This DIY winter diorama might just be the cutest thing I’ve ever made and it combines so many of my favorite things (it just needs a mini replica of Handy Hubby holding our two pups, balancing a piece of vintage turquoise Pyrex filled with chocolate on his head). Keep reading to find out why this homemade wintry decor makes Hubby and I laugh so much – and how you can make a personalized holiday cloche of your own!
If you’ve ever read Dans le Lakehouse before – even once! – you know that I live for the warmer months. All of my favorite hobbies (boating, sailing, canoeing, swimming, stand up paddle boarding, spray painting) – pretty much everything I love to do – requires a warm day and sunblock. We recently added “driving a fun car” to our summer repertoire and giving that up for the winter makes me pine for spring even more. I LOVE driving our Camaro. It makes the hour long commute into town so much fun, plus the reactions really make my day. Women in their 70s have yelled out of their car windows to tell me how awesome my car is and how much they wish they had one. Young kids in mustangs follow me to the gas station to chat horsepower. A cyclist stopped on the highway to give me a very enthusiastic thumbs up while other drivers honked. It’s bizarre – but hilarious, and meeting other car enthusiasts has been really fun too. We even teamed up with some of Hubby’s friends and really turned heads on some Sunday drives:
To help me hang on through the long winter, I decided to rely on my ONE hobby that doesn’t require a warm, sunny day: crafting! Inspired by Katie’s (Little House of Four) adorable thrifted snow globe, I made my own version using a bright green Camaro Hot Wheel as my centerpiece. It helps me remember that I just have to make it through 785 more snowstorms and then we can ride again! My DIY winter diorama turned out so cute but the best part is that Hubby helped. With a car involved, he was super invested and wandered around Michael’s with me to pick out supplies. It was actually his idea to add the little chunk of “ice” and he found the fake snow. Then he helped me assemble it and sent photos to his friends, who are probably all bugging their spouses to go to Michael’s now. We make a lot of stuff together, but this was especially sweet. The best part about buying the car is having another hobby we share.
The idea for turning a thrifted domed cheese plate into a DIY winter diorama is so clever because you can really customize it with anything fun and miniature and create your own winter scene. Here are the supplies I used and how I put it together – it’s super easy!
Supplies to Make a DIY Winter Diorama:
- Domed Cheese Platter (I thrifted mine for $3 and always see lots of them at the thrifts)
- Pale Blue Chalk Paint
- Bottle Brush Trees (these are what I used but these are even cuter)
- Mini Shimmer String Battering Operated Lights with Timer
- Fake Snow
- Large Chunk of Glass or Geode
- Toy Camaro (check the dollar stores, Michael’s, and thrift stores for cute miniatures)
If you need to buy each supply, this project can add up but the fake snow I bought would be enough for three winter scenes and if you buy a bag of bottle brush trees, it’s much cheaper per tree than buying individually, so my recommendation is to get a few friends together for a craft night to make this DIY winter decor project as budget-friendly as possible. Or check the buck stores and thrifts (or your kids’/grandkids’ toy boxes) for some inexpensive supplies.
I thrifted the glass domed cloche and gave the wood base a light sand and a few coats of Rust-Oleum’s chalked paint in Serenity Blue (leftover from the Fish Room makeover). I wanted the base to look like the lake, when it’s frozen over.
I already had the turquoise bottle brush trees (see this old post to learn how to bleach and dye them). I picked up the mini shimmer string lights from Michael’s with a coupon, but I’ve seen them at Lowe’s for less and on Amazon as well. Try to find a set with a built-in timer, so you don’t need to reach in and turn them on/off – it helps the batteries last longer too. The ones designed for mason jars have clear battery packs, which is much easier to hide than the black. I also bought a jar of fake snow but in my photo with the supplies, I included white wool rovings because that could work too and if you have it on hand from any needle felting projects, you can save some money. We impulse bought the huge chunk of glass because it glows so beautifully at night, but you can get creative and use anything in here – or just keep it simple with the trees. Lastly, I ordered my Camaro Hot Wheel from Amazon. Our full size version is a 2017 Camaro 1LE, and this is an SS, plus we have a wrapped hood and this has stripes, but they only make so many Hot Wheels, so I’m just pumped I found something so similar!
Assembling this DIY winter diorama was easy and I didn’t glue anything so that I could rework it in the future – and access the battery back with ease. I placed the battery back near the “back” of my cloche and turned it on at 5pm. It has a setting that is either on/off, or a timer which will run for 6 hours and turn off for 18, but you have to turn it on at the hour you’d like it to light up each day. With the light pack set, I wound the lights around the perimeter of the dome (within the glass) and secured with clear tape in a few places. I left the end lose, and placed it behind where the glass hunk would be, so it would be backlit. I sprinkled on snow to hide the battery pack and then set down the chunk of glass. I placed my trees around the scene, securing with a piece of clear tape underneath each tree and then carefully piled on more snow. I nestled in my Camaro and I was done! I carefully scooped any excess snow out of the track for the glass lid and set the glass dome in place. I can move this around without any trouble, even though it’s not glued together. If you’d like to affix everything with hot glue and use spray adhesive to secure the snow, you can do that as well – just make sure the battery pack remains accessible. This DIY winter diorama project is cute without the lights but with the lights, glowing softly from under the “snow,” it’s so, so pretty – especially at night. I highly recommend adding the little shimmer lights.
I’d love to hear your ideas for what you would put inside your own DIY winter diorama – bonus points if you now want to make a Camaro Cloche too.