DIY Recycled Spaceship Console

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

I'm not going to give a step by step description of how to make this because I thought figuring out what to use and where was half the fun. I am going to give you a GIANT supplies list and a .pdf of most of the graphics I used, though, so I'm not abandoning you completely.

This year's summer reading theme is space centered at my library, and we really wanted to have some interactive play stations to enhance the children's experience. I found some awesome space consoles that looked easy enough to DIY, so I gave it a shot using what various supplies we had around the library. And by various, I mean I used anything I could get my hands on.

The trick to really making this work is to make sure that the bottom of your structure is hollow. A long, thin box works best: I used two banker box lids taped together. Having some space at the bottom gives you a place to have things hanging out underneath, and a place to hide your hot glue globs and massive amounts of duct tape.

contact paper, metallic contact paper, butcher paper
cardboard boxes and hot glue
packing tape and duct tape
ribbon spools, marker lids, water bottle lids, beads
 colored paper, baby food jars, Easter eggs
 brads, game controller parts, a number pad
 glue sticks, and used up tape rolls

To make these knobs (that turn... ooooo, fancy) I used the bottom half of a glue stick and stuck on a bunch of beads.

Lots of bottle caps went into making buttons. I put a big wooden bead at the bottom of these which hid the hot glue and made them look more like buttons. All of the meters in this project have working dials. To make the needles durable but still movable I covered both sides in contact tape then attached the needle with a brad at the bottom.

I think the joysticks might be the most loved part of this whole setup. I made them by tearing apart an old game controller (a PC one who's buttons kept sticking, to be specific) and then attaching the joysticks and the hardware that goes with them. I made them more impressive by gluing on, you guessed it, more bottle caps.

These meters were created by covering used duct tape rolls with paper then taping in the meter graphic. The needles were covered with lots of tape then attached with a brad (that looks like a screw, how cool is that?).

The two big dials were created with a used ribbon spool with a thin marker cap inserted inside. The top of the marker cap was glued to a water bottle lid, and the bottom came out through the cardboard. The blue, green, and orange switch slide along tracks so they can be adjusted to sit at different levels.

I'm happy with the way this project turned out, and it's a hit with the kids. They always take at least a few minutes to pretend to blast off into space. I'm also slightly impressed by the durability. We've had this sitting out for two weeks and only one thing needs to be re-glued.

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