How to make a 3D model of a spaceship

Updated February 21, 2017

Rockets and space travel present several possibilities for creative toys. The space shuttle, rocket ships or UFO models are available at hobby shops or craft stores but you can make a simple 3D model with items from around the home in one afternoon. Determine the type of spacecraft to be made and how large it should be. Decide if it will have any electronic parts such as flashing lights. Cover the workspace with newspaper to make clean up easier when the project is finished. This example is a simple space shuttle that can be modified to a rocket if desired.

Paint the paper towel roll white for the body of the space shuttle. Draw an equilateral triangle measuring 6 inches on each side on the sheet of styrofoam. Cut out the triangle.

Cut a strip of aluminium foil half as long as the rocket body. Fold the aluminium in half and wrap the folded strip around the end of the paper towel tube to form a small aluminium tube. Slide the aluminium strip along the rocket body so most of it extends out away from the rocket body. Bend the open end of the aluminium tube together to create a cone. Glue the aluminium cone in place. Cut the tissue paper into strips ½ inch wide and 2 inches long. Glue one end of each strip to the inside of the paper roll on the end opposite the aluminium cone.

Center the paper towel roll on the triangle. Glue the paper towel roll to the triangle. Allow all glue to dry completely.

Paint additional details on the body and wings of the space ship such as a flag, windows, wing flaps or a door.


You can use the same basic model to create a larger ship with the cardboard roll from inside wrapping paper or an oatmeal can.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper towel roll
  • White paint
  • Styrofoam sheet
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Aluminium foil
  • Glue
  • Red tissue paper
  • Black paint
  • Red paint
  • Blue paint
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About the Author

Based in Minneapolis, Dawn Marcotte has been writing for more than 10 years. Her recent writing has turned to nonfiction and includes articles on home and garden, education, crafts and automotive subjects. She currently has several eBooks published and available online. Marcotte has a Bachelor of Science in elementary education from the University of Iowa.