Introduction: Spaceship Porthole Window

Everyone wants a room with a view.

What if you are stuck looking at people's feet walking past all day or all you see is a brick wall of the adjoining building?

You can either move out of the basement or make yourself a spaceship window.

Do your daydreaming while staring out into deep space.

Yeah, my keyboard is kinda grody, don't judge.

Step 1: Windows on the World...

I always wanted to build this feature into my house. This is a version of something that everyone can do.

Use cardboard to build a spaceship interior panel to mount the window.

Use a large plastic bowl for the window. If you can find a thicker clear glass bowl, it would be better that it gives a slight fisheye lens distortion when you look through it.

The window/porthole is placed in front of a computer monitor that is displaying images or video of the desired view.

Cut a hole in the piece of cardboard to mount the window.

Glue on pieces of cardboard around the hole to reinforce it and to give detail to the window.

The pieces can actually be all random shaped and it will all turn out looking good. We're not building a scale model so you don't need to follow any blueprint. This is your spaceship.

If you don't have a sheet of cardboard big enough for your project, just join together smaller pieces of cardboard. Glue a piece of cardboard covering the seam on the front and back to reinforce it. Do the same for those creases in the cardboard where the original box has been folded.

I had some chipboard so I punched out some circles to glue on so that they look like giant rivets or mounting plates. You can also use a paper punch on some cardstock to get small rivet shapes.

Add as much detail to the piece as you want.

I glued on a popsicle stick and some more wood pieces so it would look like a handle or latch.

The more layers of cardboard you laminate, the more rigid the piece will become.

Step 2: Ring Around the Bowl...

I formed a ring of cardboard so it would add depth to the window.

You can never have enough clamps. Glue L shaped tabs to connect the cardboard ring to the window opening.

By the way, this idea started out with some family member having to replace their clothes washer and I was called upon to help lug it out for recycling. I was lucky enough to salvage the door because it looked pretty cool. That was long ago. I guess one day I will repurpose it for a porthole or spaceship window that I will build somewhere into the house.

Step 3: Fill in the Gaps...

All of the rough exposed corrugated cardboard edges need to be finished.

My go to is usually paper mache but I had my caulk gun handy and loaded up with a half-used tube of painter’s caulk.

I might as well use it up before it dries up and goes to waste. Well, you know what happens… besides smearing caulk on everything like your clothes or the floor, I ran out of caulk to do all the parts I wanted to caulk. This necessitated opening up a new tube of caulk to use. Don’t worry, I had bought a bulk pack of a dozen tubes of caulk cheap a while back so I’m good. Which brings us back to square one with a half-used tube of caulk. I digress.

Set aside for a couple hours to dry, even though it is quick drying painter's latex caulk.

Step 4: Color My World...

Prime and paint.

Dry brush with some metallic colors to give it a metal look.

Glue on some labels to make it look more technical and authentic.

The plastic bowl is press fit into the opening. Be careful not to crack it when installing. You can glue it in or use additional fittings to secure it in place.

Place in front a computer monitor and enjoy.

You can size this to work if you want to display images from an old tablet/ipad or use an old machine/raspberry pi driving a spare monitor.

If you’re not one to enjoy the vast expanse of outer space, you can switch over to an undersea view or just have some landscape wallpaper viewed through the window.

My junior high French teacher always yelled at us, "Ta tête est dans les nuages."

Lots of space HD videos out there to display, even 4K resolution if you have the gear for it.


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