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Topic: Project: Earth Day. Four foot wide planet earth model. Crafting Ideas?  (Read 512 times)
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lucastheboo
« on: February 06, 2008 06:45:19 PM »

I work at a Wal-Mart and we are doing a big Earth Day project and we need a large planet earth model and a smaller moon model, we would like to suspend it from the rafters so it would need to be light, also management wants it to be about four feet wide and four feet tall and it needs to be made of materials that will stand up to being put in a box and put in storage, since they want to reuse it next earth day.

My first thought was to sew a large sphere out of fabric and fill it full of old plastic shopping bags and the shredded paper, both materials that we send to our recycling center, that we could just keep and use to fill the cloth sphere. We could paint it like the earth with fabric paint but this might take too long. Any suggestions?
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« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2008 05:09:11 PM »

4 feet wide is awfully large. I'd suggest possibly looking for a smaller solution, like an inflatable ball or a really big rice paper lamp. If you make it out of something like fabric, be prepared for it to sag/stretch out of shape. Or maybe make a half sphere, since you can only see the bottom of the sphere if it is over your head?

At work, we have a 6-foot wide globe that suspends from the ceiling. Finding a material that would not elongate while suspended was tricky, they ended up having them specially made (the work-sphere needs to have as little deformation as possible, you would have more leeway).
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lucastheboo
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2008 08:28:06 PM »

Four feet is sadly what my bosses want, but sometimes they have delusions of grandeur, just like almost every Star Wars character, the way our ceiling is though you'll be able to see all of it except to top and they want it to be reusable I'm afraid paper lantern would get ripped. I wanted paper mache but they though it would get destroyed. Trying to find a giant globe inflatable now, lol.
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« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2008 11:29:44 AM »

I consulted with the folks who have worked on our giant sphere project here.  They suggested those inflatable exercise balls, apparently there are some companies that make super huge ones, like 6 feet across.  Most of the other things that they had tried were pretty expensive (like $10k)

There are also some companies that sell inflated balls pre-printed with satellite images or maps. Not sure if you have any budget at all, but maybe worth a look:
http://www.earthflags.com/ has some 3-foot wide balloons that are pretty cheap (scroll about halfway down).
Maybe if you had some really big balloons in the store, you could paint them, I'm not sure how long they would last or if the paint would stick real well though.
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« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2008 01:56:58 PM »

The first thing I thought of was geodesic domes and "buckyballs"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buckyball ...
Look at these students in the UK
http://www.creative-science.org.uk/buckey.html; the article has a link to make a pretty stable armature similar to what you describe. I would imagine deformation wouldn't be an issue if you anchor the support to the bottom, then pass through the top. You'd only need to  make the cover then.
I don't see how a paper mache skin could be too destructable; or you could also try painting the details the back of some (walmart?) wallpaper, cutting it into "orange-slice" shaped pieces, sort of when you look at how a regular globe is pasted together.


Sorry to be so long winded - this sounds like a very exciting project, good luck!
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