How to Create a Diorama of a State

Model house. Model of a house in front of bridge image by L. Shat from

Things You'll Need

  • Medium cardboard box
  • Small cardboard boxes
  • Markers
  • Craft paint
  • Scissors
  • Cardboard
  • Craft glue

A diorama is a three-dimensional model of a place or event that is built inside of a box or container. A diorama can be large or small, depending on how much time you have to work on it. You can create a diorama of a state displaying its geography, resources and history. A diorama can focus on one specific aspect of the state, such as its wildlife, or it can depict many of the state's features, such as an important event in the state's history. Use your imagination to create a diorama about the state you choose to represent.

Research states to find one that is interesting or unique. For example, Florida has the Everglades and alligators; Texas has the Alamo; Alaska has glaciers and polar bears.

Gather interesting facts about the state you are modeling. Each state has its own state bird, flower, tree and song. Find out what geographical features are found in the state, like mountains or deserts. Research the state's history for an event you would like to depict.

Turn the cardboard box so the opening is facing you. Make a colorful background that shows some interesting features found in the state, such as mountains or rivers. You can paint directly on the inside of the box, or decorate a piece of paper or cardboard that will be glued in.

Assemble miniature buildings or houses with small cardboard boxes. Cut holes for windows and doors. Decorate them with markers or paint, and use glue to secure them to the box. You can use natural objects, like twigs, to make small trees.

Create the objects you are displaying, such as people and animals, out of paper, and decorate them with markers or paint. Make tabs out of cardboard that attach to the back of the figures to hold them up. Place them in the box, with some figures inside the buildings.

Make a miniature state flag out of paper, and color the flag's design with markers or paint. Glue the flag to one side of the inside of the box. You can also make small signs out of paper or cardboard.


  • Build from the back to the front of the box to avoid crushing the objects while you work.