This craft is an oldie but a goodie from my 2nd grade teaching days. These globes were made with objects found around our house. We actually made two but the first, made from a round balloon we had during a family photo shoot, died a wrinkly death when I popped the balloon while the globe was still wet. The second one I made from one of those punching balloons with the rubber band tied to the opposite end of the nozzle. This turned out much better because I was able to hang the balloon to dry using the rubber band.
First, I cut a newspaper into little strips. Next, I made a paste by mixing flour and water while heating on the stovetop. I didn’t measure but added flour and water until it made a paste-like texture. It was about one cup flour to four or five cups of water. I dipped a strip at a time, placing it on the balloon, and then pressing it smoothly down.
Sean’s favorite part was dipping the newspaper into the paste while I placed the strips on the balloon. He likes to dip it in so I had to use my fingers to thin off a lot of the paste or the globe would be too lumpy. He also helped by doing the bottom of the balloon.
Then we hung it to dry next to a window. After it was totally dry, we put on another layer of newspaper strips. I only did two or three layers though it’s probably best to do four or more since my globes are not as hard as I would like them to be. But as the balloon deflates, parts where the newspaper is still wet and stuck to the balloon get sucked inward. I saw this and while my globe was still wet, I popped the balloon thinking it would stop making creases as it deflated but the papier mache was still wet so the whole globe collapsed where it was still stuck to the balloon. The balloon was so big it was hard to fix it so we started another one using a punch balloon. Here it is drying next to the window.
When this one was dry, I used gesso (thick white paint) to give it a nice smooth, clean surface. I thought the gesso would also help harden the shell of the globe. Then I painted the blue water with a mixture of blue and white acrylic paint to get the light blue color and hung the globe up to dry. The next day, I looked at a map of the world and drew an outline in pen of the continents on the globe (yes, this globe is definitely not to scale). Then I painted the land masses green by mixing my blue and yellow paint. I ran out of blue and didn’t have enough for all the continents so I painted Antarctica and Greenland a light green color. On maps, they are usually white so I think that was okay. If I was a real go getter, I would have made a relief map with different colors for the deserts, grasslands, etc. Maybe one day.
I still haven’t done anything to the holes on the top and bottom. I will probably papier mache over one of them but I will probably leave one hole because Zack likes to throw it around and it gets dented and the only way to give it back its round shape is to blow into it.
It is hanging in the living room and I am not sure what to do with it now. I guess we can make the rest of the solar system or use it as a piñata for Earth Day but it just seems wrong to be beating on the Earth on its day when we’ve been doing it for all of humankind already.