DIY Diorama: Outdoor Pumpkin Farm

Weather is terribly unpredictable in Chicagoland, so I seldom venture outdoors with my dolls. Earlier I posted a day at the Pumpkin Farm. Here's ideas of how it was cobbled together.


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Here is a context view of the setup on my huge banquet table in the middle of my craft room. I like to take photos at doll's eye view, so working in the middle of the room gives me great light and flexibility.



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Don't laugh this is my Chicago sky-scape upside down. I don't have tree prints or on tree painted foam core, (yet) 
so I just flipped this two foam core board upside down to give me a tree background. The lower part will be blocked with buildings and walls.

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I gathered items I already had---and grouped them..here, just to show you---it's really this and that.


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Next I did need a building. 
This is a bare bones exterior shot of a 2005 Mattel Totally Real Fold Out House -I purchased for $4.99 at a thrift store and have used for so many projects. I added some cute Fall prints to the walls I picked up at Goodwill. I bought 4 of these in different subjects. The Fall mini book covers Thanksgiving too. They are vintage prints, so cute.

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The Fall one covered Thanksgiving too. They are vintage prints, so cute. I use double stick tape, poster foam stickums, or painter's tape to adhere everything. They were only 50 cents each---so saves me computer time and printer ink. 


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I did keep this box background from a toy farm the Grand received. I mask the seams with foliage, very casually these are basically tossed on the 'ground'. The little scarecrow was a pick in a plant I received for hosting Thanksgiving. I purchase small stems of smaller scaled florals on 70-90% off. Slowly you can acquire a collection for your dolls.

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The dirt itself is heavier backside brown to this red lacquered scrapbook paper. Taped together these four pieces worked great for dirt. I used the painter's tape so I can reuse the paper. The red side photographs well, might have to use that for something.



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The garden center for the scene was this basic oak shelf and some mini pots. The walls are bamboo placemats, as is the 'decking' for the store area. I had made some cactus arrangements. They are so big now here in Chicago for the millennial that forget to water plants...lol.



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Here's a few other pieces I used, all bought at thrift stores or at least 60% off. The fencing and arbor are for fairy gardens. Too small for Barbies, but great for setting the mood in photos.
The wagon is ceramic, probably held salt and peppers-50cents.

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Bamboo mats are light weight, you can easily pin or tape these in place.  The trellis...


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is a base frame for some grass plants. I bought my greens last year at the end of summer. These mounted greens are super  for cutting apart into rows (hedges) or to fit in containers.


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I picked all these containers up for 20-some cents a piece at end of the summer season. 


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The galvanized tub and buckets, scream Farm and Country. The bird feeder was from clearance Fairy Gardens.
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Here, I show how a trimmed grass is placed in the tub with just friction holding it. Setting it just so I added pumpkins to this tub.



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More accessories I picked up over the years. The vegetable basket was a magnet, the seed boxes were end of the season Fairy Garden items. I've had the sunflowers forever(millinery florals)...small succulents are so in right now and they had the orange/peach centers so worked well.


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Greens cut to fill the tote.


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Dollar store branches with fuzzy stuff (messy) but give the illusion of bushes/trees. 
I splurged and bought four. I'm trying not to chop them up.


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Balancing colors of plants/flowers and containers to give a Fall themes. I masked the edge with a 'tree' here is the finished garden center.


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Over to the side is the checkout window with a quick wood piece for a desk and money of course. A sign above says Check-Out and prices for the 'pumpkins' (Chicago prices, lol).


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But we are here for the Pumpkins, right? 
I did purchase a velvet pumpkin stem last year at 80% off. 
Sometimes the best stuff is left at the end. 
Added to mini gourds and natural looking pumpkins, 
they just look luscious. And they were the right size. 
I wove a small scale leaf garland and some ivy bits for vines.
The wagon is rustic and filled with some green moss, perfect for showing off orange pumpkins, or a doll.

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After the corn maze(sign only) maybe next year---the doll's have to have Farm munchies.
More details: the bag of apples was a vintage magnet (I got a huge bag full of food magnets for $3.99) and I have used about half for the dolls and the rest for the Grand's kitchen (magnets removed).
The bowl of apples---has maybe 6 apples from my doll food stash and a thrift store bag of red beads. 

Illusions:I did quite a bit of theatre props and backdrops when I was young. What you see from the tenth row----is what you 'think' you see, that's maybe 12 inches in Barbie scale world.

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Two different level tables make the food display. Every Farm has great food. I removed the 'pink' from the foods, so it looked-like Fall bakery. A vase with 'dried' flowers adds height to the low display. Paper plates are folded squares of yardstick  napkins are left over from last years Thanksgiving (Doll) dinner. I really need to make some new colors of plates/napkins.

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Here's what the donuts looked like before, I just flipped them over so the frosting didn't show. I know they are delicious apple cider and pumpkin now. I added a couple of pies and popcorn too.


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I removed the pink frosting from this red tart eraser and set it aside. 


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And from this layer cake...you just know this is an apple cake now!


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Add a bench here and there...and it's all ready for the DOLLS.


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I added one spotlight low to help with face shadows, 
but it is a beautiful sunny day at the Pumpkin Farm. 
Dress your dolls for Fall weather and shoot it-Post is Here.

Taking photos from the doll's level, puts everything in perspective and scale. Even the diminutive arbor could be full scale now. Hope this helps give you ideas on how to do an 'outdoor' scene.


All the opinions and photographs in this blog are my own. I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinions, posts or any products shown or anywhere I shop.











1 comment:

Thanks so much for each and every comment, and I will try and answer any questions you may have.