Those tired rice-paper shoji screens aren’t your only option for creating division within an open space. Inspired by the classic tabletop ant farm, this design is nearly all the fun of the living variety, plus you can sleep nights knowing there won’t be any escapees.
Remove 1 side of the protective plastic sheeting from 1 piece of plexiglass.
Lay the plexi on the floor, exposed side up, over newspaper.
Start by creating a horizon line, about 14" from the top edge of the 3' end of the plexi.
To mask the horizon line and tunnels, tear the masking tape in half lengthwise, and working in sections, use only the torn edge for the template lines.
From the horizon line, create your network of tunnels, roughly 2" in width, by either using this design as your guide, or creating your own.
Tape off one 2½" border along the 3 edges of the plexi below your horizon line.
NOTE: To cut plexiglass, score a deep line, using a straightedge. Sandwich the plexiglass between an straight board (like a 2X4) and a table with the scored line about 1/2" away from the edge of the table, and clamp it in place. Put on your safety goggles. With even pressure and a quick downward motion, snap the plexiglass along the line.
Once the paint is dry, scan the ant silhouettes provided here to a maximum height just short of 2"(144 pixels).
Print. To get more ant action, flip the scans horizontally and print again, using mirrored images to give your ants more variety.
Lay a plexi sheet over the newspaper, painted side up, and position the printed ants underneath it, inside the tunnels and along the horizon. (Don't overcrowd — it looks nicer if you allow ample space between ants.)
With the fine-tipped paintbrush, trace-paint over the ant template using black acrylic paint. Dry.
Repeat the process on the second sheet of plexi, placing ants in the vacant spaces left on the first sheet.
The purpose here is to give your ants three-dimensional appeal, without overlapping ant images on top of one another.