DIY Paper Mache Planet Ornaments
Is your holiday tree needing a little more STEM? Well, we’ve got a craft for you! Let’s paint a planet! In this article, we’ll walk through the steps on how to make an Earth-esque planet, but we’d love to see where your imagination takes you! Share your creations with us at @kidmademodern. Let’s get making.
- Paper Mache Ornament Kit
- Cup of water
- Paper towels
Prep your space! We’re painting, so put on clothes you don’t mind getting messy, as well as covering your workspace. Separate the two halves of the ornament and work on each hemisphere separately.
Cut off a piece of gold string about 10 inches in length. String it through the hole at the top of one of the halves. Tie on a knot at bottom (you can add a bead to that knot for extra security). Then loop and tie off the extra string at the top so you can hang your ornament.
Note: This might be a good step for adults, as threading and knotting can be a bit tricky for youngsters.
Time to paint! Paint a section of the top and bottom of your ornaments in white. These represent the polar ice caps at the North and South pole. If you want to make your ice caps really shine, add some of the white glitter paint on top of the white paint! Clean and dry your brush.
Paint the rest of your ornament green. I like to use both colors of green included in the kit to add in some variation. Spread the paint out in a nice even layer - not too thick! The thicker the paint, the longer it’ll take to dry. Set the ornaments off to the side to dry. Clean and dry your brush.
While you’re waiting for the paint to dry, we can prep for making our oceans. Cut up a few of the blue tissue paper into random shapes… all different shapes and sizes. Try to get some curvy pieces as well!
Once your globe halves are dry, you’re ready to move onto the next step.
Put some glue on a green section of your globe. You can use your paintbrush or finger to spread it out thin. Work in small sections, so the glue doesn’t dry out. Wash and dry your brush.
Next, take a piece of your cut-up blue tissue paper and place it on the glued area. Put another random piece next to the one you just placed. Continue doing this to fill up your glued area. If the edges of the tissue paper are not totally adhered to the globe, add more glue and smooth it out. Then move on to another area of your globe - add more glue and tissue paper to a green area to make another ocean. The Earth is about 70% water compared to land, so don’t be shy about adding lots of blue! You can try to copy a real globe for the shapes of the land masses if you’re feeling ambitious, but you’ll get the “Earth-esque” feel even if you’re random with your placement.
Add some fun details! Add snowflake sequins on your ice caps and tree sequins in your forests. Add some more glue to some of your green areas and gently sprinkle on some green glitter to add even more interest to those areas.
And here's the finished product!
Because these globes open up, they also make for a really fun way to gift presents! Fill up the globe with little trinkets or wrapped treats and give them to family and friends.
This kit contains three ornaments, so Earth is just the beginning. Try making other planets with your next ornaments to really make your tree out-of-this-world! Gas planets are super fun to paint, with their swirls.
We can’t wait to see what stellar projects you create with this kit!
Mindy Baumgartner is the Crafty Physicist - a science communicator who uses art as a way to get others excited and interested about science. Follow along with her sci-art adventures at @craftyphysicist on Instagram.
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