crafts

I Made A Pumpkin Diorama To Give My House A Sweet But Spooky Halloween Boost

by Angela Andaloro

As much as I’m a girl who loves summer, fall puts me in a fun and creative mood. There’s so much change happening all around. The days get shorter, the temperatures drop, and the warmth and comfort of couches and beds cry out to me. There’s also Halloween — my favorite holiday — because it’s all about having fun; plus, it doesn’t come with the stress and burdens of other holidays. I was scrolling through Pinterest, ready to find something to do on a rainy fall day, when I came across an awesome crafting trend that I’d love to see more of: pumpkin dioramas.

You might remember dioramas from your grade-school days, when you had to make teeny-tiny shoebox-sized scenes of the Boston Tea Party or the first Thanksgiving. A few weeks ago, I incidentally mentioned how I was hoping one of the kids in my life would have to tackle one of these soon so I could join in on the fun. Upon further inspection, I discovered that modern-day dioramas have a whole new look and feel, and they most certainly aren’t just for kids anymore.

I was tempted to go super dark and gory with the pumpkin, but alas, there are still a few years before the kids can handle that. So with that in mind, I set out to find some spooky (but ultimately cute) things to set the scene. I hit up a few different stores, but I found that Dollar Tree and Target had the best selection of affordable Halloween swag that was the right size for my pumpkin.

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Let’s begin with the first craft pumpkin I got. It felt light and hollow, so I picked it up and thought I’d be able to just carve out one side to make my diorama. I outlined the area I was cutting and stuck a knife in, only to discover that the whole thing was solid plastic foam.

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Take two! I found a diorama-specific pumpkin at Michaels, and with that, I was ready to get started. I wasn’t sure how many of my spooky little friends would make it in there, but part of the fun is figuring it out along the way.

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I started with some artificial leaves left over from another project. I wanted the diorama to have an even base, so I used a circular piece of plastic foam to even out the inside floor of the pumpkin. I used a hot-glue gun to attach the leaves and cover the whole base.

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Next, I glued the base to the bottom of the pumpkin. It was the perfect height to be visible from the outside looking in.

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I then carefully dotted some glue inside to stick the webbing in place. When applying the webbing, I used a piece of cardboard as a barrier between my fingers and the hot glue. It was a little tricky, but it was better than having multiple burnt fingers. I managed to escape with just one.

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Next, I found a little home for my vampire. He was initially a container for Nerds candy, so I removed the back half and placed some glue at the bottom to keep him in place.

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I added the all-important undead man’s best friend next. They didn’t look like they were quite in the spirit, so I added some pumpkins and a member of my mummy army. Now it was starting to look a little more festive! I added a spider cupcake topper descending from the ceiling, but I still felt like something was missing.

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What’s a pumpkin cave without a bat? I drew a few before settling on this one.

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I cut him out and then folded the wings so that the bat would add a little more depth to the diorama.

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I couldn’t resist giving him a cute, coy smile.

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I got him in there, and in the process, the vampire fell over. I moved him behind the mummies so I could place the bat.

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I didn’t want the diorama to be too crowded, so I figured I was just about set. Now it needed the perfect home.

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I tried my front steps, but I worried about the whole thing getting knocked over or a porch thief taking out the pieces that they liked. It’s all about location, after all.

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I found the perfect home for my pumpkin diorama among my decorated wine bottles on the table on my backyard deck. I was initially bummed that my skeleton buddy didn’t make it in there with the rest of the gang, so I decided they could hang out on the table together.

The pumpkin diorama was a blast to make, but I realized something when I was through. Dioramas are typically scaled down a little more than what I created here. I feel like a pumpkin as big as the one I got would look kind of empty with such tiny pieces, but it’s a challenge I’m willing to take! There’s no rule saying one diorama per season, so perhaps I’ll give it another go!