Whether you are building a desert diorama because you want an egyptian theme with pyramids and other things or you are building a diorama because you are doing battle scenes from WW I or WW II these techniques will work well for you. The desert is still the same for both!
If you want a full tutorial from start to finish on how to make a diorama with this kind of theme you should check out my egyptian diorama. But if you are familiar with diorama making techniques I have the desert details here.
White Sand For the most realistic look you can use actual sand. It is available online at amazon.com and at just about every arts and crafts store.
How to attach the sand to your diorama
You are going to put an even coat of sand on the whole diorama but it won't be perfect. You should first paint the surface a sand color. This will cover up any inconsistencies in the sand. Use a paint that is about the same color as the sand you are using but it isn't very critical.
Once the paint has dried you mix white glue with an equal portion of water. This is in the little metal cup I am using. Then just brush it onto the diorama. Once you have an even coat then you just sprinkle the sand onto it. Get a nice even coat.
An excellent desert detail is small tufts of yellowish grass. You can buy this grass from woodland scenics or you can improvise something like cutting the bristles off a paintbrush. You bunch them together like in the picture, put a dab of glue on the terrain then stick the bunch right into the dab of glue.
Desert Diorama products and supplies
Scene-A-Rama Desert Oasis Diorama Kit
Use this kit to create a flat, sand surface for your diorama. It includes everything you need and is great for making prehistoric habitats, shorelines, wastelands, beaches, missions or desert projects where sand is your main focus.
Scene-A-Rama Desert Plants
Use this kit to add realistic-looking cacti, grasses, tumbleweed, short and tall grasses, weeds, scrub brush, ivy, vines and desert flora on any diorama or display.
Safari LTD Desert Toob
- Each figure is professionally sculpted and finely hand painted
- Excellent "carry-along" for any excursion since the figures are neatly packed in a reusable acetate tube
- Products are phthalate-free and thoroughly safety tested to safeguard your child's health
- Featured is our desert toob, replica size: 1.5" to 3" (4 to 7.5 cm)
- Includes explorer, horned lizard, saguaro cactus, road runner, scorpion and rattle snake
- Also includes coyote, big horn ram, bobcat, armadillo, mountain lion and prairie dog
SCENE-A-RAMA DESERT SAND
Use Desert Sand to create desert or arid climates, beaches or shorelines, or as a neat, flat surface for a display.
Other Tutorials for your Desert Diorama
Sculpt a Miniature Sphinx : How to sculpt a miniature sphinx. This is part of an Egyptian Diorama I am making.
Make an Origami Pyramid If there are pyramids on your diorama here is a quick way to fold them out of paper. Neat little project that is easy to make. I have lots of other origami projects too. . Make an origami pyramid
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