Christmas Present Dioramas Up Close

Christmas present dioramas are more work than a simple bow but they’re also but more fun and way more interesting. You can make these holiday scenes to match the person you’re giving the gift to.


Yup!  It’s a surprise Tuesday post.   I wanted to give you a close up view of the Christmas wrapping I did this year and if I didn’t do it on a Tuesday (instead of when I regularly post on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) I wasn’t going to be able to fit it in before Christmas.  If you read my post on Diorama Present Toppers a few weeks ago you know that I topped all of my presents with little winter scenes.  I only had a couple of them done at the time so I wanted show you how they all turned out, and how I got the look.



This is Betty’s present.  A skating rink and bench.  The figure skates are an ode to her Christmases past.   The snow on this present and on all the other presents is just regular spray snow that’s been allowed to dry.  The pond is hot glue.



I made the skates out of high rubber boots that were on a Bratz doll from Dollarama.  I just cut them off, painted them white and hot glued on some bent wire for skate blades.




The bench is a section from a miniature white picket fence from Dollarama.  I broke it apart and glued it back together in the form of a bench.  The fence also came with a tiny Christmas tree which I used on another present.



This is one of the original Diorama present toppers you saw earlier in the month.  The skis are made from popsicle sticks and I made the boot imprints in the snow with a potato stamp I carved.



Not all of the presents are entire scenes.  Some of them just feature a simple tree.  If you’re looking to make diorama present toppers but don’t want to spend all the time it takes to make skates (like a lunatic) then just adding a tree instead of a bow has almost as much impact.



But of course, it has a little more impact if you add in a truck with hay bale in the back.  The most important things with these dioramas are the little details. Like running the truck through the snow as soon as you spray snow it so you get tracks.  Without the tracks in the snow this present topper is good. WITH the tracks it’s enough to make a Restoration Hardware stylist spit carefully curated antique square head nails with jealousy.




Another one of the original present toppers I showed you a few weeks ago.  A black road with silver sparkles embedded into it.  On top of the car is the little tree that came with the picket fence.



This might be my favourite.  It’s a snowy scene with a flatbed truck making its way down a winding, snow plowed road to deliver a Christmas tree to a homestead. Complete with red mailbox.




This car was originally a firetruck, but having a firetruck racing towards a house at Christmas seemed like a slightly bad omen so I broke off the back of the firetruck with a pair of pliers, which resulted in a little flatbed.

I’ve never had so much fun wrapping Christmas presents in all my life.  Ever.

I feel myself filling with rage every time I think of someone opening them, so that might be a problem.  Other than that, I suspect it’s going to be a happy, happy holiday.


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Christmas Present Dioramas Up Close


  1. Beth W says:

    I would LOVE to do these for my family, but am super afraid that my Mum will insist on keeping every single one of them intact. She’s not a hoarder, per se… but an “emotionalist”, and I fear the look of sadness on her face when I tear them from her hands while cleaning up on Christmas day.

    • Mary Werner says:

      Now I have a very good reason to save all that “stuff” – I’m not a hoarder, I’m an emotionalist. Love it
      . It’s like saying I’m not fat, just 5 inches to short.

  2. Su says:

    Cute. Imaginative. Creative. Adorable…. love them all :)

  3. Bronwyn says:

    ” it’s enough to make a Restoration Hardware stylist spit carefully curated antique square head nails with jealousy”. LOL

    • Heather says:

      OMG…I died at that comment. Where do you come up with that?

      Opened my email…new post?!?! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE tell me I slept through Tuesday and it is now Wednesday because I couldn’t live through a second Monday. Bonus post! YAY! Merry Christmas to me.

  4. Michele preece says:

    Fantastic but you must have the best behaved cats on the planet! or are they not allowed near the presents and tree.

    • Karen says:

      I think they’re just old enough not to care, lol. Their activities run more along the lines of lying on top of the heating vents and staring calmly as mice run past them. ~ karen

  5. Merrilee says:

    Is it wrong I think the ability to spit those antique nails would be a great superpower? I really love the old horseshoe nails. So I could have a horseshoe on my costume. Or simply RH. Now that would make an obscure Halloween costume. But I digress. Love these! And can’t wait to hear how you coach your fam through the opening process! Betty’s gonna love those skates.

  6. Grammy says:

    You call it lunacy to make skates like that? This is your mother’s gift. That makes you the best daughter in the world. I’m sure Betty is so happy that her daughter is a lunatic! Really.

    What creative and fun scenes you created. I have a sister who does that kind of thing (her name is Betty, after our mother) and I admire people who take the time and have the talent to do so. She is fairly nuts, though, in a good kind of way…

  7. Maria says:

    Ok. This is THE best post I’ve EVER seen anywhere, anytime! Just absolutely adore this. You are a genius woman! Oh, at this: “I feel myself filling with rage every time I think of someone opening them, so that might be a problem.” I literally laughed out loud. I only have the idea of making these and I’m filling with rage at the thought . Genius. Furkin’ genius…

  8. Bonnie G. says:

    Merry Christmas Karen! Love, love, love them…you are so inventive with your creations. How could any recipient not appreciate and thoroughly enjoy them? Over the top special!!!

  9. Barbara Cummins says:

    Hi Karen, Why don’t you get some of those cheap coupon paper cutter thingies and have people open their gifts by cutting around the top of the boxes. Then they can keep the little scenes on a tray or even a piece of cardboard. I could never tear into one of those cute scenes! Barb

  10. Suzanne says:

    I wondered how you would feel when someone opened your AMAZINGLY decorated gifts. Now I know and completely understand. Atleast you took beautiful photos of them to commemorate their fleeting beauty. Also take a Xanax with some wine just before your guests start opening presents and you won’t care anymore… You might also not be conscious… So try not to snore.

  11. Mumo3kids says:

    I love them all, but the thing I was most excited about?? A post on a Tuesday!!!! Merry Christmas Karen x

  12. SeaDee says:

    Girl…you so crazy. Love it!

  13. Rachel San Diego says:

    Great job, Karen… they are adorable and creative! :)

    I snickered at the Restoration Hardware line- so true!

  14. Judi wigren says:

    Tres chic, clever and inspiring. The car with tracks is my fav. Love the texture of the “snow”. Next time do them on lift off lids so you can re use the dioramas. Like the kind in tv sitcoms. No wrapping to rip, just voila! Lift off the box top. Why didn’t YOU think of that?
    Love your cheeky comments. You’re one funny lady.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Judi! I’ve actually done that before. The “soap opera box”. And it’s a huge pain to do to get it to look good. I’m not sure why, it just is, lol. So … I’ve opted out of them for this lifetime. :) ~ karen!

      • Tigersmom says:

        Haha! I thought I was the only one who called it the “soap opera box” and they are a huge pain in the ass.

  15. Melanie says:

    This morning I stood in Dollarama and stared at the little trees, thinking Could I? Should I?
    Then I remembered that I still have gingerbread houses to finish and chocolates to dip, and that I should probably dust the kid’s room before I pick him up from the airport, so he doesn’t know that I haven’t done it even once this semester…

    So I didn’t. But, I’m really glad you did. They look amazing!

  16. Lynn says:

    Wow and Wow again Karen you have such a great imagination. An you do such a great job it blows my mind in a good way :) . The hay bale in the back just made me laugh. I would cry to see them hurt in anyway after all the work that went into making them.

  17. Holly says:

    So cool. It IS all in the details (imagination). I’m a lunatic too in some ways and derive the most satisfaction from doing stuff nobody else would do. I like tedious stuff when I know what the outcome will be. I customized some ornaments that are shown in the garland mantel from a couple posts ago. Bought those tiny little sand-like beads from Michaels that get everywhere no matter how careful you are and researched best glue to use and made plain old ornaments into very special pieces with stars, etc. One even had swarovski crystals. By the 4th one, I was done. lol. But I could handle a couple every year I guess. Take pics of people’s faces when they see the gift and that will help with the pain of seeing all that fantastic work (fun) pulled apart. I guarantee not one person will rip into them. They will want to preserve. Thanks for the extra post and all you do!

  18. Jane says:

    Super cute and very clever use of all the stuff from Dollarama!!

  19. Edith says:

    Hi Karen!

    Cool, very very cool!

  20. Susan Hollier says:

    I don’t think I could handle the pressure of making the contents of these gifts surpass the wrapping. Those are the most spectacularly wrapped gifts in the history of wrapped gifts.

  21. Bobbi says:

    Honestly, I am in awe of your imagination. Well done.

  22. maggie van sickle says:


  23. Joy says:

    I love the truck with the hay bale! My 1 Yo son would love it, too…But the scene would be shredded within 30 seconds of putting it under the tree (I don’t even have my regularly wrapped presents under the tree yet). It’s like men are naturally wired to be destructive and mischievous. Your presents are beautiful and inspiring. I think I’d probably frame mine in A shadow box.

  24. Shirley says:

    I have collected and displayed D56 Dickens’ Village houses and accessories forever, so you are preaching to the choir, Karen! There really is something magical about these miniature scenes!

  25. Paula says:

    So very creative! Thanks for sharing.

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