DIY Kaleidoscope

This is a great activity that you can make with items around your house. I remember growing up always looking through my kaleidoscope staring at the different shapes and patterns for hours daydreaming. One of the coolest things about kaleidoscopes is that no two kaleidoscopes are going to turn out the same. Kind of like people, who are all created so differently, but are all beautiful inside and out.

Supplies Needed

  • 2 empty toilet paper rolls

  • 1 plastic shot glass or condiment cup that fits into the end of the tube

  • A variety of transparent, plastic beads

  • Aluminum foil

  • Scrap cardboard (use a cereal box)

  • Masking tape

  • Clear scotch tape

  • Scissors

  • Clear packing tape

  • Colored paper

  • Stickers or washi tape

  • Push pin


  • Using masking tape, take the two toilet paper rolls and tape them together in the middle. Be sure to use enough tape to make it sturdy.

  • Take your plastic shot glass or condiment cup and fill it 1/2 to 3/4 the way with the transparent beads.

  • Using a piece of clear packaging tape, fold it in half so that you tape the sticky sides together. Place it over the end of the container holding the beads.

  • Using scotch tape, secure the packaging tape to the cup and slide the cup in at the end of the tube.

  • To create the reflective prism, cut a piece of cardboard about 4″ x 5″ and fold it into a triangle, making sure one end overlaps to seal shut. Cut a piece of foil a little larger than the cardboard and secure it on the cardboard with clear tape to secure it, but only on one end.

  • Carefully fold the cardboard and foil together, with the foil side on the inside of the triangle. Be careful not to tear the foil. Secure the end of the foil by folding the end down and secure it with clear tape.

  • Tape the triangle together.

  • Drop the cardboard triangle into the tube. Trace one end of the scope onto a piece of card stock paper. Draw sunshine-like rays extending about 1/2″ from the circle. Cut it out around the sunshine rays, then cut each line (rays) to the circle.

  • Place your card stock on one end of your tube and fold the edges down around it. Secure it with tape. Using a push pin, create a hole in the center for you to look through.

  • Cover the tube with colored paper, securing it with tape. Finally, you can decorate the outside with stickers or washi tape to give it your own personal touch. Have fun!