Learning about the solar system is common practice during the primary years in school. The planets in order from the sun are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Uranus is the third largest planet in our solar system. It is normally depicted as a blue planet. A simple art project for depicting Uranus is creating a model from paper mache. A round object such as a balloon or a styrofoam ball is the perfect base for the project.
Blow up a round balloon. Tie off the end.
Mix 2 cups of flour, 6 cups of water and 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint oil in an empty 5-quart ice cream container. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until smooth. The flour solution is used as the glue for the paper mache.
Cover a flat, stable work surface with newspaper. Tear strips of newspaper 1-inch wide and approximately 6-inches long. Place the torn newspaper strips on the newspaper.
Put the balloon on the centre of the newspaper. Dip one strip of newspaper in the flour and water solution. Position the strip between your thumb and forefinger. Pull the strip through your fingers to remove excess flour paste. Place the strip on the balloon. Make sure not to cover the tied end. Repeat the process alternating the strip placement. Use a crisscross pattern over half the surface of the balloon. Allow the strips to dry for 1 hour. Repeat the process on the opposite half of the balloon. Allow the strips to dry for 1 hour.
Repeat Step 4 for a total of three layers of paper mache strips over the surface of the balloon.
Cut a 3-foot long piece of fishing line. Tie one end of the fishing line around the tied end of the balloon. Tie a loop in the opposite end of the string. Do not pop the balloon. Use it as the hanger for the planet.
Paint the surface of the paper mache shape with blue paint. Allow the paint to dry completely. This will take up to 1 hour depending on the humidity and room temperature.
Bend a pipe cleaner approximately 1 inch from an end at a 90-degree angle. Bend a second 90-degree angle 1 inch from the first. Tape the first bent angle to the outside of the blue painted planet with masking tape. Add a second piece of tape to ensure the pipe cleaner is secured. Paint the masking tape blue to match the planet.
Position the second 90-degree bend so the length of the pipe cleaner encircles the blue paper mache balloon. Twist the end of the pipe cleaners together to create a long enough length of pipe cleaner to extend around the balloon. Add a second ring by twisting one end of a pipe cleaner to the 2-inch post extending from the paper mache planet. Shape the pipe cleaner along the outside edge of the first ring. Add more pipe cleaners as needed. Continue to add the desired number of rings. Uranus has a total of 100 rings. Three to five is a good number of rings to add to the planet.
Write pertinent information on the surface of the blue planet of Uranus. Information includes size, distance from the sun and atmospheric conditions.
Press a push pin into the wall or ceiling. Hang the fishing line loop over the push pin to display.
Things you need
- Round balloon
- Fishing line
- Measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
- Peppermint oil
- 5-gallon ice cream pail with lid
- Wooden spoon
- Coloured pipe cleaners
- Masking tape
- Blue tempera or acrylic paint
- Artist's paintbrushes
- Ultra-fine permanent marker
- Push pin