Diorama Assignment - A Kid's Halloween

Our assignment was to build a diorama around any subject of our choice. Since it was nearly Halloween, I chose to build my diorama around my second favorite holiday. I have many fond memories of trick-or-treating as a kid, I wanted to bring build the experience of being in the dark and seeing all the fun lights that I had had from then.  

The Making Of

I took a shoe box and cut out the back to push up against my computer screen. I had found a beautiful image of a house decorated for Halloween like many people do in the US for the holiday (source). I then tried to build a story with a brother and sister standing on the sidewalk trying to decide whether to go to the house or not to trick-or-treat. I did this with a few toys and crafts I found at a Michael's. To add to the 3D, I added more decorations to the extended 'lawn' from the shoebox. 

Initially I had wanted to include a car, but I found ones that didn't look real enough since the real looking car models were very large and blocked the details of the scene. If I were to rebuild this, I would like to see if I could add mini strobe lights from an Arduino and include features like scents and a breeze to make the feeling of Halloween more realistic.


This was the caption I included for the diorama: 

The origins of trick or treating can be traced back on the Celtic tradition of Samhain, where villagers disguised themselves to drive away supernatural visitors. This evolved into a custom called mumming in the Middle Ages - people would dress as demons and ghosts and perform tricks in exchange for food and drink. A similar tradition exists in Britain for Guy Fawkes Day, which carried over to the American colonies, but it wasn’t until the mid-19th century that Halloween was truly popularized. Halloween is now the second largest commercial holiday.

Looking back at it now, I would probably rewrite this to be a bit more playful and capture the spirit of Halloween in America, which is what this scene was designed around. 

Final Thoughts

I really liked making this project, and one of my favorite features is how the lights of the computer screen lit up the scene when ambient lights were off; what I wanted to create was the sense of what it was like to walk between houses after dark and enjoying the neighborhood decorations with other kids roaming around. I would definitely rewrite the caption and add more detail to the diorama, but I loved being able to build this homage to a piece of my childhood