Art-Making Activity: Paper Planet Orbs

Use nature-inspired patterns and textures to create a paper orb: reminiscent of just one drop of earthly matter and an entire planet at once. Find colors and patterns in magazines that remind you of those from nature or draw your own designs to make a paper planet that’s uniquely yours. 

Left: Dawn DeDeaux, One Drop, 2010. Digital projection on wood, sound. 84 inches (diameter). Produced by Dr. William Bertrand. Collection of the artist. © Dawn DeDeaux.

Dawn DeDeaux’s video piece One Drop (shown above on the left) was filmed from inside a single glass of water. We see a video of a rippling circle reflecting back the plants and sky above. This one glass is a metaphor for larger bodies of water on Earth reacting to crises like oil spills and other pollution.


  • Cardstock or cardboard
  • Paper circles 
  • Lids for tracing
  • Twine
  • Scissors
  • Magazines (optional)
  • Glue sticks (optional)
  • Writing utensils (optional)

Trace circular objects like lids, coasters, or cups onto cardstock and paper to create a sturdy base and several paper circles of various sizes and patterns.


Decorate the base and circles with notes, drawings, or collage.




Fold paper circles in half. Cut a slit at the halfway point along the flat edge, almost to the edge of the circle.


Open the folded circle a little bit like an open mouth. Slide it onto the cardstock base as if the circle is biting it! Open up the circle partially so it stands upright.



Arrange circles to create a design of your choice. When you’re done, ask a grown up to help punch a hole, attach a piece of twine, and hang for all to enjoy!



Once you’ve finished, browse more family-friendly art-making activities from NOMA.

NOMA is committed to uniting, inspiring, and engaging diverse communities and cultures through the arts — now more than ever. Your gift will make a direct and immediate impact as NOMA welcomes our community back to the museum and sculpture garden, plans new exhibitions, and develops virtual and at-home arts education resources for school partners.