Jungle Diorama and the #summerofjoann

Only those of you who follow me on Instagram and Facebook have probably picked up on the fact that we are currently on a kind of extended vacation in the beautiful town of Sisters, Oregon. My folks live up here among the pine trees and mountains, and I just couldn’t resist escaping the desert heat for awhile. We spend our days digging in the dirt, eating ice cream, spotting deer, and visiting the famous Stitchin’ Post fabric shop. (insert clapping hands).

As you can well imagine, the first few days with the grandparents were a breeze. New is always exciting. But once the local summer camp was over and the new became normal, my kids needed some structured activities to keep them busy. It’s a good think I stocked up on crafts at Jo-Ann‘s before we headed north for the summer!

Jo-Ann’s has some really great summer craft ideas posted on their website right now. Before we left California, I let Hudson pick a craft from the bunch and we shopped all over the store looking for supplies. It’s so fun to see him become an active participant!

Science and nature-minded as he is, he chose to make a Jungle Diorama. OF COURSE. It’s about as far from fabric-y as the kid could possibly get, but I’m proud of him for picking something he really enjoys.

Now that he’s a BIG SIX YEAR OLD, I can give him a little more responsibility with these things. After we collected our materials:

  • shoe box
  • blue and green acrylic paints
  • paint brushes
  • ferns from the silk flower section
  • mini trees
  • little jungle animals
  • rocks
  • moss
  • hot glue gun
we headed out to my parent’s beautiful porch and got started. Abby was absolutely mesmerized by her big brother’s painting job. 


I was there, too, albeit hiding behind the camera most of the time. 
The instructions for this diorama can be found HERE. The best part is that it’s a perfectly simple project. There’s some painting required for the sky and grass, and then the hot glue gun takes over for the ferns, rocks, trees, moss, and animals. I manned the hot glue gun (obviously) and burned my fingers a fair number of times (OBVIOUSLY). 
The kids enjoyed every. single. moment. of this craft. I’m not joking when I say Abby was mesmerized and Hudson was riding a GLUE EVERYTHING TO THE BOX kind of high. He felt a little bad when I glued my finger to the box, but then took another look at the gorilla and felt better. 
To be totally honest with you, I never would have done this craft without the Summer of Jo-Ann inspiration. I’m not a very crafty person. I would much rather have a sewing machine in my hands than a hot glue gun. But I wouldn’t take this afternoon back, not for a million dollars. 
Hudson is so proud of what he created, and we made memories that will last forever. His Jungle Diorama now holds a place of honor in his bedroom, and I smile every time I hear him talking about it. 
Typical boy pose:
About the only part he didn’t like was cleaning up. Who can blame him, really?

This craft and 70+ other free patterns and tutorials can be found on the Jo-Ann Fabric & Crafts online catalog. They are currently promoting the #summerofjoann, so if you make use any of these crafts and post on Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter, be sure to use the hashtag and join in the fun!

I hope you feel inspired! Hop on over now to the Jo-Ann catalog to see what kind of fun you and your little ones can have together this summer.

You can also receive a coupon 20% your entire order at your next shopping trip to Jo-Ann Fabric & Crafts! Go HERE to become a Jo-Ann’s preferred customer and receive the latest news in coupons, patterns, tutorials, and more — straight to your phone!

Thanks for reading! 

*The materials for this post were provided by Jo-Ann Fabric & Crafts. As always, the opinions in this post are my own. 

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