How to Make a Wigwam Diorama

A wigwam was the transient home of woodland Indians. A diorama is a small-scale replica of a scene. A wigwam diorama is a replica of a wigwam that is made of natural materials, similar to those used by woodland Indians. The woodland Indians built wigwams out of mud, sticks, water and animal skins for shelter during a hunting exposition, then left it when they moved on to the next place. You can easily make a wigwam diorama with supplies you already have at home. In place of the animal skins, use brown paper or felt.

Turn one mixing bowl upside down and cover it with cling film.

Mix dirt, flour and water in the second bowl to make a thick mud mixture. Add some small twigs and pebbles to the mixture.

Cover the surface of the plastic-wrapped mixing bowl with the mud mixture. Coat it evenly all over. Make a hole at the top for smoke to escape (you won’t have a fire inside, but the smoke hole was a necessity for the woodland Indians). Cut out an entrance at the base of the bowl-shaped hut. The door should be about one-fourth the size of the wigwam in height.

Cut the brown paper or felt into shapes that represent animal skins.

Dip the brown paper shapes into water and place them over the mud. Use your fingers to smooth down the edges. If you are using felt instead of paper, follow the same process, but press the felt carefully into the mud mixture. You will need to dip your fingers in water to smooth out the edges of the felt.

Wait one or two days until the mud has dried. Tap it gently to make sure the mud is completely dried.

Lift the wigwam off the mixing bowl. Trim any excess cling film from the edges. Carefully place the wigwam on a solid surface.

Add figurines and foliage to create an authentic surrounding environment to your wigwam diorama.

Things You'll Need

  • Two mixing bowls
  • Cling film
  • Dirt
  • Flour
  • Water
  • Small twigs
  • Small pebbles
  • Brown paper or brown felt
  • Scissors
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About the Author

River Lin is an independent writer and consultant. With a Master's degree in teaching English as a second language from Ball State University. She lived in Japan for 15 years teaching and editing. Now based in the US, she works for a variety of clients. Published work can be found in print and online at various websites and