By Dave Pierik, Shelton-Mason County Journal
From Happy Tree Observatory, astronomers study planets, moons, stars, nebulae, galaxies and comets.
Tools: compass, ruler, scissors, paint brushes, marker. Optional: craft knife or old steak knife
Materials: 2” craft ball, mason jar ring, oat milk lid, Pringles® can, straw, cardboard, flat toothpicks, masking tape, white glue, baking soda, paint. Optional: rubberized craft foam sheet
Cost: about $1-$3 including paint and glue Time: two to four hours or so
1. Entry level
Measure Pringles® can, 2” height from bottom. Mark in several places. Follow marks with masking tape. Carefully cut along the edge. Test fit regular mason jar ring oat milk lid (inverted) and craft ball.
2. Telescope dome
Keeping the ball intact, wrap the craft foam halfway around and mark it. Cut two lengths, ¼” wide, to that mark. Glue the two parallel strips halfway around the ball. Hold in place with masking tape and set aside to dry.
3. Walkway & doors
Trace the bottom of the can over cardboard. Measure 2 ½” and mark, then use compass to mark a 5” circle, so there is a circle in a circle. Glue the pieces together. For doors, measure a 1 ½” wide x 1 3/4” tall rectangle; mark a line down the middle. Use compass to mark top curve and craft knife to score the middle. Bend to fit, glue in place. Cut toothpicks and glue on for door handles.
Add 50% white glue to white paint to prime everything. Let dry. You can add more glue and dust with baking soda to fill small gaps; just blow any excess away. Paint the telescope and opening black, and water down black to bring out detail, then drybrush white. Paint the door blue. Paint the door handles, dome opening, and telescope highlight silver, and the sidewalk grey, with tan details.
5. Happy Tree Observatory
The Happy Tree Astronomy Club meets at night, unless it’s too cloudy.
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