10 DIY Biome Projects: From Tundra to Tropical | askBAMLand

This article may contain affiliate links where we earn a commission from qualifying purchases. The images and content on this page may be created by, or with the assistance of, artificial intelligence, and should be used for entertainment and informational purposes only.

Picture this: your very own ecosystem, sitting on your desk!

Ever wondered how?

Biomes are fascinating, and creating one yourself is not only educational but can also be quite fun.

Biome projects offer a hands-on way to explore ecological systems and understand the delicate balance within different environments.

They allow you to replicate the crucial elements that define a tundra, desert, rainforest, and more, right in your own home.

Creating a biome in a shoebox or terrarium can demonstrate the science behind these mini-worlds, solidifying your understanding of biotic and abiotic factors.

Whether you're crafting a snowy tundra or a lush rainforest, these projects can serve as a creative and engaging approach to learning about Earth's diverse habitats.

Moreover, they underscore the importance of preserving these environments in the face of ecological challenges.

Key Takeaways

  • Biome projects are an engaging way to learn about ecosystems.
  • They illustrate the balance of life in diverse habitats.
  • Hands-on DIY projects enhance understanding of environmental science.

Table of Contents

Tundra Biome in a Box

Ever wanted to capture the chill of the Arctic in your own living room?

With a simple shoebox, you can create a miniature world that celebrates the stark beauty of the tundra biome.

Let's get crafty and freeze a moment in time!


First, gather up the following materials:

  • Shoebox: Select a regular-sized shoebox, preferable without any glossy finish.
  • Cotton balls: These will mimic the snowy tundra ground.
  • Small rocks and twigs: To add a touch of realism.
  • Modelling clay or paper: To create your biome's wildlife.
  • Markers and paint: To decorate and bring your box to life.

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Prepare Your Box: Lay your shoebox on its side with the lid off so the box's long side is at the bottom. This setup will serve as your viewing window into the tundra world.
  2. Create the Base: Fill the bottom of the box with cotton balls to represent the tundra's snowy ground cover. Flatten and spread them out to make an even layer.
  3. Add Topography: Place small rocks and twigs strategically across the cotton to simulate tundra terrain. Remember, there aren't many trees here, so keep it sparse!
  4. Craft Your Creatures: Use modelling clay or paper to fashion animals like caribou or arctic foxes. Not big on sculpting? Print some pictures, cut them out, and stand them up in your box.
  5. Detailing: With markers or paint, add any additional features you like. Maybe some ice-blue streaks for melting snow, or gray smudges for shadows under your rocks.

There you have it, your own slice of the serene, frozen north.

Remember, no trees – it's too cold for those tall timber-y types here.

The tundra may be simple, but it's full of quiet beauty.

So take a moment to admire your handiwork and imagine the crisp, cold air of the farthest reaches of our planet.

Cool, right?

Desert Biome Terrarium

Ever dreamt of having a little slice of the desert in your own home?

It's totally doable, and it makes for a pretty cool conversation piece!

Here's how you can bring the serene and rugged beauty of the desert to your tabletop with a DIY desert biome terrarium.

Materials You'll Need:

  • Glass terrarium
  • Fine silica sand
  • Aquatic plant compost (optional for a nutrient boost)
  • Drought-resistant plants (e.g., succulents, cacti)
  • Decorative rocks or pebbles
  • Model desert animals (like lizards or scorpions)

Steps to Create Your Desert Biome Terrarium:

  1. Foundation: Start by laying down a foundation of fine silica sand at the base of your terrarium. If you're feeling fancy, mix in some aquatic plant compost for that extra nutrient-rich punch.
  2. Planting: Choose your favorite drought-resistant green buddies — think succulents or cacti. They're the superheroes of the plant world, surviving the harshest conditions! Dig little homes for them in the sand and plant them gently.
  3. Landscaping: Time for some arts and crafts! Arrange the decorative rocks to mimic the natural desert landscape. Be creative here—there are no rules in the wild, dusty desert.
  4. Inhabitants: Add those model critters. A tiny scorpion here, a little lizard there – it's all about bringing that desert vibe to life.

Remember to keep the humidity on the down-low and bathe your plants in lots of sunlight.

They're sun worshippers, after all!

And don't forget to keep the temperatures warm but not too hot.

Use a thermometer to make sure you're getting that desert climate just right.

Rainforest Biome Diorama

Ever dreamed of creating your own little slice of the jungle?

With a Rainforest Biome Diorama, it's like bringing a touch of the Amazon right into your home!

Let's embark on this DIY expedition, shall we?

First up, grab a shoebox or any small box.

This becomes the stage for your miniature rainforest.

Think of it as your canvas, and we're about to turn it into a masterpiece.

Position it sideways to make the most of the space – we have a lot of layers to build!

Here's a fun structure to follow:

  • Emergent Layer: Tall trees that peak out above the rest
  • Canopy Layer: The "umbrella" of the forest
  • Understory Layer: Shorter plants and shrubs
  • Forest Floor: Where decomposing leaves meet fertile soil

Materials you'll need:

  • Construction paper (different shades of green)
  • Glue and scissors
  • Small rocks or pebbles
  • Tiny animal figurines or cut-outs


  1. Background: Cover the inside with a green or rainforest-themed paper. Instant atmosphere!
  2. Layers: Cut construction paper to represent each layer. Stagger them to show depth.
  3. Flora: Craft trees, shrubs, and vines from paper. Don't forget to give them some 3D love by folding and shaping.
  4. Water: A meandering blue strip can act as your river. Add pebbles to its banks.
  5. Fauna: Place your animal figures thoughtfully. Maybe a monkey swinging from the canopy?
  6. Extras: Got some extra flair? String in some moss or use real plant clippings to add authenticity.

And there you have it, your own rainforest in a box.

Ready to show off to your friends?

You bet!

Keep it water-free though – we wouldn't want a real flood in your living room!

Happy crafting!

Aquatic Biome Aquarium

Have you ever wanted to bring the serene beauty of a riverbed or the vibrant life of a coral reef into your home?

Crafting your own aquatic biome aquarium is not only a rewarding hobby but also a fascinating project that combines creativity with a touch of nature.

Freshwater Biome:

Step 1: Pick Your Biome

Begin by deciding between a tranquil freshwater ecosystem like the Amazonian river basin or maybe something with a brisk current.

Step 2: Gather Your Materials

You will need:

  • Substrate: A mix of fine silica sand and aquatic plant compost, sloped for depth variation.
  • Rocks: To mimic the natural structures fish would find in their habitat.
  • Plants: Choose species that thrive in your chosen biome's conditions.
  • Fish: Research which species are native to your biome and ensure they have compatible tank-mate requirements and water parameters.

Water Parameters:

A typical Amazonian aquarium enjoys a pH range of 6.0-6.9 and temperatures between 74-78 degrees Fahrenheit.

It's important to replicate these conditions closely for the health of your aquatic community.

Step 3: Installation

  • Arrange your rocks and plants before adding water.
  • Introduce your fish gradually to acclimate them safely to their new environment.

Saltwater Biome:

For saltwater enthusiasts, the process is similar, though your material selection will change to accommodate marine life.

Think colorful coral, saltwater substrate, and marine fish that dazzle the eyes.

Non-Living Biome: Not ready for live pets?

Simulate an aquatic environment with blue gelatin for water, interspersed with plastic flora and fauna for a maintenance-free display.

Remember, your aquatic garden is a living ecosystem; regular maintenance is key to keep your underwater residents happy and healthy.

Happy aquascaping!

Grassland Biome Landscape

Have you ever imagined yourself strolling through the vast, open landscapes of the Grassland biome?

It's simpler than you think to recreate this environment at home!

Let's embark on a DIY project to build your very own miniature Grassland biome landscape.

First things first: you'll need a flat tray to serve as your base.

This will hold your miniature savanna or prairie haven.

Now, are you ready for a burst of green?

Let’s go:

  • Lay down a layer of real or artificial grass on the tray for that earthy feel. It'll represent the groundcover that defines the grasslands.

Next, add some life to your scene:

  • Model animals breathe energy into your biome. If it's a savanna you're after, how about a majestic lion or a swift cheetah? For a prairie, perhaps a sturdy bison or a scurrying prairie dog?

And don't forget the flora:

  • Acacia trees or small shrubs dot your landscape sparingly. Remember, in grasslands, trees are like precious gems – not too many, just enough to provide some shade.

Here's a quick shopping list to keep you on track:

Item Savanna Scene Prairie Scene
Base Flat tray Flat tray
Groundcover Real/artificial grass Real/artificial grass
Animals Lions, cheetahs Bison, prairie dogs
Flora Acacia trees, shrubs Grasses, few shrubs

Don't hesitate to give it your personal touch!

Maybe a miniature watering hole or a burrow?

Your Grassland biome landscape is not only a fun craft but also a splendid conversation starter.

Who knew you could capture the essence of the vast and windy grasslands right on your tabletop?

Enjoy crafting your mini wild, and let your imagination roam free!

Coral Reef Biome in a Box

Ever wanted your own little slice of the ocean?

Well, I've got good news for you!

Crafting a coral reef biome in a shoebox is not only a fun project, but it's also a tiny step toward understanding our planet's diverse ecosystems.

Here's how you can do it with some creativity and everyday household items:

Firstly, let's set the stage:

  • Paint your shoebox: Feel free to let loose your inner artist and paint the inside of the shoebox a vivid sea blue. This will be your watery backdrop for your reef adventure.

Next up, let's create the reef:

  • Playdough or clay corals: Shape some colorful corals using playdough or clay. You can mimic branching corals, brain corals, and even the spaghetti-like sea anemones. Place them at the bottom of your box to create a lively reef structure.

Don't forget the residents:

  • Fish on a string: To give life to your biome, cut out pictures of different fish and sea creatures from old magazines or print them from the internet. Attach them to pieces of string and dangle them from the top of the box. They'll float above your coral landscape, giving the scene depth and movement.

Finish with some sandy texture:

  • Sandy floor: To recreate the ocean floor, spread a layer of glue on the bottom and sprinkle some sand over it. Shake off the excess to leave a neat, textured surface.

And there you go!

You now have your very own coral reef, teeming with life, all within the compact world of a shoebox.

Dive into this project on a lazy afternoon and emerge with a mini underwater realm of your own making.

Isn't it amazing what you can create with just a box and a splash of creativity?

Temperate Forest Jar

Creating your miniature Temperate Forest Jar is like bottling up a piece of the majestic outdoors to enjoy in your own home.

Let's get our hands dirty and bring this serene biome to your tabletop!

Materials You'll Need:

  • 1 large clear jar with a lid
  • Soil from your garden or potting mix
  • Leaf litter, small twigs, and moss
  • Forest floor plants such as ferns or ivy
  • Figurines of forest animals (think deer, birds, or even a small bear!)
  • Decorative stones or pebbles
  • Spray bottle filled with water

Step by Step:

  1. Prepare Your Jar: Start by layering your jar with an inch of pebbles at the bottom for drainage. Next, add a thin layer of activated charcoal (if you have it) to keep the water fresh.
  2. Add Soil: Gently add soil on top, leaving enough space for your plants to sit comfortably.
  3. Planting Time: Now, introduce your plants. Small ferns and mosses thrive in the temperate forest setup—pop them in!
  4. Forest Details: For a genuine feel, scatter leaf litter and place a few twigs strategically.
  5. Animal Friends: Time for your tiny forest inhabitants to come to life! Nestle your animal figurines among the foliage.
  6. Moisture Matters: Mist the inside of your jar with water to create a humid environment similar to a real temperate forest.
  7. Close the Lid: Seal your miniature world, which helps maintain the perfect humidity.

Remember to place your jar in a spot with indirect sunlight and watch for condensation.

If it gets too misty, open the lid to let it air out.

Your Temperate Forest Jar is a living system; it needs fresh air just like you do!

Keep an eye on your plants—they'll tell you how they're faring in their new home.

Enjoy your slice of the forest!

Chaparral Biome Scene

Ever wanted to recreate a biome in the comfort of your home?

Let's craft a miniature Chaparral Biome Scene.

This biome is known for its hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters, and don't forget, it's a master at surviving fires!

First things first, grab a shallow tray—that’s your canvas.

Imagine you're laying the groundwork for a landscape that sees temperatures soaring above 100°F in the summer, with winters chillin' at a comfortable 50°F.

Now, on to the greenery!

Sagebrush is your hero plant here; it’s native to the chaparral and quite the resilient fellow.

Arrange some alongside a few other drought-resistant plants like:

  • Buckwheat
  • Wild lilac
  • Manzanita

Next up, it’s time to scatter some pebbles and rocks to mimic the rugged terrain.

These little guys also retain heat, mimicking the warm conditions of the chaparral.

To spice up your biome, add some local wildlife.

Toy coyotes and quails can frolic around your creation.

These critters are chaparral regulars, so they'll feel right at home.

Remember, this biome is adapted to fires, so how about using some red and orange tissue paper to represent the occasional wildfire?

Just a little drama, but keep it safe!

Finally, label your species with small flags so you can show off your biome-building knowledge to friends.


Your very own Chaparral Biome Scene is complete.

Isn't it a fiery little world?

Enjoy your slice of this unique ecosystem!

Taiga Biome Display

Ever wanted to create your own slice of the boreal forest—also known as the taiga—at home?

It's a fun project that can bring the wintry charm of northern forests right into your living space, and you're in luck because making a taiga biome display is straightforward and satisfying.

Materials Needed:

  • Large tray or shoebox
  • Pine or fir sprigs
  • Pinecones (for texture)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Small animal figures (like moose or bears)
  • Blue paper or paint (for water features)
  • White cotton or batting (for snow effects)

First things first: let’s lay the groundwork.

Cover your tray's base with blue paper to simulate lakes common in taiga regions.

If you prefer something more 3D, mould blue clay into your desired water shape!

Now, let's get your forest in order.

Glue sprigs of pine or fir onto pinecones to create miniature trees.

Remember, taiga forests are packed with these evergreens, so feel free to cluster them.

The more, the merrier – within reason, of course!

Next up – wildlife.

Strategically place your animal figures among the trees.

Moose and bears are classic residents of these woods.

If you're aiming for detail, include tracks in the "snow" using a pencil or small stick.

Lastly, sprinkle some magic with white cotton or batting for snow.

It adds that wintry touch every taiga needs.


You've just crafted a biome display that's not only a hoot to make but also a cool showpiece that might just spark conversations about the splendid and sturdy ecosystems of our world.

Tropical Savanna Diorama

Ever picture yourself on an African safari?

Well, it's time to bring that vision to life with your very own Tropical Savanna Diorama.

Perfect for students or hobbyists, this project captures the essence of this expansive and diverse ecosystem.

Ready to start?

Let's get crafting!


  • Shoebox or similar sized container
  • Green, tan, and yellow construction paper or fabric
  • Craft glue and scissors
  • Small animal figures or printed images (think zebras and elephants)
  • Twigs and small branches for trees
  • Real grass, moss, or shredded green paper for ground cover

First up, line the bottom of your shoebox with tan or light brown material—this is your base.

Want to add some texture?

Crumple up the paper or fabric for a more realistic ground effect.

Next, let's add some life!

The tropical savanna is famous for its iconic tall grasses.

Cut strips of yellow and green paper or fabric to mimic this grassy landscape.

Space them out unevenly; after all, nature isn’t perfect, right?

For the trees, grab those twigs and make some miniatures using the paper as foliage.

Acacia trees with their flat tops are a classic, so aim for that look.

A little glue, some patience, and voila, you've got trees!

Time to populate your savanna.

Place your animals between the grasses, and remember to group them as you'd find them in the wild.

Maybe put a herd of zebras nearby a watering hole you've made with blue paper.

Or perhaps an elephant near the trees?

Remember, it doesn't have to be perfect.

The goal is to create a representation that looks authentic to you.

Your diorama should give anyone a snapshot of the savanna’s vibrant life.

Have fun crafting your miniature ecosystem, and let your creativity roam as free as the animals in it!


Brittany Melling

Brittany Melling

Brittany has been in the land business since 2020 when the world was starting to shut down. Since then, we’ve sold to dozens of people from ATV weekend warriors to camping enthusiasts to retired truck drivers. Our inventory spans mostly in the western United States. We’ve been trained by experience, land acquisition courses, and hundreds of hours meeting with county assessors and clerks, zoning officials, realtors, and land investors. We’ve answered hundreds of questions from people regarding the buying and use of land.

Read More About Brittany Melling