Monday, February 28, 2011

Newspaper Fort

The kids and I started building a geodesic dome newspaper fort this afternoon when my (unlucky) husband walked in at the perfect (for me) help hold up some pieces. He comes home to many a projects, but this one took even him by surprise.

I'm not going to lie, this project will not be for everyone. There was a time when I wanted to give up...but then Mr. Mugga poured me a rum and Coke. I'm so glad he didn't work late tonight!

I think we'll cover at least part of this with newspaper sheets or a blanket tomorrow for the kids to play in. That way it'll seem more like a cozy fort than a cold piece of abstract art.

The directions below are for a fort a bit larger than the one you see my children in. We only used 8 pieces for the bottom instead of 10...we simply do not have the room in our play room. But as you can see, it's plenty big for the three of them and their Pillow Pets...and that's all that mattered to them! Make it work for your family...just be sure to use an even number of base pieces on the fourth step.

Here are the directions...if you dare:
  1. Place open newspapers in a stack. Begin at one corner of the stack and roll each sheet of newspaper tightly into a tube (if you use a single layer that's fine...but the more sheets together the stronger the structure will be). Tape the tube so it does not unroll. Repeat 64 more times for a total of 65 tubes.
  2. Cut 30 of the tubes to 28 inches. You must cut from both ends so both ends are flat and do not taper. These are the long tubes.
  3. Cut 35 tubes to 26 inches. Remember to cut from both ends. These are the short tubes.
  4. Staple or tape 10 long tubes together, end to end.
  5. When you get to the end, staple/tape the first and last tubes together. When you do this, it will curve around to form a 10-sided polygon. This is the base of the dome. Place it on the floor.
  6. Staple/tape one long tube and one short tube to each joint on the base. Place them in the same order on each joint so that two long tubes are adjacent to each other alternating with two short tubes that are adjacent to each other. Continue this pattern all the way around the base.
  7. Staple/tape the free ends of two adjacent long tubes together. This forms a triangle. Repeat for the next two adjacent short tubes. Continue this procedure all the way around the base until you have five triangles made from long tubes and five from tubes.
  8. Staple/tape short tubes to the tops of these triangles, joining the top points. This should form a 10-sided polygon of short tubes. The geodesic dome will start to take shape.
  9. Staple/tape a short tube perpendicularly at each point where four short tubes connect. Staple/tape one end of a long tube to the free end of one of these short tubes. Staple/tape the other end to the next joint on the previous row where two longs and two shorts meet. Repeat this all the way around. The result is a shape that will resemble a five-pointed star.
  10. Add another row of long tubes connecting the inner apexes of the star. This will form a pentagon in the middle of the dome.
  11. Staple/tape one end of each of the last five short tubes to the angles of the pentagon. Tape the other ends of the short tubes together where they meet in the middle on top of the dome.
And in between each step, take a sip of your drink...unless your pregnant...then you earn an extra-special merit badge! Seriously.

Let me know how your structures turn out!

1 comment:

  1. i used to make these all the time when i was a kid gosh this brings back memory's