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Ski Slopes Diorama

Conceiving a diorama is an adventure in scale and spatial relationships. Choose a container, then put yourself in the shoes of one of its future inhabitants.




  • Ham can (tin)
  • Styrofoam (an old cooler)
  • Bump chenille stems (pipe cleaners)
  • White glue
  • White paint
  • Borax
  • Figurines
  • Plastic wrap
  • White rubber band


  1. Step 1

    To make the snowy scene, trace a well-washed ham can onto a piece of 1/2-inch-thick Styrofoam (an old cooler works well) five times. A grown-up should use a kitchen knife to cut slope shapes: The background layer should be full size; cut increasingly lower slopes from the other layers.

  2. Step 2

    Glue in place. Cut bump chenille stems (fancy pipe cleaners) to make trees, trimming bristles off of bottom 1/4 inch of each for a trunk. To dust trees with snow, brush on white glue and sprinkle with borax, or spatter on white paint.

  3. Step 3

    Poke trees into foam. Glue figurines, from a model-train store, into position. Stretch plastic wrap over the container, and secure with a white rubber band.

  4. Step 4

    Using a toothbrush, spatter the plastic wrap with white paint for snow.

Martha Stewart Kids, Volume 7 2003



Reviews (4)

  • saraF 27 Feb, 2011

    the edges of ham cans can be sharp

  • BoopaCA 17 Jan, 2011

    Quackyduck is absolutely correct ... Borax IS toxic. Martha's people should do better research on the components used in kids' projects.

  • Sigal 16 Jan, 2011

    Thank you for this great idea. My kids will love it.

  • quackyduck 15 Jan, 2011

    Borax is toxic, so why is this a kids' craft?