DIY Kaleidoscope

Clever Engineering, Cool Science


ooooh! ahhhh! make your very own kaleidoscope and be enchanted by the shapes and colors! gorgeous project for any type of girl we love it!

45 minutes

maker checklist

  • cardboard tube
  • mirror board
  • eye-piece template
  • small petri dish
  • rubber bands
  • brass brads
  • paper clip
  • sticky foam squares
  • colorful sequins, etc
  • corrugated cardboard
  • cardstock or craft foam



select your sparkles: curate a colorful collection of sequins, acetate and beads to get off to a fun and colorful start. sprinkle a handful in the clear pitri dish, and wrap with two rubberbands, in an X-shape, to secure.


prep your tube: use an awl (or a paperclip) to poke 2 small holes in your tube, about 1/2-inch down from one end and opposite each other. put the brass brads through the holes and open up the legs inside the tube to secure.


make the eyepiece: cut out a circle of cardstock a little bigger than the end of the tube. cut a smaller circle from the center. this is your eyepiece. secure the eyepiece to the tube with glue or double-sided tape. the eye-piece should be on the opposite end of the tube from the brass brads.


create the mirrored prism: practice with paper first – cut it to the length of your tube, and fold it into a 3D triangle, adjusting the measurements so that it fits inside the craft tube.

transfer these measurements to a sheet of mirror board. score and fold, and insert in the tube.

make sure the shiniest side of the board face inwards. and make sure the prism is snug against the end of the tube with the eyepiece.


place the petri dish onto the end with the brass brads and secure in place with another rubber band looped around the 2 brass brads.


add a corrugated paper cuff around the middle of the tube, so that you can hold the cuff with one hand and rotate the tube with the other.


seal the open end and decorate with color and crafty bits!