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Pizza Box Diorama



First, the easy part. Buy pizza, eat pizza. You can get any size you want, the larger the pizza box, the larger the diorama and the more materials you'll need later to fill it. For this example, Snake-Eyes and Quick Kick will help demonstrate using a 'small' pizza box (xxxxx-large to them).


What you'll need

• Pizza box
• Masking or painter's tape
• Filler: Craft paper, newspaper, bubble wrap, etc.
• Sand
• Soft brush

• Rocks, stones, sticks
• Moss
• Backdrop



I recorded the video below to illustrate how to put one of these pizza box dioramas together from start to finish. For more detailed info, proceed on to the step-by-step instructional below.


Keep in mind...

These are just suggestions based on how I've constructed mine up to this point. Use your imagination and mix things up. Experiment with different materials and methods to create your own way of doing things that's unique to you.

Have fun!

In the end, it's all about having fun. That's why I do this, anyway. By experimenting and improving, I'm always finding new ways to challenge myself while enjoying my downtime building environments for my action figures. Having Snake-Eyes and Quick Kick around to help out doesn't hurt either.





Begin by flipping the box over and taping over any holes on the bottom of the main section (not the box lid). This area will hold any dirt or sand to be added later. Taping over the tiny holes and creases will minimize the amount of sand that seeps out and onto the surface of the table the box will sit on.




Once the bottom is taped up, flip the box back over and position it so that the lid of the box is closest to the camera. Pull out and cardboard pieces that are folded inward (see Snake-Eyes and Quick Kick).




Before moving further, you'll need to choose something for surface covering. Dirt, sand, etc. In this case I'm using some light-colored sand I purchased from a garden supply shop. It's inexpensive, comes in various colors, and replicates the sandy look from the old 80's G.I. Joe cross-sell catalogs.




Lay something down under the sand prior to pouring it in the pizza box to give your landscape some variation in shape. I like to use scraps of bubble wrap or craft paper, both can be easily molded into slight hill-like shapes. Pour the sand over the material of your choice slowly, covering as much as you can. The larger the box, the more sand you'll need.




After all your sand has been poured into the box, use a good-sized, soft brush to spread it smoothly across your landscape. Take your time and try to cover it evenly. It's okay if some portions of the base material is peaking out in spots, you can cover those up later.




Take a walk around your neighborhood and gather a few rocks of varying size and shape. Begin laying them in your diorama to achieve your desired result. Rocks are a great way to cover up those areas the sand couldn't get to. In areas where there's enough sand, gently work the rocks down by twisting them left and right to give them a more 'weighty' look.




Next, let's add some shrubbery. This super moss, which is painted organic moss, I purchased at the same garden shop I got the sand from. You can also get the fake modeling greenery of varying textures from train and hobby shops. Woodland Scenics is a a company that makes some quality greenery that I use often.




Break up your moss into small chunks in different sizes and carefully place them strategically between rocks and over any remaining spots that were't completely covered by rocks or sand. Also make sure to cover up any visible areas of the cardboard pizza box 'side walls'. The amount you use is totally up to you and the look you're going for. Experiment. Have fun!




You're almost done! But before you can shoot photos, you need a backdrop. In this case, I had a small painting laying around which worked perfectly, especially when it's photographed a bit out of focus. Find something that works, you could even use a TV or computer display (as long as you minimize the surface glare from your light source). Once you've placed in a suitable backdrop, you're ready to shoot!

HI-FIVE, you did it!




If you don't have a painting or display to use for a backdrop, a good 'ol solid piece of colorful poster board can make for a fun one on the cheap. To get more bang for your buck, find some of the double-sided poster board, with a different color on either side of it. I picked this one up from Michael's, cyan blue on one side and purple on the other, for a measly $2.99.