How to Make a Sun From Styrofoam

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Things You'll Need

  • Wire hook

  • White glue

  • Styrofoam ball

  • String

  • Scissors

  • Yellow craft spray paint

  • Orange craft paint

  • Red craft paint

  • Paintbrush

  • Paper towels

Learning how to make a sun from Styrofoam is a time-honored tradition in many science classrooms. There are even special Styrofoam kits available that include everything you need to build a model of the solar system. However, making a Styrofoam sun from a kit takes away some of the creative process and prevents the use of any special techniques. Start with basic materials that you can customize to create a fancy Styrofoam sun.


Step 1

Dip the tip of the wire hook into some white glue. Push the wire hook into the top of the Styrofoam ball. Let dry.

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Step 2

Cut a piece of string. Tie the string around the hook and hang the ball somewhere you can use spray paint.

Step 3

Cover the Styrofoam ball with yellow craft spray paint. Let dry. Spray with a second coat of paint and let dry.

Step 4

Dip a paintbrush into a little orange craft paint. Stroke the brush against a paper towel a few times so only a light dusting of the color is left on the brush.


Step 5

Lightly dust the orange color over the yellow ball. You do not want to create visible strokes, but rather subtle, mottled, highlighted patches of orange that make the ball look like it has depth. Let dry. Repeat the process with red paint.

Step 6

Hang the sun in your home with the string. If you want to make a solar system model, make some Styrofoam planets and hang them around the sun.


Be careful not to press down too hard when painting the Styrofoam. You can be firm, but if you’re too rough you’ll end up creating holes and depressions. If you want to create a sun that demonstrates the inner and outer appearance, slice your Styrofoam ball in half. Paint the outside of the ball yellow and hand-paint arched layers of red and orange on the flat side to represent the layers that create the sun.


Check that the spray paint you plan to use on the Styrofoam is labeled as Styrofoam safe. If it doesn’t have this label, it will end up melting and destroying the foam.


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