Bring outer space into your bedroom by making your own cosmos.

You will need:
  • a round balloon
  • a bowl
  • PVA glue
  • tissue paper (or kitchen roll)
  • a pin
  • cotton
  • sticky tape
  • scissors
  • cardboard box card
  • newspaper
  • paint
  • a pencil
  • a black felt tip pen.
Start by blowing up a round balloon.

Blow the balloon up to any size.
Sit it in a bowl with the tied bit at the top to keep it steady.
Mix some PVA glue with a little splash of water.

Paste the glue onto your balloon and cover with strips of tissue paper or kitchen roll.

Cover the whole thing in four layers of this tissue paper.

It doesn't matter if it's a bit patchy or wrinkly as that all adds to the surface of the planet!
Add the papier-mâché right up to the knot and leave it to dry.
Now very carefully hold onto the tie, and with a pin, pop the balloon.

Then take out the balloon!
Take a piece of cotton and tape it over the hole to keep it in place.
Paste some glue mixture over the tape and over the end of the cotton and lay on some more tissue pieces.

Once the tissue and glue has dried, you now have some cotton attached to the planet to hang it up by.
That's all good for a basic round planet, like Earth or Venus.

But what do you do if you want to make a planet that has rings around it, like Saturn?

Well, make a round planet first, and then draw a big ring onto some cardboard box card. Make sure it is big enough to fit over your balloon.
Draw four tabs on the inside of the ring, each approximately four centimetres long.
Cut it out, and you’ll have something that looks like this.
Bend the tabs up and then slot the ring over your planet.

Tape the tabs to your planet.

Glue and tissue over the tape to neaten it up.
So that's a planet that has rings, but what about a planet that has craters like the moon?

Well, just twist bits of newspaper into different sized rings and tape them down!
When you've taped lots of them all over your planet, go over the whole thing with one layer of tissue and glue mix.
How you paint your planet depends on which one you're making. You could look in some books to find pictures to copy.

For Earth, using a pencil, roughly copy the country shapes from an atlas onto your planet.

You don't need to add every country or island.
Paint it using poster or acrylic paints.

For the countries, use different shades of green to give the effect of raised and lower areas.
For the sea, use a nice deep blue.

Go around all the countries using a black felt pen, and you’ll have something that looks like this.
For Saturn, paint in streaks of swirling gas.
Blend orange and yellow strips together for the surface.

Paint the rings bright purple, and you’ll have something that looks like this.
For a moon, paint it grey!
Use a darker paint for inside the craters.

When your brush is getting dry, stipple it here and there to get a sort of mottled surface effect.
You could even sprinkle on some glitter for some moon dust, and when you’ve finished, you’ll have something which looks like this.
When you've painted your planet, hang it up in your bedroom.

Turn out the lights, and take your own trip around the universe.

Try it yourself!