How To Make A Circus Diorama and Decorations

4 Materials
1 Hour

I love the imagery around the vintage circus, all the wonderful colors, patterns and weird imagery. Such as elephants riding bicycles. I have a large collection of free vintage circus posters on my site. I thought it would be fun to take some of the images from these posters and use them to make some fun vintage circus-themed decorations.

I used a large rectangular tin can for this diorama, I think it originally had contained fish.

I also used some paper straws, cotton reel spools, bakers twine and stripy papers.

I drew around the tin can on stripy paper to make both a background for the diorama and a frame.

I also painted the tin can a cream color to match the frames.

There is a collection of vintage circus clip art to download and use for free for this craft. Just follow the link in my bio at the end of this post.

Decide what images you want to use and cut them out.

Stick a cut straw on the back of the cutout circus picture.

Then stick the other end of the straw to the back of the tin can.

Make some bunting by folding the patterned tape over bakers twine and then cutting it into triangles.

Finish the decoration by adding the frame and bunting to the front of the tin can. Stick the cotton reels on the bottom of the tin can.

I also made some simpler circus ornaments with other cotton reels.

If circuses aren't your things, there are lots of other vintage image collections on my site that would look great in a diorama or as ornaments.

I've made some cool vintage butterfly tin can ornaments before too (see here).

Suggested materials:
  • Old tin can
  • Photo paper
  • Paper straws
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Claire Armstrong
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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