Miniature Armillary Sphere

7 Materials
3 Hours

This tiny treasure was a joy to make, and for the most part, it uses simple materials and basic techniques. I can't wait to share the fun process with you!

I pondered for quite some time: what would be the best material for this project?

I considered thin strips of metal – super cool, but prone to bending out of shape, and not everyone has access to metal, OR the means to hold it in place securely.

Thin strips of plastic could be used for the rings, but again, difficult to shape correctly, and to adhere firmly.

Finally, I realized that there was no need to look further than paper.

Yep…humble, lowly, ubiquitous paper.

I cut strips of mid-weight cardstock 3/32" wide, and 8 1/2" long.

In order to create the graduated sizes of rings necessary, these strips were wrapped around the circumference of 3 graduated sizes of socket wrenches:

  • 7/16"
  • 1/2"
  • 9/16"

Aleene's Super Thick Tacky Glue was used to tack the ends of the strips directly to the metal surface of the socket. Then, the strip was wound around the cylinder, adding glue so that the cardstock adhered to itself, until each 'ring' of the Armillary Sphere was complete.

The rings were then eased off of the sockets.

A pin vise (a tiny drill) was used to drill holes on opposite sides of each ring.

The two smaller rings were then threaded onto an eye-pin.

The structure was then strengthened and secured with a layer of superglue, and immediately dusted with Baking Soda to instantly cure the glue and add a layer of texture.

The largest ring was then added to the exterior of this structure, positioned, and glued into place.

Assorted jewelry findings were used to construct the base, again using superglue and Baking Soda.

A tiny arrow head and feathers were cut from cardstock and adhered to the tip and and end of the eye-pin, creating an arrow effect.

The entire surface of the structure was coated with metallic embossing powder and the powder was melted with a heat tool to create a faux metallic finish.

A column was constructed, using a 3" wooden candlestick. A tabletop was added using chipboard, foam-core board, and Dresden Trim.

Faux verdigris was painted onto the surface.

The top was embellished with a Tim Holtz Compass Coin.

Faux verdigris was added to the metallic surfaces, with acrylic craft paints.

UV Resin was used to add a lustrous, glassy layer over the base.

Pulverized cilantro leaves were sprinkled over PVA glue to create faux moss.

It's a good idea to seal the 'moss' with a layer of watered down PVA. You can add a touch of dry-brushed green acrylic craft paint over the 'moss' to counteract the fading of the organic material, if you like.

This piece makes a charming addition to a Diorama, Dolls House Garden, or Fairy Garden!

Thank you for taking this miniature journey with me!

Suggested materials:

  • Cardstock  (Amazon)
  • Aleene's Super Thick Tacky Glue  (Amazon)
  • Super Glue  (Harbor Freight)
See all materials

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Heather K Tracy

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


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