The "Real" Solar System

Get 'real' with an accurate model of the solar system. Take an imaginary journey into space with this scaled model that you can make! Position the planets in orbit around the sun for totally far out fun!

Completion time – 2-4 hours

Designer – Annabelle Keller, Courtesy of Kathie Stull of Hands On Crafts For Kids


  • 2-4-1/2" Rings
  • 1- Ball each: 1", 2", 2-1/2", 3", 4", 6"
  • 2- Balls each: 1-1/4", 1-1/2"
  • 1- Sheet each, 12" x 36"
Other Materials
  • Acrylic paint: (Bright Yellow, Black, Orange, Blue
  • Ultra Blue, Christmas Green, Bright Red,
  • Village Green, Nectar Coral, Terra Cotta,
  • Seminole Green and Purple)
  • 2- Wooden dowel rods, 36" x 1/8"


  • Paint brush
  • Toothpicks
  • Ruler
  • Craft snips
  • Tacky glue


  1. Cut the dowel rods to the lengths shown on the chart below. Paint them Black and stand them in a foam sheet to dry. Note: you may need adult supervision to trim the dowels.
  2. Using the chart as a guide, glue the cut dowels into the corresponding balls of STYROFOAM™ brand foam, then paint each ball. When two colors are given paint the ball with the first color, let it dry then dab on spots of the second color with your finger.
  3. Glue the sun to the black ring and the coral ring around Saturn.
  4. Place a rubber band around the sun about 2-½" above the base. This will be your guide for placing the planets. Starting with Mercury, glue the dowels into the sun about 1" below the rubber band. Remove the rubber band when all of the planets are attached.
Planet Size of Ball Color Dowel Length
Sun6"Bright Yellow-
(Ring for Base)-Black-
Venus1½"Deep Danube4"
Earth1½"Ultra Blue, Christmas Green5"
Mars1¼"Bright Red6"
Saturn3"Village Green, Nectar Coral8"
Saturn's Ring-Nectar Coral-
Uranus2½"Terra Cotta, Seminole10"
Pluto1¼"Seminole Green, Terra Cotta Purple14"