Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Building a Craft Stick and Tissue Paper, Geodesic Dome - Reading Cave



ge·o·des·ic dome:  noun, a dome constructed of short struts following geodesic lines and forming an open framework of triangles or polygons. The principles of its construction were described by Buckminster Fuller (from Google definitions)

We were snowed in yesterday, with snow too deep on our street for our van to drive through, and temperatures too cold to allow for outside play.  I decided it might be a good time to build another geodesic dome.

We built one five or six years ago out of rolled up newspaper, following instructions we found on Instructables, but my two youngest girls (ages 8 and 10) were too young then to get to help with the construction.


This time we didn't have any newspaper handy, so we settled for gluing together craft sticks (we have plenty of those left over from our popsicle stick house phase) into 58cm and 62cm long sticks.



30 - 58cm long sticks, and 35 - 62cm long sticks.

Which, sounds like a lot of gluing of sticks...


...but in reality was a quick and easy, line 'em up and glue 'em together, type of  process.


We built the bottom of our dome first - a decagon base with 62cm sides...


...for triangles - five with 62cm sides, and five with 58cm sides, alternating back and forth, and held together with duct tape (I had originally thought hot glue, but duct tape end up working better).


After the base was complete, we constructed the top - a pentagon base, again with 62cm sides...


...for 5 triangles, sharing 58cm sides, rising up from the corners and meeting above the center.


The girls held the top in place, over the base, while I quickly connected the two with a series of triangles with 58cm and 62cm sides, alternating with triangles of only 62cm sides.  It sounds more confusing than it is - honestly.  Red lines in the picture below indicate 58cm sticks, with black for the 62cm long ones.


Once we had our dome standing, we passed the afternoon watching a movie together, while gluing tissue paper over the triangles, and outlining it in tape (just to make it look pretty).



The girls were thrilled with their "reading cave".


It's the perfect place to hide away from cabin fever.

11 comments:

Amber Hockman said...

This is simply STUNNING!!!

Michelle said...

Wow, this is fantastic!!!

Karin Huber said...

Thanks for sharing! We (the children looking over my shoulder and me) love it!!

maryanne @ mama smiles said...

This is incredible. I am in awe.

Ticia said...

That is true dedication to a project.
I'm also stunned you had popsicle sticks laying around for that long.

Sue Elvis said...

Wow! All made from sticks and tissue paper, duct tape! (Isn't duct tape a wonderful invention?) You have such good ideas which you actually put into action. I think I'd like to crawl into this dome and spend an afternoon reading!

Angelic Scalliwags said...

You astound me! Who needs a curriculum when there is a Leah in the house? Seriously - you are a living, breathing walking curriculum!

Christy Killoran said...

Beautiful! Please come to my house and make one with my children!

Bethany said...

Totally cool!

Cassi said...

Wow, this is amazing! I'll be sharing it on The Crafty Crow later this week :)

Natalie PlanetSmartyPants said...

I am so impressed that it held up! Amazing structure!