Space fever has gripped our household and refuses to let go.  Ever since British astronaut Tim Peake went into space recently and begun sending back reports of the challenges of zero gravity, the peculiarities of space food and the challenges of showering, fascination with the planetary system has been all-consuming.

So we made our own moon…

papier mache moon

The beauty of this one is that it doesn’t take  years of preparation and three days of space travel to get there.  In fact, a mid-sized ladder would do it.

moon8

We started with a round balloon (ours was about 24 inches, from eBay, Amazon or party shops), and placed it on a waste-basket before covering it liberally with plaster of paris bandages.  We cut them into strips of about 6 inches and kept on going until the balloon was covered.  I wore rubber gloves.  Harry didn’t.  We still have a trail of small white handprints on every surface.

moon-2

Then to make craters for the moon’s surface, I cut the bottoms off a few paper cups and we glued them in place, before covering with more small strips of plaster of paris…

moon0

moon1

Moon2

Moon3

We waited until it was completely dry.  The advantage of plaster of paris is that this took about 4hrs instead of a week.  And we only needed two layers.  For the terminally impatient and easily distractible (us, I confess), it’s perfect.  Then we took turns in daubing it with grey, black white paint, before adding a finally coat of shimmery ivory pearlescent paint to catch the light when hung from a bedroom ceiling..  moon4

And now we’re just bickering about whose bedroom it gets to hang in.

moon5A few tips if you’re keen to have a go…

  • At risk of stating the obvious, make sure you’ve got a round balloon to start with; most multipack balloons are oval, so look carefully.
  • The plaster of paris is great fun but takes a bit of getting used to (we got ours from Hobbycraft in the UK, in a pack of 10 rolls for £8).  We dipped our strips in a shallow tray of water and draped them quickly to avoid them getting tangled up.  You can smooth out the creases in situ.  And the moon is a very bumpy place, don’t forget.
  • To hang the moon, use a bradawl to make a tiny hole in the top and then push or screw in a small cup hook; use a dab of strong glue around it afterwards to ensure it stays in place, and wait till dry before hanging.
  • Invite all your friends over to gaze in awe and explain how it only took you about an hour and was effortless and not at all messy.  Keep them away from the scene of devastation that your crafting has caused.

Good luck!

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p.s. it’s good to be back…

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