Halloween Craft.
Pumpkin Diorama

Last year a magazine, I can’t even remember which one, emailed me to ask me what I would do with a “Funkin” (fake foam pumpkin). They were getting ready for their next year’s Halloween issue and wanted ideas from bloggers. I immediately said if they were hollow inside, I would do a Diorama.

I never heard from them again.

I couldn’t get the thought out of my head, so I have for you THIS year’s Halloween craft.



Pumpkin Diorama 3



I know. It’s great. I tried to be humble about my pumpkin diorama but I just couldn’t. I love it with all of my heart and the first knuckle of my baby toe.



Pumpkin Diorama 1


The absolute BEST part about it is you can do ANYTHING.  Scary, cute, childlike, eerie.






You can be as detailed as you want.  I went so far as to fray the rope on the noose, put dirt on the ground and use battery operated mini lights to light up the skulls.


Pumpkin Diorama 2


To create your own Pumpkin diorama there are only a few tips you need …





A few more tips to make things easier for you …

1.  Cut a piece of cardboard and cover it with fake grass (purchased from Dollarama in craft section) and put it in the base of the pumpkin.  This makes a flat, level surface to stand things on. You could also use scrap fabric, carpet or dirt instead of grass.

2.  Put everything where you want it, and then hot glue it in place. Fiddle with things,  move them, adjust them.

3.  Make a creepy tree by hot gluing sticks together.

4.  When looking for stuff to put inside be creative.  The cat sitting on the skull is from inside a glass Halloween snowglobe from Dollarama.  I bought it, took it home, smashed the glass and took the cat out.

5.  If you’re going for realism, be careful about your proportions.  You don’t want a cat that’s bigger than your skeleton.  Or maybe you do.

6. Let your props guide you.  I discovered the tiny skulls I had (bought from Dollarama)  had holes in the back of them that were just big enough to fit a mini light in.  So I abandoned my original idea of using the mini lights as stars, and used them in the skulls and around the inside of the pumpkin instead.

7. If you use a string of mini lights, just tack them to the inside of the pumpkin with thumbtacks. Be careful not to pierce the wires. Dumb, dumb.

Cost Breakdown

Foam Pumpkin – $15, Michaels (reduced by half from $30)

Cardboard base – free

Grass – $1, Dollarama

Skeletons – $2, Dollarama

Fence –  $4.49, Michaels (reduced by 40% from $7.49)

Cat – $2, Dollarama (broken out of snow globe)

Tree – free

Bat – 50¢

String for noose – free

Crow on top of pumpkin – $2

Battery Operated Lights – $3

Total Cost – $30


A lot of the things I used to build the Die-orama I already owned so it didn’t actually cost me $30.  I already had the bat, the lights, the grass and the crow.  But if you were to duplicate mine exactly and owned none of the materials it would cost you $30 provided you  have string, cardboard, twigs and your handy Michaels coupons.

I’m so happy with how it turned out I’m putting this on  my front porch in place of a pumpkin this year.  So if you factor in that fact, it’s actually saving me $10 or so because I don’t have to buy a pumpkin.  Add in the fact that I fully expect people to be throwing money at me for having the pleasure of being able to look at my Die-orama I may end up actually making a few bucks.

Take that unknown magazine.

Wanna see a Behind the Scenes shot?  It’s fairly pedestrian.  Just a shot the fella took of me while I was working on my Die-Orama at the dining room table in the middle of the night.  But I do reveal a small, stupid, equally pedestrian secret.


→Follow me on Instagram where I often make a fool of myself←


Halloween Craft.<br data-lazy-src=


  1. HA! Apparently!….or learn how to multi-task a little better!! LOL I’ve been trying to think of all the different ways to decorate a pumpkin like this…….I LOVE the graveyard so much I want lots more!!

  2. stefani says:

    I love the teeny little bones. I could do one of the Donner party for winter. I always wanted to do a Donner party snow globe but a diorama would be good too.

    • Karen says:

      Had to look up what the Donner party was (Canadian and all). Yup. You HAVE to do a Donner party snow globe or diorama! ~ karen

  3. Mary says:

    Karen how did you cut the foam pumpkin??

  4. Terri says:

    You said you already had your lights, but posted them as being $3 — where did you find them and are they black lights or just purple?

    PS: WONDERFUL job!!

  5. Lindsey says:

    This is so great! I absolutely love it, and made a pin on Pinterest so I’d remember it for Halloween this year. I did, and made my own! Enjoy: http://lindseyedits.blogspot.com/2013/10/pumpkin-die-o-rama.html

  6. Carole says:

    You have a right to be proud. That is seriously too cool for words!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you ma’am. I’m already getting a bit nervous about topping it next Halloween. Heh. No idea why I put the “heh” in there. ~ karen!

  7. Elllareki says:

    Wow! I’ve just seen this pumpkin over at Poppytalk and it’s brilliant so I had to follow the links here. So pleased to have discovered your site :)

  8. carla says:

    This is sooo cool! I love it! And I am a big believer in Dollarama as a craft supply store!

  9. Leslie says:

    That is really. freaking. awesome.

    I wish I was that talented!

    I think you should attempt a Christmas diorama when the season comes…

  10. Erica says:

    You are so good at what you do…..wow, that looks incredible!!! My nine year old son stared in amazement….so cool! So clever! Cheers, E

  11. Nicola says:

    Love, love, LOVE it!

  12. candace says:

    The frayed noose was a nice touch! You are super.

  13. Barbie says:

    Wonderful Idea! I’am going to make my own version of this! My son has a pumpkin contest at his school each year that he LOVES and is always looking for great ideas! (maybe I should say the “parents” have a contest) LOL!!! I will take a picture of ours and send it to you!

  14. dana gault says:

    I am not easily impressed. I’m basically all “meh” about what I see in the blogosphere. However, I have always loved your blog (decidedly not meh) in fact, your die-o-rama is the BEST thing I have ever seen in the Halloween craft idea department!!! Almost as scary as photoshopped eye makeup!

  15. sera says:

    I love it! Every year on the Saturday post of Thanksgiving (US) I go to a diorama party. You have to bring a diorama in order to enter and there is a big unveiling at midnight. It’s tons of fun and so many people get really into it!

  16. Karol says:

    Faaaaaabulous dahling! This was my year for shadow box decorations, and now I’m inspired to do a pumpkin die-o-rama

  17. Reg says:

    Fabulous. Looks great lit up and unlit.

  18. Alex says:

    Karen that is seriously kick ass! I know my kids would absolutely love that if they saw that on your/someone’s porch. I’m so pinning that.

  19. Kate S. says:

    You have the best ideas. Seriously. I’m totally inspired to take your idea and put my own spin on it now. Off to find foam pumpkins…

  20. Annie Kip says:

    Awesome, Karen! Really creative and new! Martha will be jealous!

  21. Robbin says:

    I L-O-V-E this! I am going to make this with my son and put it on my porch. It will be a nice addition to our spooky but fun decor!

    Thanks for the great inspiration!

  22. Wendy says:

    Love this! Just pinned it and am off to suggest it to Craftzine.

    • Melissa says:

      Wendy, I have you on my RSS feed… and now, I see that you are a fan of Karen’s. I like random connections – and thought I would share :D (And I love those sweet paintings you’ve done from books). Super lovely and so well rendered.)

  23. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    WOW!!! Way better than any of Martha’s ideas..I will be on a search to find the stuff to make one..I would send a picture of it to that magazine that passed your suggestion up..It is obvious that they don’t know what our Karen is capable of!!..Also that’s cool how you can put your makeup on with the Photoshop..

  24. Brenda J. M says:

    Very Ghoul!

  25. Maureen says:

    Brag away, because this is really impressive!

  26. This looks amazing!!! I love the details and your creativity. I’m still trying to come up with a costume :(

  27. FLP says:

    So much better than the chocolate diorama that the kid in the Simpson’s ate. Eerie.

  28. marilyn says:


  29. Deb J. says:

    That is awesome! I have NEVER had any success with dioramas. ALWAYS get the proportions wrong. I think I am too impatient to wait for the right stuff. However I may need a fake pumpkin this year. I bought pumpkins to use for my Thanksgiving front step, figuring I would just keep them until Hallowe’en. NOT. Something – probably a squirrel – is having a REALLY good time eating the biggest one. Started with a few chews around the stem, then a small hole, then the whole top caved in. The critter must have been going right down inside the pumpkin to get the seeds ‘cos the inside is almost clean. It’s pretty funny if a bit messy. Curious to see if it eats the whole thing:)

    • Janet says:

      Squirrel with a noose around it’s neck…now there’s an idea for your diorama…Just don’t tell the Humane to Animals people. “Oh but,I’m sure the poor little guy must have fallen through the hole it knawed in the pumpkin and just happened to slip right into that nasty ‘just for decorations’ noose.”

  30. Janet says:


  31. Mary says:

    Love it!

  32. celia says:

    Cool idea!!! Heading to Dollarama today!

  33. Agnes says:

    I would definitely make a mini pumpkin patch inside the fun-kin. Have you seen these hilarious fanged pumpkins from Martha? http://www.marthastewart.com/852771/fanged-pumpkins

  34. SuzyMcQ says:

    Those magazine people made a BIG mistake not calling you back!
    This is wonderful and far more creative than the plethora of painted, carved and stacked pumpkins everywhere! Fantastic!

  35. Michelle says:

    This is really DIEnomite! Great job!

  36. Gina says:

    You’re Awesome.

  37. Sherry (BTLover2) says:

    Brilliant! Is there anything you can’t do?

  38. ev says:

    Well done Karen! Very nice indeed. Where did you get the fence? If you made it–a tutorial please! I will be traveling to my daughter’s place tonight to do some grandparenting. Hers and mine favorite holiday is guess what? Halloween, and yes, we like thunderstorms too. We are an incarnation of the Addams Family! Can’t wait to show her this. Thanks Karen!

  39. Melissa says:

    This is such a great idea! Once my coffee hits me, I think my brain will be firing off design ideas for inside the pumpkin.

  40. Karen says:

    This is freakin awesome! One of the best ideas I’ve seen so far! Cheers.

  41. Laura Bee says:

    Freakin’ awesome! Who the heck does dioramas still? I loved dioramas when I was a kid…might try my hand at it again.

  42. Great tip on keeping everything in proportion. I think that’s where I go wrong when I try anything like this.

  43. Sam says:

    Nice! I usually snub my nose at those fake” pumpkins (I can’t stand the “mold line that’s a dead fake give-away)… But you worked a morbid miracle with a big fake pumpkin! Awesome job, eyeliner or not, and good to know you find sleep optional when you have cool *#;# to build :)… You can sleep when you’re dead… Woooo haaaa haaaa!

  44. Spokangela says:

    This is awesome :) Is that the cat’s shadow in the background? Did you do that on purpose? HOW did you do that? I am making one of these for sure. Nice work lady!

  45. Elle says:

    Definitely a to-Die-for-Orama!
    I would through a coin or two at your porch if I was passing by and seeing this!

  46. carey says:

    i love this better than the first AND second knuckles of your baby toe! damn, girl! and how i wish for a dollarama in my neighborhood too. yup, very jelly of your skelly!

  47. Raymonde says:

    I’m soooo going to make one! I think I’ll add a tombstone or two, everything’s better with tombstones!!!

    • Karen says:

      Raymonde – They’re hard to see but I made tiny gravemarkers (crosses) by tying small twigs together w/ string. Real tombstones w/ be good too. WEll … not real ones but … you know … ~ k

  48. Jo-Anna says:

    Awesome! Totally Halloweeny awesome! Take that unknown magazine! ;)

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