Introduction: Tropical Rainforest Ecosystem Diorama

Hello! Today I will be showing you how to make a Tropical Rainforest ecosystem diorama. It looks hard to make but it is fairly simple. Hope you have fun learning!

Step 1: Materials

20x30 inch foam board

15x21 inch sky blue Bristol board (can be bigger)

Cardboard box (optional)

Green acrylic paint (similar to grass colour)

Sky blue glitter glue

Blue food colouring

Orange acrylic paint

Brown acrylic paint

Black acrylic paint

Teal acrylic paint

Paint brush

Glue gun with glue stick

Craft glue stick


Small box (I'm using a 3x2 inch box)


Wood dowels (I'm using 6x0.4 inch dowels)

BBQ skewers or tooth pick

Empty ice cream plastic container



Plant branches

Butterfly wood cutouts

Assorted insect stickers

Animal stickers

Animal figures (frog, jaguar, spider monkey, caterpillar, and ladybug)



Fake flower plants


White fondant

Gummy worms (different sizes)

Frog candy

Flower candy

Small twizzlers

Blue sugar

Rock candies

Step 2: Folding the Foam Board

Take the foam board, fold it in half at the 15 inch mark. This makes a 90 degree angle.

Step 3: Sticking Bristol Board to Foam

Take the sky blue Bristol board, cut it out to fit the vertical side of the foam board, and then hot glue it onto the foam board's top side.

Step 4: Painting Foam Board

Use the green paint to paint the bottom of the foam board.

Step 5: Outlining of Pond

Add in the big rocks and soil to form a circle for a pond. After that, add the small candy rocks on top of the soil.

Step 6: Trees/leaves

Stick the leaves using hot glue or tape onto the back of the board. Paint 2 wooden dowels brown for the tree trunks. Then tape the real leaves onto the dowels. To stick then onto the foam board you can hot glue the bottom of the dowel and stick it on. Place one tree at the front of the board and one at the back.

Step 7: Moss

Take the moss and spread it around everywhere on the foam board except inside the pond.

Step 8: Making the Pond

Take some fondant, knead it with a little bit of sugar to prevent stickiness. Then shape it to fit the pond. Next paint the fondant with a teal colour (I mixed sky blue, green, and white to make the teal paint). Place the fondant inside of the circle that was made out of soil and rocks. Lastly, sprinkle some blue sugar on top of the pond.

Step 9: Making the Logs

Take two twizzler blocks and a toothpick to connect them. When the twizzler blocks are connected, paint them brown and set them to dry. After they are dried, place them on top of the moss. (I made 2 logs)

Step 10: Making the Ledge for the Waterfall

To make the waterfall ledge, take the small box and paint it brown. When it is done drying, hot glue the box and position it where you would like the waterfall to come out.

Step 11: Adding the Animals

Paint three butterfly cutouts with different colours. One orange, one blue, and one green and draw/paint black outlines. Then take all the animal stickers, figures, and candies and place them on the board.

Step 12: Waterfall

Take the ice cream container and cut around the whole container. The cut out piece should be rectangle in shape. This is used to support the fondant for the waterfall. Then take the fondant and add blue food colouring to it. Then shape the fondant into thin long strips, you may need 4 to 5 strips. Add colour to all the strips. The strips should be the same size as the rectangle plastic cut out. Now take all the fondant and place it onto the cut out ice cream container.

Step 13: Tips

After I painted the bottom of the Bristol board using green acrylic paint, I realized that the board curved a little after the paint dried up. To avoid this, you can use a green Bristol board and stick it onto the foam board.

For the background to look more forest like you can draw trees, birds, etc.

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