Create a 3D Solar System Without Styrofoam Balls in 5 Simple Steps

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Creating a 3D solar system model is an exciting and educational project to undertake. However, many DIY tutorials suggest using styrofoam balls, which can be difficult to find or environmentally harmful. In this article, we will show you how to make a 3D solar system model without styrofoam balls, using materials that are easy to find and eco-friendly.

To make our 3D solar system model, we will be using paper mache. This technique involves creating a paste from flour and water, then layering strips of newspaper or tissue paper over a balloon or other spherical object. Once the paper mache has dried, we can paint and decorate our planets to create a realistic and visually stunning solar system model.

Not only is this method of creating a 3D solar system model eco-friendly, but it also allows for a more hands-on and creative approach to the project. By using paper mache, we can customize the size and shape of our planets, and even add texture or other details to make our model unique. So, let’s get started on making our very own 3D solar system without styrofoam balls!


Paper Mache Mix

For this project, you will need a paper mache mix. You can either buy a pre-made mix or make your own. To make your own, mix one part flour with two parts water until it forms a smooth consistency. You can also add a pinch of salt to prevent mold.


Balloons are used as a base for the planets. You will need various sizes of balloons to create the different planets in the solar system.

Acrylic Paints

Acrylic paints are ideal for this project as they dry quickly and come in a wide range of colors. You will need paints in different colors to paint the planets and the sun.

Paint Brushes

You will need a variety of paint brushes in different sizes to paint the planets and the sun. Make sure to use brushes with soft bristles to avoid damaging the balloons.

Clear Plastic Balls

Clear plastic balls are used to create the rings around Saturn. You can find these balls at craft stores or online.

Fishing Line

Fishing line is used to hang the planets and the sun. Make sure to use a strong fishing line that can hold the weight of the planets.

Glue Gun

A glue gun is used to attach the planets to the fishing line. Make sure to use a low-temperature glue gun to avoid damaging the balloons.


Scissors are used to cut the fishing line and to trim the excess paper mache around the planets. Make sure to use sharp scissors for a clean cut.

In summary, to make a 3D solar system without styrofoam balls, you will need paper mache mix, balloons, acrylic paints, paint brushes, clear plastic balls, fishing line, glue gun, and scissors.

Creating the Planets

Mixing the Paper Mache

To create the planets, you will need to mix up a batch of paper mache. You can use a simple recipe of 1 part flour to 1 part water, or you can use a pre-made paper mache mix. Mix the ingredients together until you have a smooth, runny paste.

Inflating the Balloons

Next, you will need to inflate balloons to the desired size of each planet. You can use a variety of sizes to create a realistic solar system. Be sure to tie off the balloons securely so they don’t deflate during the process.

Applying the Paper Mache

Dip strips of newspaper or other paper into the paper mache mix and apply them to the balloons. Cover the entire surface of the balloon with a layer of paper mache, smoothing out any wrinkles or bumps as you go. Repeat this process until you have several layers of paper mache on each balloon.

Painting the Planets

Once the paper mache has dried, it’s time to paint the planets. Use acrylic paint to create the colors and patterns of each planet. You can refer to images of the solar system to get an idea of what each planet should look like.

Adding Details

Finally, add any details to the planets, such as rings around Saturn or craters on the moon. You can use a variety of materials such as paint, markers, or even small objects like beads or sequins to add texture and dimension to the planets.

Creating a 3D solar system without styrofoam balls is a fun and creative project that can be done with simple materials. With some paper mache and a little bit of paint, you can create a beautiful and realistic model of our solar system.

Assembling the Solar System

Attaching the Planets to Fishing Line

To create the planets, you can use small plastic balls or beads and paint them to resemble the different planets. Once the paint has dried, you can attach the planets to fishing line using a hot glue gun. Make sure to leave enough space between each planet so that they don’t touch each other.

Inserting the Planets into the Plastic Balls

To create the 3D effect, you can insert the planets into clear plastic balls that can be found at most craft stores. You can also use plastic Easter eggs or Christmas ornaments. Carefully insert the planets into the plastic balls, making sure that they are secure and won’t fall out.

Arranging the Planets in Order

Arrange the planets in order from the sun, starting with Mercury and moving outward to Neptune. You can use a table or chart to help you remember the order of the planets. You can also label each planet with its name to make it easier to identify.

Hanging the Solar System

Once you have arranged the planets in order, you can hang the solar system using a sturdy string or wire. You can attach the string or wire to a hanger or hook and suspend it from the ceiling. Make sure that the solar system is balanced and doesn’t tilt to one side.

Creating a 3D solar system without styrofoam balls is a fun and educational project that can be done with children or as a science project. With a little creativity and some basic materials, you can create a beautiful and accurate representation of our solar system.


Creating a 3D solar system model can be a fun and educational project for kids and adults alike. While styrofoam balls are a popular choice for this project, there are plenty of other materials you can use to create a unique and creative model.

In this article, we’ve explored several alternative materials for making a solar system model, including paper mache, balloons, and even fruit. Each of these materials has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to choose the one that best fits your needs and preferences.

Regardless of which material you choose, it’s important to take your time and plan out your design carefully. Consider the size and scale of each planet, as well as their distance from the sun. You may also want to add other features, such as moons, asteroids, or comets.

Finally, don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with different materials and techniques. Whether you’re using paper mache or fruit, there’s no limit to the possibilities when it comes to creating a 3D solar system model. So have fun, and enjoy exploring the wonders of the universe!