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Sunday 3 May 2020

Sunday Afternoon Art – Recycled Rockets

Inspired by our Sunday Afternoon Art sessions, we are posting easy art activities for families online.   

Today we are taking inspiration from Richmond Council’s ‘Ask an Astronaut’ interview with Helen Sharman and their project to use materials found at home, such as plastic bottles and paper rolls to create a small rocket.

We would love to see your finished creations! Photographs of rockets can be sent to: campaigns@richmond.gov.uk or share them on Twitter or Instagram using #RichmondGetsCreative by Friday 8 May 2020.  

Submissions will be shared with Helen for review and the winner will be in with a chance of winning a signed world globe.  

A picture of rockets made from recycled materials

What do you need? 

  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Recycled materials (such as plastic bottles or paper rolls or carboard boxes)
  • Tape and/or glue 
  • Colours for decorating your rocket: pens, pencils, paints or collage

Have a look through your recycling to see what you can find.  Make sure you wash anything that is dirty and don’t use anything sharp. 

An image of recycling and a recycling box

Try to find long cylindrical items if you can, like kitchen roll tubes or bottles. Don’t worry if you can’t – you can make your own cylinder from any cardboard box by cutting a rectangular striprolling it into a telescope-shape and taping it together. Make sure you ask an adult for help with any cutting. You will also need an extra cardboard box which you will cut up for more detail on your rocket later. 

Scissors and a curled piece of cardboard

We are using a bottle and a large cereal box for our rocket. 

Nose cone: First, we are going to cut the end of the bottle off –you don’t have to do this.  If you do, then ask an adult to help. 

A plastic drinking bottle with the top cut off

Using our spare cereal box, draw a circle – we drew around our roll of tape.  Draw a line into the centre and cut out and along the line.  Colour it in. 

A circle cut from cardboard with the radius drawn on

From the slit you have cut, overlap the cardboard to create a cone.  We taped ours in place.  Attach to the top of your bottle.

A hand holding a cone made from cardboard

Wings:  Optional – not all rockets have wings!  Using your cereal box, draw two triangles out.  Turn them over and trace over the triangles so that you have 4 triangles.  Colour them in and then fold over the end of the triangle to make tabs.  Glue/tape the triangles together so that the packaging design is hidden, and then attach to the bottle towards the bottom using the tabs. 

A hand drawing around cardboard triangles
A cardboard trinagle with a tab at the end
Triangular wing taped to the plastic bottle

Engine: Cut out a long thin strip of card and colour in.   

Scissors and a thin strip of card

Draw out your flames and colour and cut out.  We made five little flames, but you could make one long strip.

Picture of some irregular shapes coloured to look like flames

Tape to the long strip along the back so the coloured side is facing the same direction on the strip.

Back of cardboard strip with sflame shapes attached
Strip of cardboard with flames facing forwards

Attach to the bottom of the rocket. 

Image of flames attached to the bottom of the rocket

Windows: Draw some windows for your rocket – is there anyone inside?  Colour in and cut out.  Stick onto the front of your rocket. 

A hand drawing a circle on card
Circular windows taped onto the plastic bottle

And you have your rocket.  Well done. 

A space rocket made from recycled materials

You can make a rocket in lots of ways though, so get creative with what you have in your house.  Here are a few more that we made. 

Rockets made from recycled materials

Don’t forget to share photographs of your rockets at: campaigns@richmond.gov.uk or shared on Twitter or Instagram using #RichmondGetsCreative by Friday 8 May 2020.