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Mother's Day Craft | Make A Button Heart Diorama

Mother’s Day Craft | Make A Button Heart Diorama
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Each year, my mother and I celebrate Mother’s Day over lobster rolls. It’s a yearly tradition I look forward to since it combines two things I absolutely love and enjoy—traditional New England food and time spent with my mom. She has always been creative about finding quaint and charming eateries in New England, a passion that has paid off in a multitude of warm memories and good food.

That being said, I typically don’t make handmade gifts for my mom on Mother’s Day—this is partly because we have our Mother’s Day ritual of enjoying lobster and partly because you can only lavish someone with so many handmade gifts. However, when looking over a number of crafts and artwork I’d made in the past, I came across these button heart dioramas which are a sweet, simple gift for a special mom.

Button heart dioramas are buttons glued into a heart shape, surrounded by ephemera matching the color or tone of a room, and then embellished for display. They can be made to fit almost any size space you need, whether it’s a wall space or shelf.

Button heart dioramas are contained within paper mache boxes and lids which can be easily found at craft stores.

Button Heart Dioramas
Button Heart Dioramas

Materials to Make a Button Heart Diorama:

  • Paper mache box or lid (depending on how deep you want the picture)
  • Mod Podge
  • Paintbrush
  • Paper ephemera (i.e. patterned papers bought at a craft store, old stamps, or copyright-free images downloaded from internet )
  • Scissors
  • Ribbons or wire for hanging
  • Mixed medium items to add detail to your diorama— i.e. lace
  • White and ivory colored buttons
  • Newspaper to cover your working space (optional)
  • Regular glue or hot glue

Directions to Make a Button Heart Diorama:

  • Gather your materials.
Gathering Materials Gathering materials
  • Cut plain or patterned paper to fit the outside edges of your diorama. Use your paintbrush to apply Mod Podge to the paper and then glue them onto the edges of the diorama.  You can also apply a thin layer of Mod Podge over the paper to seal it and make it more durable.
Adding patterned paper to your diorama Adding patterned paper to your diorama
  • Now cut paper to fit the inside edges of your diorama and repeat the step with Mod Podge as above.
  • Next, use regular or hot glue to make a heart shape in the center of your diorama. If you are not good at free hand drawing, you can trace a heart shaped cookie cutter or trace a downloaded heart from the internet.
Heart made with buttons Heart made with buttons
  • Place your buttons in the heart shape, making sure they are securely glued. You will need to apply 2-3 layers of buttons to get the full effect, so you may need to wait between layers to allow glue to dry (if using regular glue).
  • Once your heart is complete, add ephemera as needed to embellish the space around it.


Front view of diorama Front view showing use of embellishments and ephemera to add detail– a stamp, a paper heart, a hand cut from a picture, and a sticker used for borders

  • For a 3D effect you can use bottle caps, wood plugs, buttons, or other small items to glue your pictures on before adding them to the diorama.


Side view of diorama showing 3D effect Side view of diorama showing 3D effect
  • Last, there are many ways to apply a hanger to your diorama. The simplest way is to poke two holes through the back of your diorama to hang a ribbon through. You can also glue a metal hanger on the back.

Adding a ribbon for hanging


This project is pretty forgiving, so feel free to experiment and have fun with it!

Bonnie Thomas


Bonnie Thomas


Bonnie Thomas shares her ideas and instructions for simple Yankee crafts. Bonnie Thomas works full time as a child and family therapist in Southern Maine and is also an established artist and author. She has published two books via Jessica Kingsley Publishing, titled Creative Coping Skills for Children: Emotional Support Through Arts and Crafts Activities and Creative Expression Activities for Teens: Exploring Identity Through Art, Craft and Journaling. Don't miss her latest book, How to Get Kids Offline, Outdoors, and Connecting With Nature
Updated Monday, May 6th, 2013

3 Responses to Mother’s Day Craft | Make A Button Heart Diorama

  1. Barbra April 26, 2012 at 3:04 pm #

    Love yours! Here’s my version:

  2. Ana caldatto April 27, 2012 at 4:30 pm #

    lindo projetos
    amo botões!

  3. Karen McAlpine April 28, 2012 at 12:03 pm #

    This looks like a really fun project and I think my mom would like it too. I may get out my button box and give it a try. Thanks for sharing you lovely projects!

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