This is how we made our Entertainment Center Spaceship Playset:
- First, we removed the cabinet doors, the back cabinet panel, and the upper glass doors.
- Next, we painted the cabinet deep purple and let it dry.
- We frosted the glass doors in frosted glass spray and set them aside to dry.
- We took large plywood rounds, cut them into 4 quarters with a jigsaw, painted them silver and let them dry. We next attached each quarter to the sides of cabinet with shelf brackets.
- Using fluorescent paint pens, a star map and grid is drawn on the frosted glass doors with rulers and circle templates (bowls or plates will work).
- We wrote up technical jargon, like coordinates, planet names, etc. on a computer in a cool colorful space font and printed on sticker paper. Then, trimmed and stuck on map.
- Next, we traced the area of back panel where space window will be. We drilled numerous holes randomly in the back panel. We painted that area with 3 coats of black magnetic paint. Once dry, we enhanced it with light wisps of light purple spray paint to create a cosmic dust to resemble the Milky Way. We then added smaller dots as distant stars with a white and blue paint pen on the dark paint.
- For "stars," we inserted LED string lights into the holes. We hot glued the lights in place in order to secure them. LED is good to use, as they are usually not hot to touch when lit. We then attached the panel onto the cabinet where it used to be attached with carpentry nails.
- We used small plastic Frisbees as planets. First, we painted them to look like planets. After they dried, we hot glued three small disc magnets onto the inside of the Frisbee. Your child can move the planets about the magnet painted space wall backdrop. You can also glue magnets to toy store spaceships, or other such similar items, and attach them to the space wall for interactive fun.
- Our Control Panel details are a fun process of combining lots of ordinary found objects together to create futuristic high tech looking gizmos. You can use an old computer keyboard, PVC pipes, play balls, soda bottle caps, storage bin lids, old action figure playset parts, tank or car model parts. We even used a plastic plunger as a navigation joystick! Anything goes here. One secret is to figure out your design and pre-paint your parts before assembling and hot-gluing in place.
- You can use a couple of battery operated dome push lights and even a decorative lighting ball to create the futuristic Spaceship look. The more little details you use, the more realistic and interesting your ship will be! In TV and Movie prop-making this is nicknamed "Greebling" or adding "Greebles."
- If you wanted to give your ship "metal" parts, you can use metallic silver contact paper. Try cutting the contact paper to fit and add trim and borders to doors and cabinet edges.
- Give your spaceship an industrial retro future look by gluing silver painted wood plugs around edges as rivets.
- Try installing cabinet lights inside and behind glass doors to illuminate.
- We then re-installed the frosted glass doors and all other cabinet doors. Children can use spaces originally designed for VHS/DVD's to store their toys and books!
- Use objects around your house and your imagination and see what you can come up with! And, have fun!
For more with lifestyle expert and host of A&E's "Sell This House Extreme" Tanya Memme, please visit www.tanyamemme.com.
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