Make an Armillary Sphere.

While looking through some magazines recently, admiring the decor and room accessories in the pictures, something caught my eye.  It was globe like, rings and base all shining gold and it’s arrow pointing towards the sky.  It was indeed… an armillary sphere.  Beauty and science married together, creating this impressive object.

Armillary spheres where initially a way to map the latitude, longitude and important celestial features including the path of the sun around the earth.  Different points were mapped onto the rings which could rotate around the earth at the center of the sphere.  At this time, it was believed that our humble planet WAS the center of our solar system.  Since it’s creation, this sphere has undergone some evolution reflecting new facts and data discovered as humanity explored and learned about our solar system, but it’s design has essentially remained the same.

Why are we talking about armillary spheres?

It comes down to this.  They look wicked awesome, so I made one.  No, it’s not scientifically accurate, it doesn’t rotate and it’s not made of brass.  My armillary sphere is for decor.  It’s going to sit there and look pretty.

Follow along and I’ll show you how to make your own, for next to nothing.

These are the supplies I used to make my armillary sphere (non spinning);

Candle stick
Wooden base (round piece)
3 large embroidery hoops (only 2 pictured)
2 medium embroidery hoops
2 wooden dowels (half the width of the embroidery hoops)
Large paint stir stick
Ball (paintable)
Glue (E-6000 pictured, wood glue is ideal for most of it)
Drill or Dremmel tool
Sandpaper (just a bit)
Gold or brass spray paint (and primer if needed)

First things first.  I removed the part of my outer embroidery hoops where they screwed together (just one side).  Then I bent the leftover metal bit down and glued it so it would stay together without all the bulk.  Next I measured out and drilled out 2 holes in each hoop, at exact opposite ends of the hoop from each other.  I did the same with the ball.  The ball I used was a street hockey ball.  Thick enough to hold it’s shape even with the holes.  I couldn’t find a wooden ball the right size that was pre-drilled.
If you are thinking about using Styrofoam for the ball, don’t.  Normal spray paint will eat away at the Styrofoam before it even dries.

Feed one of the dowels through the inner ring from the large embroidery hoop, then through the smaller hoop set, through the ball and out through the other ends of the hoops.  Play around with the placement, make sure it’s all centered, then begin gluing the hoops in place (hang to dry from the side so you don’t have to hold it the entire time).

Once the hoops are set, glue the ball in place.  This is where E-6000 comes in handy.  Let dry thoroughly.  Cut off the excess dowel pieces from each end so they are smooth and flush with the outer edge of the big hoop.

I found this to be the trickiest part.  Take your last 2 large embroidery hoops and play around until you have them in the position you like.  I suggest marking it with a pencil, then glue them in place.  On the outer hoop, attach some dowel bits to opposite ends (this will be for the arrow).

For the candle stick, I ended up adding a small wooden disk to the top to conceal the candle cup.  Do whatever works for you.  Drill a hole into the middle of the candle stick from the top, feed in some dowel, place the candle stick on the wooden base and glue it all together.

Let everything dry thoroughly.

Find where you want to attach the hoop to the candle stick, and drill a hole through the hoop.  Feed it over the dowel on the base and glue together.  Getting there!

On the large paint stick, draw out an arrowhead and a flight.  Cut out and sand smooth.  I made a notch in each piece so they would adhere to the arrow shaft a little easier.

Look at that… it’s already frickin’ awesome.  Finishing touches, coming up!

Spray it.  Take your time, do light coats, letting it dry before applying more spray paint.  With all the nooks and crannies in there, it will take a few goes.  But when you’ve got it done….

Eeee! {Squeal of glee!} Need I say more?!?

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  1. says

    So cool! I didn’t know what that was called. I found the COOLEST lamp at the thrift store the other day. It has an armillary sphere in the middle of it. A fake of course, but it’s meant to look like that. I’m glad I now know what it is! :)

  2. Christie Daruwalla says

    This is absolutely awesome! I would never have thought to make the sphere out of the items you choose. Thanks for sharing on Thursdays Treasures. This will be a feature.

    • says

      Awe, thanks Jessi! I’m really pleased with how it came together. But geeze… could you imagine the size of embroidery hoops you’d need to make a monument size sphere?!? haha…. jk 😉

  3. says

    Oh wow, your armilary sphere is amazing! Boy, you are so talented, it looks better than my real brass one! (Look at mine in my post). One of the photos it shows in the background in my living room. You are featured at Make, Bake and Create. Big hugs,

  4. Cathy Compeau says

    I would love for you to share and link up at my weekly TGIF Link Party if you haven’t already this week. Your favorite posts, most popular, recent or new! The party is open every Thursday night and closes Wednesday’s at midnight. Followed by (Not SO) Wordless Wednesday!

    I would be honored if you join us and follow to stay connected Have a wonderful week!

    Hugs, Cathy

  5. CurtisSully says

    Имеется такая услуга – добровольное медицинское обслуживание (или ДМО).
    Она предполагает, что пациент платит небольшую сумму за то, что посещает врачей в течение года бесплатно.
    Однако соцопросы показали, что лишь 5% жителей Питера знают о такой услуге.
    Почему так происходит?
    Да потому что клиникам намного выгодней сдирать с людей деньги за каждое посещение.
    А если какой-нибудь сотрудник клиники посоветует добровольное медицинское обслуживание клиенту – это сулит ему увольнением.
    Информация о ДМО уже вызвала кучу возмущений, сразу после того как информацию об услуге рассекретил один возмущенный врач.
    Его уволили “по собственному желанию”, после того, как он посоветовал ДМО постоянному клиенту.
    Страшно, что официальные положения по ДМО присутствуют в открытом доступе, просто натыкались на эту информацию единицы.
    Как отстоять свои права?
    О правилах предоставления услуги и обязанностях клиник можно узнать, просто вбив в Яндекс фразу: “добровольное медицинское обслуживание”.
    И именно обслуживание, а не страхование.



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