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Ace Your MLK Diorama Project With These Ideas

martin luther king mural with quote

Dioramas are a common assignment this year, especially for Martin Luther King Day, or to celebrate the civil rights movement. Feeling strapped for ideas on how to make a cool cardboard diorama? We’ve got good news and bad news.

Bad news first: you won’t find any diorama kits anymore. There aren’t really any pre-made kits these days, which means you’ll have to make your diorama from recycled materials and cardboard boxes you have lying around the home.

Good news: with a little creativity, your local party supply store can become your diorama supply store.

Diorama Materials

  • 1 Box
  • Stiff Construction Paper
  • Patriotic Stickers
  • 1 3D Structure
  • 1 MLK Cutout – 18″
  • Modeling Clay
  • Felt
  • Pipe Cleaners

Diorama Ideas

martin luther kingCover the bottom of your box in felt to create grass or a street. You can also use the felt to decorate the outer parts of the box, creating a diorama with a little texture.  Usually, a shoebox will do, but if you want to give yourself a little more space a gift box can provide some extra room.

Use the stiff construction paper to cut out the people. These can be simple stick figures. Use different colors to represent people of all colors walking and marching together.

Choose a 3D structure of some significance, like the National Monument where MLK made his speech, the White House, or any other monument that makes sense to you and your child. If you can’t find a 3D structure you can use more stiff construction paper. Cut out a picture of the monument from a magazine or print a copy from the Internet, paste it onto the paper, and stand it up inside your box. You can add the large pre-made MLK to the box to finish the effect.

Pipe cleaners will help you keep most of your structures upright, and can easily be glued down to the bottom of the box and to the back of your figures. The Mod Podge is nice here because it has a better hold than standard craft glue, and the one thing you need when making a diorama is a solid hold.

If you don’t like the construction paper method you can use 3D modeling clay to achieve the same effect.

Decorate the outside of your box with patriotic stickers, and you’re done!

Diorama Examples

Your diorama doesn’t need to be perfect for you to knock this assignment out of the park.

Here are a few examples:

Remember not to stress. You’re helping your child express themselves while exploring some of history’s most poignant and important moments. You’re not trying to make something that will go sit in the Smithsonian. Have a little bit of fun with it and enjoy the exercise!

Paper Plus carries all the supplies you’ll need for your diorama project…right down to the Mod Podge! Stop by and see us today at 1629 San Pablo Ave in Berkeley or call us at 510-525-1799.

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