Make your own globe... lots of trial and error

My most recent projects all surround my recent globe obsession merging with my thriftiness. 

 I hadn't planned on doing the jute, sisal, or dictionary ball, so they probably won't all hang out together except in this picture. Long story short: I needed 3.5 inch balls for my "I need to make my own globe" kick. I didn't realize this and bought a bag of 3 inch ones and then later bought a bag of 4 inch ones. Sooooo, I had 1 or 2..... or 8 Styrofoam balls that needed a bit of creativity and a lot of hot glue. So much for being thrifty, huh?!

This whole project began with a "make your own globe" Google search. I didn't find whole lot of globes that I loved, but I did strike some gold and found a few I liked. I even expanded my search and found a great solar system with actual photos. I printed Earth, Venus, and the moon from that site and found a cool, older globe from another one.

Here is the Earth that I printed from the solar system site. Yes, it is as fun to cut out as it looks!

I printed my globes and began to work. I thought, and thought, and thought, and emailed people, and thought some more about how to actually MAKE them. I still haven't found 3.5 inch balls. I didn't want to "shave" off a half inch from the 4 inch balls... I didn't want to paper mache the 3 inch balls to make them 3.5 inches...

After about two weeks of no solutions and no 3.5 inch balls, I finally decided that I wasn't teaching world geography off of my globe-- it didn't have to be perfect. I wanted it to look tidy and decorative. So, I pulled out the 3 inch balls and got to work!

I used Elmer's glue. I actually made these while I was on vacation and didn't think to also bring my hot glue gun.That's how excited I was about this project and sharing it!

I used quite a bit of glue. I wanted to make sure it stuck well and, although I wanted it to be a bit "bumpy", I didn't want it sloppy. 

The poles of Venus. 
They overlap because the ball wasn't large enough, but, I ended up liking it better anyway! I also liked that this one doesn't LOOK like a planet. It is just a little ball with some stripes. I even liked the way the strips show up. It gave it some unexpected texture! And, because the ball was smaller than it should have been, I also had to cut off one "strip" from my printed pieces. They fir perfectly that way, but were still a little long at the "poles".

Earth actually turned out better than I expected. Because it was such a dark blue, I had to really work to get ALL of the white cut off. I didn't want stripes down my Earth. It already had lost one whole section of space and its ice caps shrunk a bit more. But, I think it turned out pretty good! It isn't perfect, but I prefer character over perfection :).

My South Pole is a victim of global warming and the ice caps are receding.
If you make this, use hot glue. I am a 'glue puddler', as my hubby says, and I used too much glue. It stuck well. But, after it was all dried, the glue washed out some of my printer ink. Luckily, it washed out on the parts that I didn't plan to show anyway!

I'm sure that there are people out there who know how to tweak their printer settings and make this work for 3 inch balls.  I am not one of those people. When you are not one of those people, you figure out how to work around that fact!

Although this batch is done, I am still not done on my "global mission". Anyone have any tips, any better ideas, any "I can't believe it took you weeks to figure it all out" comments :)?


  1. cool beans shannon! I like all your balls! :)

    you better get busy on those projects! for sarah and beckie to feature!

  2. I love these! My sons will actually like this idea..they are in a space/planet obsession phase:)

  3. Well, I think it turned out great. :-) I love the look of the Venus ball too.

  4. What a cool project...luv how they look!


    I’m having a GIVEAWAY…come by and check it out…I think you will like it!

  5. My goodness I LOVE these!! Fabulous job - So cool! Stop by and join the Sunday Showcase if you get a chance!

  6. Yes, I love these! Will have to try. Very nice idea.

  7. Projects like this always scare me...

  8. Love how yours turned out but now I'm worried, I have one on the counter drying waiting for the next step and I didnt cut my paper anything like you did. eeek!

  9. I Love this! Super cute! I would love it if you linked up to my Talk About it Tuesday party because you have such cute ideas!


  10. I saw a blog post where someone used overlapping silver thumbtacks for their decor ball. It looked almost like dragon scales, it was so cool! The silver heads on the tacks they used were a bit domed. I've been searching for them ever since.

  11. You were caught being creative and featured on Black Kats Design Fab Friday Favorites. Stop on by and grab a button to show off!

    Kat @
    Black Kats Design

  12. You can save the image of the flat map of the world and then re-size to exact size to your 3 or 4 inches ball. Now, my question is that I am looking for earth in neutral color like yours, not the blue and green. I've looked all over and can't find it.. where can I find that? I am in an ornament exchange party, and the theme must be "NEW YEAR" in neutral color. I thought of 'earth' in neurtal but I can't find one like yours... Can you help me? Thanks!

  13. hi! i was looking for antique style make-your-own-globe patterns and found your post. ("My South Pole is a victim of global warming and the ice caps are receding." - this made me lol.) i was wondering if you still know where you found your pattern for the antique globe? sorry i know it's been... almost 3 years since this post, haha, but if you do remember, please do tell. it would help me lots. thank you very much! :)


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