Have your summer outings taken your family to a planetarium or a space exhibit at a science museum, or did you take a trip to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida? Maybe you enjoyed camping at a state or national park under a starlit sky.
Whatever your adventure, capture the memory with a space-age craft that’s fun, practical and will keep your child’s curiosity about space alive. Decorate a plain, smooth lampshade you already have, or purchase an inexpensive version to create your night-sky theme. With just a few supplies from around the house, you and your kids can make an out-of-this-world shade to brighten a bedroom or family room.
Here’s the stuff you’ll need:
–Plain, standard smooth white lampshade
–Sheets of tissue paper in several colors (we used navy blue and shades of purple)
–Household white glue diluted with a few drops of water to create a milkshakelike consistency
–1-inch glow-in-the-dark adhesive-backed stars
–Sturdy craft wire
–Medium and large buttons, beads, star-shaped charms and baubles with holes
Here’s the fun:
1. Tear tissue paper into 1-inch-by-1-inch pieces. This is a fun job for preschoolers. Older children might prefer cutting straight-sided squares or rectangles with scissors.
2. Set the lampshade on a newspaper-covered work surface. Paint an outside section with the glue-and-water mixture over the top of the tissue paper and smooth each piece out with your fingers. When the shade is covered, finish it off with a coating of glue and water. Let dry.
3. Attach glow-in-the dark stars here and there on the tissue-paper-covered exterior, then use the darning needle to poke about 6-8 holes evenly around the top edge of the shade.
4. Now it’s time to put planets and stars jutting outward in space, circling the shade. Start with a 10-inch length of wire. Poke and twist in place one end through the holes of a large flat button to represent a planet or the sun. Loop the opposite end of the wire through one of the holes in the shade.
Bend the wire outward so that it looks like it is suspended in space around the shade. Continue attaching a single charm, bead or button to additional pieces of cut wire to represent the International Space Station, the moon, stars and even a rocketship. Vary lengths. The sky’s the limit when it comes to expressing your creativity.
5. Attach the shade to your lamp base to light up a desk, night table or dresser.