“Adventure is Out There!” Diorama – Inspired by “Up” | Level 3

Put on those flight goggles because we’re flying up, up, and away with this project! This diorama is inspired by Mr. Fredrickson’s house in Pixar’s “Up”. It’s a perfect decoration for a bookshelf; a place where you can find a multitude of adventures!

This DIY uses Balsa Wood. I’ve named each piece that reflects what they look like. All of these pieces are found in a pack that I’ve linked in the supplies list below. Here is what you’ll need:

Supplies List:Appx Cost:
4 Flat Long Boards 9 x 2.75 in$9 for the pack
2 Thick Boards 5 x 2.75 x 0.5 in
1 Rectangular Pillar 4 x 1 x 1 in
1 Flat Rectangular Piece 9 x 0.5 in
2 Thin Rectangular Pillars 5 x 1/4 x 3/16ths in
4 Small Flat Pieces 5 x 3/16ths x 1/8th in
Acrylic Paint–all the colors$10
*Total Approximate Cost of Supplies:$19
*Cost is approximated with coupons/sales and if you don’t already have all the supplies. You may have leftovers!
If the cost is $0, I’m assuming you already have these things.
Tools List:Appx Cost:
Craft Glue$2
Hobby Knife$5
Saw??
Paint Brushes- small detail ones and flat$6
Pencil$0
Colored Pencils$5
*Total Approximate Cost of Tools:$18
*Cost is approximated with coupons/sales and if you don’t already have all the supplies. You may have leftovers!
If the cost is $0, I’m assuming you already have these things.


Instructions

First, take two 9″ x 2.75″ Flat Long Boards and glue the long sides together–unless you have a large piece already! Let’s call this the Background Board.

Grab one 5″ x 2.75″ x 0.5 Thick Board, glue one long edge and fix it to the background board so that they are flush. Make sure it is centered. It should not span the length of the background board. This will be the Porch.

Spread glue on the back of another thick board and attach it to the background board to make the house front, perpendicular to the porch.

The background, porch, and house front are taking shape!

Grab a 4″ x 1″ x 1Rectangular Pillar and draw a line on the square edge from one corner to the other. Score it with a Hobby Knife and Saw thru the rest to create two triangular pillars–a.k.a. the Roof. Be sure to wear a mask as balsa wood dust is not good for you!

We want the roof to go to the edge and lay flush with the background board.

The Front Porch

Pick up two 5″ x 1/4″ x 3/16ths Thin Rectangular Pillars, measure, and cut them to the height needed to slide under the roof (appx 2.75″ long).

A 9″ x 0.5Flat Rectangle piece will be needed so measure how long your front porch area is (appx 2.75″ long). It should be a little more than half the length of the porch.

Windows!

For the bay window, measure three equal lengths from your third flat long board–mine is 1.25 inches–one for the front wall and two for the diagonal walls.

Cut the long flat board to that measurement (1.25 inches) lengthwise. Slice that piece into three. These are the same height as the porch pillars (2.75″).

Draw out where you want your windows to be and use the 5″ x 3/16ths” x 1/8th Small Flat Pieces to create the window casings. Each wall of the bay window gets one window and the front porch also gets a window.

Finishing up the Roof

Decide how high you want your gable and cut two pieces from a flat long board. I had to make a notch in one side to accommodate the other roof.

Use a flat long board to create the center of the gable. Cut out the triangle and glue in a window just like before, but a bit smaller.

Take a piece of scrap board and create a support to attach the front of the gable to the background board.

Glue everything down!

Complete the gable with a little trimming. Use the leftovers from your flat rectangle piece and slice out diagonals on the ends and score it in the middle. Glue it down as shown in the photo.

Extend the roof to the right side of the gable by using a piece of the triangular pillar and cutting it at an angle.

Use another piece of the triangular pillar to create a wedge to connect the other side of the gable with the roof on the left side. You’ll see in the next pictures to come. Unless you’ve cut your roof to fit the gable and not vice versa like me...

The dormer is pretty small compared to the gable. Add your window before cutting.

Take a bit of a flat long board and cut away the two top edges to create a triangle. Create a support that attaches it to the background board just like the gable front.

Cut out two triangles and two squares from a flat long board to create the sides and roof for the dormer.

Glue it down!

Final Pieces

Create a door frame just like the windows but without the bottom piece.

Add a chimney piece that is cut from a rectangular flat piece.

Use wood fill to fill in any unwanted gaps.

Paint

Start painting the house!

First, get the chimney and window reflections done, To get a sheen, dab a bit of white and rub it around with your finger. A little goes a long way!

Follow up with white for the casing and purple inside for the windows.

Pale pink for the porch area, yellow-green for the bay window.

Periwinkle for the siding behind the porch pillars.

Orange-yellow for the dormer.

Pale yellow for the gable.

The roof is dark blue and the trimming is blue-grey.

Use appropriate colored color pencils to draw on the details. The fish scale pattern is only found on the gable and on the roof where it alternates with a regular siding pattern.

Start your background with a light blue. Be careful around the house!

Add a few clouds and begin your balloons with opaque circles of many colors.

Keep layering circles. The upper layers should be semi-transparent. Some balloons should taper in towards the chimney.

Add dots of white to create shine to your balloons.

For greater shine, dot more white and use your finger to spread it around on each balloon. This is a very small amount of paint and you might want to mix in some water with it.

Use a black pen to add depth and edges to some balloons. Avoid drawing solid lines.

Draw thin black dashed lines connecting the balloons to the chimney. It doesn’t have to connect each balloon, just to get the general idea.

Use white paint or white gel pen to fill in some of the gaps of the black strings so it appears like the sun is hitting the strings.

You made it!

Congrats and thank you for following along with this project! You can definitely make this project your own, make it a different size, different materials. I love this house from “Up” so much. It’s so colorful and full of adventure! I wanted to make this to put next to my books. Adventure is out there in the world, but it’s also in pages as well!

Thanks if you made it all the way down here! While I’ve got you, please like and share this if it peaked your interest. Follow us on Instagram and Pinterest and please please please share with your Disney DIY loving friends and family. We’d really appreciate it!

All images on this website were taken by and belong to Main Street D.I.Y. If you wish to share an image, please give credit where credit is due! Send the people our way!

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