Marble Planets

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1 Teacher Note

About: I am a college student who loves inventing and creating. I like to do innovative and inexpensive projects.

I recently got interested in globes. Old fashioned globes, globes of the moon, and tiny globes. And I wondered, how does one make a globe? It turns out, all you need is a ball, glue, and some "gores." No, not like guts. A globe gore is just a spherical map that has been printed flat, which can then be cut and pasted onto a sphere.

Isn't our solar system beautiful? I decided I needed some mini planets. You can print the attached PDF and use with regular marbles, one mini marble, and one masher. (Marbles are not standardized, so it may not be a perfect fit.) Or, you can download the folder with the InDesign file and scale the images to the correct size for your spheres.

A Google image search of "globe gores" will come up with all kinds of gores, which you can scale to fit any sphere and print. The length of the gore needs to be the same as the circumference of the sphere. I measured the diameters of my spheres and calculated C=πd. If you want to make your own gores, you can upload a texture map (google "planet texture map") into this gore generator I found: https://www.winski.net/globus-projector/simplified/

Supplies:

Color printer

Good scissors

Glue (Elmers is fine)

Marbles

Aluminum foil (optional, for the bases)

1 Teacher Note

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Step 1: Print the Gores

Use a good color printer.

Step 2: Cut Them Out

This is the fun/tedious part. Cut very carefully along the edges of the image.

Step 3: Glue It On

Apply a thin line of glue to the blank side of the gore. Wrap it around the marble and press. Spread glue on each of the open ends of the marble and press the tips of the gore down. Be careful not to smudge the ink with excess glue or glue on your fingers.

Step 4: Let It Dry

20 minutes should do it.

Step 5: Make a Display

Using aluminum foil, make little ring stands for your planets. You can check out my aluminum ring instructable here: https://www.instructables.com/id/Hammered-Aluminum-Foil-Rings/

Thanks for joining me! I hope you had as much fun as I did.

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    19 Discussions

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    sarahcdPaulChau

    Answer 2 months ago

    Not really. They are more for display, though go ahead and play with them if you want :) I want to try using water-slide decal paper like gizmologist suggested. I'm guessing that would be more durable and waterproof. I'll let you know how it goes.

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    ToniR25

    2 months ago

    Absolutely LOVE your display around the T.A.R.D.I.S.!

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    jeanniel1

    2 months ago

    I used to cover eggs with washi paper, and we'd lightly burnish the edges to make them flatter - with marbles it'd be easier as you won't crush any eggshells!

    1 reply
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    jeanniel1jeanniel1

    Reply 2 months ago

    Oh, we'd use the back of a spoon to burnish

    I like this. I wonder if soaking the paper in water or a watery glue mixture would help in the smoothness. I do like the lines, though, I'm not complaining. I use mod podge for most of my paper art and collaging.

    4 replies

    I have had success with ink printers in the past by ironing the printed paper and letting it cool before using glue/modge podge on it. I had printed off some pirate maps and lined a cardboard pirates chest for a nautical themed bathroom. It hid the toilet paper under a tray filled with fake jewelry. The handle was a pirate's sword handle stuck right in the middle of the treasures and secured from beneath.

    I tried using mod podge over top, and it did help smooth and make it shiny. It did start to bleed a little though, so soaking the paper probably wouldn't go well, unless you used a more stable ink.

    I was thinking midge podge too so it would smoothen and (if glossy is used) make them shiney!

    Sarahcd.... Great idea though! Never tried to work with gores' before! Thanks for the link too! The generator is a great find! Voted!

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    Brian 1968

    2 months ago on Step 5

    Brilliant, I'm definitely going to give it a go.

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    gizmologist

    2 months ago

    Two suggestions: If you want a smoother globe, print the gores on water-slide decal paper.
    And "cup washers" from the hardware store make great stands.

    1 reply
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    sarahcdgizmologist

    Reply 2 months ago

    Cup washers look perfect! Thanks for the suggestions.

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    phall0106

    2 months ago

    Oh, I love these! Especially love the Tardis in the pic. :-)

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    Treasure Tabby

    2 months ago

    Very nice. I bet if you sold those people would definitely purchase. :D

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    zakbobdop

    2 months ago

    This is one of those things that's so simple yet the end result is amazing :D

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    Penolopy Bulnick

    2 months ago

    These are adorable! I love the pic where you are holding a handful of planets; You've got the whole galaxy in your hand :)

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    seamster

    2 months ago

    Simple and fantastic, I love the results! : )

    And that last photo in step 4, so good!!

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    sarahcdseamster

    Reply 2 months ago

    Glad you like it! I rearranged the photos so that one stands out more.