Holiday DIY: Diorama by Chloé Comte

Our collaborator Chloé Comte invites you to add a little poetic magic to your holiday decor. Follow her step-by-step instructions to create this lovely diorama.
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Candles, garlands and lights of all kinds come together to create a traditional holiday decor.

To add a little poetic magic to yours, our collaborator Chloé Comte invites you to create dioramas that can be placed all over your home … like little luminous winter tales!

A project created by Chloé Comte.




Before you begin, it's important to establish the final height of your dioramas so you know how many scenic strips you need, and how high they need to be.

For her 6" and 8" wood panel dioramas, Chloé created between six and eight scenic strips, ranging from 3" to 16" high, to achieve a certain depth.

Her advice for getting started and knowing how many strips you need, as well as what size is best for the area you want to cover, is to cut six to eight strips of different widths and place them one behind the other on the round wooden panels, holding them together with paper clips.

Once you've determined the size of your strips, create an edge at the bottom of the strips of about 1/2" by drawing a line with a ruler and a precision knife, without putting too much pressure on the blade so as not to cut the paper. This step will help you fold the paper more easily, using the bone folder.

Trace and cut out your snowbanks with a precision knife.

Cut the 1/2" strip vertically along its length, about every 1/2" to create squares.

Cut off each corner of the squares. This strip will serve as a base for attaching each strip to the wood panels for easy installation.

For her first 3D centrepiece, Chloé made a 15" tall tree. Next, cut out two triangles and assemble them, notching one tree from the base to the centre and the other from the top to the centre.

Fit and glue the two trees together with hot glue, then add tree halves all around.

For the 3D houses, draw four house faces. You can do this in any size you like, using this example model as a guide.

For the 6" panel, the house is 4" wide, and for the 8" panel, it's 6" wide. For the height, refer to your highest snowbank. For example, to make hers stick out, Chloé's houses are 15" and 16" high.

Cut out your houses with the precision knife. To make them stand out in the diorama, colour them red.

Then add decorative details with a white gel pen to the doors, windows and roof. Once the houses are decorated, all that remains is to assemble them.

In addition to the 3D elements, Chloé also made silhouettes of small houses and fir trees of different shapes and sizes, to stick behind her snowbanks and bring more life and depth to her dioramas.

Once all the elements are ready, you can start gluing them and putting them in place.

Tip: Mark the centre of your round wooden panels, so that you can glue your 3D elements first.

You can then glue your snowbanks one by one, starting from the outside of the round wooden panel and working inwards.

Once you've glued your 3D elements and snowbanks together, use scissors to cut a notch in each snowbank to bring the LED garland from the outside of the wooden panel to the inside. This will allow you to hide the garland box under the wooden panel and light up the inside of the 3D houses, if you wish.

You can place the light garland on the panel and secure it with hot glue dots using a wooden stick.

Finally, if you wish, you can glue one more snowbank to hide the remaining wood area.

Now, all you have to do is light up your dioramas and let the magic happen!

Tips and tricks:

  • To work with paper, Chloé recommends using a good precision knife and a cutting mat.
  • Choose a thick paper, it should be stiff enough to hold well, but thin enough to let a little light through.
  • Don't hesitate to experiment before doing your final assembly on the wooden panels; you can do this by placing several elements and securing them with paper clips.
  • Always take a step back to check your work, and look at it from different angles to make your adjustments.
  • You can add coloured elements to your diorama, but try not to use more than three different colours to achieve a light and harmonious effect.
  • For your paper creation, use only LED lights that do not heat up.