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How to Make a Model of the Solar System

SAFETY FIRST: Ask an adult to help with tools you haven't used before.

Finished model of the solar system

Make a detailed model of Earth and all its neighboring planets with this quick STEM-focused project.


  • Paint (red, orange, yellow, green, bluegreen, dark blue, cobalt blue, light blue, white and black)
  • 8 small Styrofoam balls (these will be the planets). You’ll need the following sizes: 5, 4, 3, 2 ½, 2, 1 ½ and 1 ¼ inches. Make sure you have two each of the 1 ½- and 1 ¼-inch balls.
  • 10-inch Styrofoam ball (this will be the base of the solar system)
  • Coat hangers, wooden dowels or skewers (these will suspend the planets)
  • Styrofoam sheet, pipe cleaners, cardboard or colored paper (this will make Saturn’s rings)
  • Pocketknife or scissors


STEP 1. Stick the hangers, skewers or dowels about halfway through all balls except the 10-inch one.

STEP 2. Add detail to your planets by painting them. Do some research to decide exactly how you want to make each one look. For starters:

  • SUN — 5-inch ball, bright yellow
  • MERCURY — 1 ¼-inch ball, orange
  • VENUS — 1 ½-inch ball, blue-green
  • EARTH — 1½-inch ball, dark blue with green highlights
  • MARS — 1 ¼-inch ball, red
  • JUPITER — 4-inch ball, orange with red and white stripes. Be sure to add the Great Red Spot in the correct area with red paint.
  • SATURN — 3-inch ball, yellow-orange
  • URANUS — 2-inch ball, cobalt blue
  • NEPTUNE — 2 ½-inch ball, light blue

STEP 3. Make the stand. While you wait for the planets to dry, make the stand for your model. Cut the 10-inch ball in half, creating a dome with a flat bottom. Once all the planets are dry, stick them into the dome so each of them is arranged according to its order in the solar system.


Add some extra detail to your model by using pipe cleaners, extra Styrofoam, cardboard or colored paper to mimic Saturn’s famous rings.


Check out these photos of the completed solar system project sent to us by Boys’ Life readers. If you have a photos of a BL Workshop project, please use the form below to send them to us.

Submit a Photo of Your Project

Important Note: Please only upload photos of your project. Because of privacy rules, we can't post any photos that show people's faces. Always ask for your parent's permission before uploading anything to a website.

18 Comments on How to Make a Model of the Solar System

  1. Very Cool Project…We might borrow this idea for some of our summer workshops..

    Horwitz DeRemer Planetarium
    Waukesha, Wi..

  2. SOPHIE SLAYS // April 22, 2024 at 9:56 pm // Reply

    that is amazing

  3. thank you for the information, because i am fixing to start my project

  4. i am just starting it so thanks

  5. Catgrrrl🐈‍⬛ // December 20, 2023 at 8:43 am // Reply

    SO COOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! #Merry cristmas!🎄

  6. I don’t have tools☹️

  7. 👌🏻

  8. I got a hundred percent on this project thanks to you it’s so simple

  9. NICE!

  10. i have a science project coming up too

  11. I have Science Week coming up so this’ll be perfect! Thanks for helping me out with my project! 😀

  12. making Saturn was hard but i did it

  13. Alicorn Lover // September 10, 2022 at 2:15 am // Reply

    This looks amazing my school is making a project so we have to make this thing

  14. Unicornlover // January 26, 2022 at 5:35 am // Reply

    Umm well there’s no in order just going round

  15. In order

  16. Why not do it the correct scale of size AND distance to each kids the real sizes?

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