces of wood were once a single piece.  For $0.25 a cut and a total of $0.50 for two cuts (vertical and horizontal) you get 4 almost even square pieces of plywood.  First, I sanded the edges because they were rough from being cut.  Next, I painted 3 of the 4 pieces of the wood with the paint sample. I used 2 coats and that seemed to be enough.  These paint samples are great for small projects! I still have tons left.  I used the trash bag to cover the floor and it made for cleanup way easier.  I used a piece of aluminum foil to keep the paint jar on and the brush on while I was using it.  This was a really clean project actually, mostly because of the steps I took to make it so.
Here’s a close-up of the jar, in case you were wanting to see what it looked like.  I was planning on using wallpaper, but I couldn’t find any in Lowes. I could’ve just been getting flustered and not looking in the right spot, but I really couldn’t find any in that giant store.  FYI, Menard’s doesn’t have a plywood cutting saw. At least not the one I went to, so that doesn’t make sense because they sell the same wood that Lowe’s had. Very weird!The paint dried really quickly actually.  Since this is just a doll house, I used any paint and any paintbrush that I could find.  You don’t need a primer or anything. Also, since the paint is already basically mixed pretty well, you won’t need a stirrer.IMG_2262

I then took the vinyl wood tile, removed the plastic on the back, and then stuck it to the remaining piece of wood. This gave the diorama a look of having wood floors for next to no money! I thought it was pretty clever myself 🙂Doesn’t it look neat!
Once all the paint was totally dry, I lightly hot-glued 2 of the painted pieces together.  I then used the small nails to firmly secure the two pieces.  Make sure the nails are as small as you can find because if they are too big, then they will split the plywood or burst through it and you DO NOT want that!  Hammer gently and watch where that nail is going. I suggest about 4 nails on each two-wall connection, but that’s just me.  3 seemed weird for some reason.  Once those two walls were secure, I lightly hot-glued them to the floor of the diorama.  Once they were all lined up correctly, I nailed the two walls to the floor.  This will give you a floor with two walls. You can stop here if you want, but I wanted 3 walls, just to give myself more angles to play with in photography.  I then lightly hot-glued the final wall to the other two walls and the floor and then once that dried, I nailed it to the floor and the other walls.

Here is what the diorama looks like now that it’s all finished!  This is a picture of me getting ready to take pictures inside of it. That’s tissue paper on the top to help filter some of the light.

image1-1I’m still considering wallpaper because the wood was not perfectly even on all sides and, thus, left gaps in the corners and that really is bothering me. I’d also like to add some edging at the bottoms 🙂  Otherwise, this turned out really well!  You will see it in action in some upcoming posts featuring doll clothes and furniture that are being sponsored by wonderful and talented Etsy sellers! Here’s what it looks like as a “doll room”.

IMG_2344This was such a fun weekend project for me and I’m glad I could share it with you!  Thanks for looking.

Have you done any DIY projects lately? I’d love to hear what you’ve done or even what you are planning on doing!



Additional Links

Lowe’s website

Diorama 101

Fashion Doll Store on Etsy


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