Friday, January 23, 2009

How to Make a Diorama Valentine's Card

These are really neat. I don't think the photo gives them justice. It's hard to show you the 3-D look of these.

They are mini diorama valentine scenes that fold up as a card. Once you get the hang of them they are very easy to make and your kids will love to try one. Please click on any picture to see larger.
Materials Required:
- 3 pieces of heavy paper (I used watercolor paper) measuring 10x6.5", 9x4.5" and
one little scrap piece
- a lighter piece of paper measuring 17.5 x 7" ( I used a paper bag )
- piece of colored cardstock
- glue stick
- scissors
- paint, pencil crayons, or markers
- glitter glue
click on to see larger
Take your 10 x 6.5 piece of paper. This is your background. Sketch out a quick landscape. I was trying to make something a bit whimsical.
Add color with whatever medium you wish. I'm using watercolor.
Now take your 9x4.5" piece of paper, this is your middle ground. Draw your focal image, you want to create a center image which then has long narrow arms to it on either side, add some color.
Cut the image out, keep those arms that go the full length of the paper.
Fold in half and place aside.
Take your background and fold it in half.
You now are going to glue your middle piece to your background. Only apply glue to the ends of your arms from your middle piece.
Your middle piece is 1 inch shorter than your background but you need to match up the ends. By putting the folds in you are able to get the ends to meet.
It will look like this from above. Please note that on this picture my ends shifted and they don't match up to my background. They should match up.
Take your scrap piece of paper and draw a few elements that will be in your foreground.
Add color.
Add some glitter if you want.
Cut out. Notice that my details are very narrow that is so they don't overwhelm my focal image in the middle section.
Take your long piece of paper and place some folds in the following places. Click on the picture to see larger.

Using the 6" section fold in 1/2.
Cut a heart shape out. This is the front of your diorama card.
Take that heart that you cut out of your paper and use it to trace onto your colored piece of cardstock.
Draw a heart about 1/2 inch larger around the traced image. Fold this paper in half.
Cut the inner heart shape out and then cut the larger shaped heart out. You will have a heart shaped frame.
Using the glue stick, glue this frame onto the heart cut out on your long piece of paper.
Turn this paper over. You can glue your foreground bits on at this time. You can also tape them if needed as you won't be able to see the tape in the final piece.
Glue your background/middle ground into place on the two 5" sections of your long piece of paper. Try to match up folds. Your long piece of paper will be 1 inch larger than your other pieces...try to center it the best you can.

You can also add embellishments to your foreground if needed. It sometimes easier to cut pieces out seperately and then glue on to the middle might also find you need to add some elements as you start to put the card together.

The card should fold up together. Your heart framed piece will fold up inside.
Take the little flap (1/2")and glue it down to the back of the card so it is all sealed.

When you open up the card you will have to just push the middle ground away from the background a bit for the fist few times. When you look down into the card it should look something like this.

These cards are very charming and you can come up with lots of different scenes.

Give it a try.

See you next time. I'm trying to do the Virtual sketch Date this month as I have been too busy the last 2 months so hopefully (fingers crossed) I can post my painting tomorrow by the deadline.



  1. Very fun. You make the painting part look so easy. One day....
    Thanks for the fun idea. Very talented.

  2. Thank you for the tutorial. I know they take a lot of time and planning. I don't know if I will use the technique as you described it with paint but I could modify it for fabric perhaps. Thanks so much. Your blog is wonderful. Linda

  3. Wow, these are so amazing! Talk about a treasured gift...I love receiving cards that people put so much work into. And your paintings are just fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing this how-to, I'll be linking.

  4. Thank you so much for the support. Grade 3 is doing these cards for their families tomorrow. I really appreciate your comments it keeps me motivated to keep posting!
    Rachel, your links are welcome as always.

  5. Thanks so much for the idea! I used this technique to make a card for my mom for her birthday and it turned out great! :)