Introduction: Book Diorama Made From a Book

About: I am Brandon, a college student who loves making! I hope to eventually turn my passion into my career by innovating new technologies to fuel the maker movement in America, and bringing large scale manufacturin…

In this Instructable I will be showing you how I made a diorama for Macbeth, out of pages of Macbeth. Many artists have done things along this nature, but I personally got the idea from an artist named Sue Blackwell with her To Kill a Mockingbird sculpture. I did this as part of an english project, with a 6 page explanatory essay paired with it explaining all of the symbolic meanings of each of these objects. Each object is actually wrapped in text that describes it, or symbolic quotations from the play which are related to the object. For example, the cauldron is meant to symbolize the witches and the supernatural in the play, and so it is actually wrapped in quotes from the witches such as “Double, double toil and trouble/ Fire burn, and caldron bubble” This was also done with the rest of the objects with their respective pieces of text. It was such a difficult task to do this, but it really make the project that much more interesting in my opinion.

This took me a ridiculous amount of time, with tens of hours filled with meticulously cutting and gluing and paper mache-ing. Overall I am thrilled with how this project turned out, and am so pleased with the final outcome!

Mod Podge
Glue Stick

Coffee Stirrers
Plastic Golf Ball

Step 1: Well

The well was created entirely from pages of the text and coffee stirrers. I made a double-thick wall along the base of the cauldron, to make the basin look as though it were thick stone. The posts are made from coffee stirrers wrapped in the text, to provide a sturdy support for the roof. I wanted something to make the roof really accentuate the well, so I decided to make it look like shingles were on the roof, by cutting slits down around 40 thin sheets of paper, and staggering the length of each of the ‘shingles’. The well alone took me 4 hours to make, but I am thrilled with the overall outcome.

Step 2: Cauldron

The cauldron was actually one of the easiest objects to create, and I used a plastic golf ball (you can also use a ping pong ball), wrapped in paper mache pages of the text. I added three feet on the base in hot glue before I coated the cauldron in paper mache, and that little extra detail really added some extra detail to the piece. I knew that this was going to be in front of the castle so I intentionally left out some extra details like a witch hat and a broom stick, because it didn't want it to distract from the busy view behind it.

Step 3: Bridge

The bridge was constructed from 5 pieces of cardstock-backed pages of text, all glued together. There is an awesome picture above, which perfectly shows the sort of ‘cutlist’ that I used to actually construct the bridge, that I won’t be able to parallel with words, so if you are interested, definitely check that out. I wanted it to bridge the gap between the one side of the diorama and the other, and provide some visual interest in the middle of the scene, to make it not seem like the split in the text was just a void.

Step 4: Forest

The forest took me hours and hours of late nights to complete, and was extremely difficult to do. I first took 7 pieces of wire, attached them to the chuck of a drill, and twisted them up halfway. I then kept peeling out branches and kept twisting the trunk up, until I was all out of wire, from then I shaped the tree, and cut the wire branches to length. After that, I covered them in thin strips of paper mache text, until I couldn’t see any armature wire underneath. I then allowed then ample time to dry, and fixed them to the diorama.

Step 5: Owl

The owl I first sculpted out of air dry clay, then wrapped in paper mache strips of Macbeth. I cut out a face, wings, feet, and a tail, and attached all of those to the owl using Mod Podge. I then glued a thin strand of black thread to the back of the bird, so that it could swing above the castle for the picture. Alternately you could find a thin but sturdy piece of wire, and mount it to the book above the forest.

Step 6: Castle

The last thing I made was the castle, which I wanted to be the focus of the diorama. I created it by wrapping cardboard tubes with the text, cutting them to height, and placing them where I wanted. I made the tubes in the back thinner and taller and the towers in the front shorter and thicker to take advantage of forced perspective. By doing this, the viewer’s perspective is mislead by altering the scale, resulting in a much larger perceived object, and a much more visually appealing castle. I then rolled the text into cones for the roofs, and cut out walls as well. I made front gates on the wall in the middle of the castle, and added windows all along the towers, decreasing in size as the towers got thinner and taller. In the end I was very happy with how the castle turned out, and really like how forced perspective was used to make it seem larger.

Step 7: Final Thoughts

Overall, I am incredibly happy with how it turned out, and really hope I can do another someday. The materials were insanely inexpensive (being just paper), so anyone should be able to do this. It was so difficult to complete, especially with a deadline for school, but I really couldn’t be happier with the final product.

If you like this project, please vote for me in the contests this is submitted into, and also check out my other Instructables!

Thank you,

Papercraft Contest 2017

Grand Prize in the
Papercraft Contest 2017