How to build inexpensive molecular models with spun cotton balls

inexpensive molecular models kits

Check out our tutorial and learn how you can build beautiful and inexpensive molecular models with spun cotton balls. We will use a caffeine molecule as an example.

Molecular models – materials:

CAUTION: this is not a craft idea for children as it requires the use of a glue gun.

  • Spun cotton balls. They come in many sizes from about a quarter inch to almost three inches. You can use smaller size balls for smaller atoms such as hydrogen and larger size balls for larger atoms such as carbon and oxygen. For the caffeine molecule, we used 15mm diameter spun cotton balls (about .6 inches in diameter). 
  • Acrylic paint and paint brush (spun cotton balls are sold white, unpainted).
  • A glue gun. 


inexpensive molecular models kits

1. Paint the balls. You can insert a bamboo skewer in the balls to hold them. You can then rest the bamboo sticks in a container while the paint dries.

2. When the paint is dry, glue the spheres together into the shape of a molecule. With the glue gun it only takes a few seconds for each connection.

You are done :) To display your molecules, you can glue them onto a nice wooden pedestal, or just glue them onto a piece of cardboard. You can start with simple molecules and work your way up to complex molecular models such as DNA models.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. As always, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to get in touch via the comment section below. We are always here to help. Happy crafting!

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