Introduction: Super Stealthy Spy Periscope!

Picture of Super Stealthy Spy Periscope!

Have you ever wanted to peek around a corner without your head poking out? How about peering through your window without people seeing you. In this instructable, I'll show you how to make a super easy periscope that will keep you hidden while you spy!

How it works: Periscopes work by using mirrors to show you an image out of your direct line of sight. It allows you to to look past obstructions in your line of view, look around corners, or over walls.

Read on to find out how to make this super cool spying periscope!

Step 1: Supplies and Tools.

Picture of Supplies and Tools.

To make this super cool spy periscope you're going to need:

1. Some sort of long narrow cardboardish box. You could use an orange juice box, or something with that basic shape. I used a Thin Mints box, because it was narrow, long, and sturdy.
2. 2 small mirrors. I found my two mirrors out of old make-up containers. They're easy to pry out of the top, but be careful, if the mirror breaks, it could cut you.
3. Duck tape.
4. A knife. I used my Leatherman, but an X-acto knife, or carpet cutter works too.
5. A marker.

Step 2: Prepairing the Body of the Periscope.

Picture of Prepairing the Body of the Periscope.

Take your cardboard box. It should be sorta long, and narrow in shape. The first thing you want to do is to close up the ends with your tape. Just close the ends and cover them with a piece or two of tape.

After you've done this, cover the whole box in tape. The tape adds to the rigidity of the box, and makes everything look cleaner and smoother than if it were left the way it was. And it makes it look less suspicious than a box of thin mints peeking up over the window.

Step 3: Cutting the Holes for the Mirrors.

Picture of Cutting the Holes for the Mirrors.

After you've completely covered your box in the tape, you're going to need to cut the holes for the mirrors. These are the holes that allow you to see the mirrors.

Take your mirror and lay it on the box near the end, but about 1/3 of an inch away from the end. Trace the width of the mirror on the box like the picture below.

Once you have the shape of the mirror traced onto the box, cut out the square that you drew, but cut it out inside the lines. This will help keep the box rigid, and make the mirrors fit more snug into the box when they're put in later.

NOTE: After you've done one hole, do another on the other end, but on the OPPOSITE side of the box. So if you're holding the box so where you can't see the holes, you should have one in the upper left hand corner, and one in the lower right hand corner.

If you're using a Leatherman knife, be careful, please. I pushed the knife through the box too hard today and left a knick in my counter. Thankfully it's unnoticeable to the rest of the people in my house.

Step 4: Making Slots for the Mirrors.

Picture of Making Slots for the Mirrors.

After you've cut the holes for the mirrors, you're going to need to cut slots for the mirrors to sit in. It's very important that these slots be at about a 45 degree angle. You need two slots on each side of the box, and on both ends. They should all be pointing in the same direction, or the mirrors won't work when inserted.

I advise drawing the line first on both sides of the box as close to each other as possible. Then slide you're knife into the box and cut the slots. When you're done, slide the mirror through one and into the other, so that the reflective side of the mirror faces the opening of the hole.

On the opposite end of the box, do the same thing, and insert the mirror facing the OPPOSITE direction as the other. They should both be facing reflective sides out, but when looked through one, you see reflections out of the other.

Step 5: Finishing Up and Final Notes.

Picture of Finishing Up and Final Notes.

After you've inserted your mirrors, you can finish up by covering the edges of the mirrors in more tape. You don't want to accidentally cut yourself while spying and blow your cover do you? I thought not.

How It Works:Okay, to use your new spying periscope, it is advised that you are first hiding behind something, like a corner, or under a window sill. Place the periscope so that one mirror is eye level with you and you can look through it. Turn the other end, with the mirror facing out, towards what you want to spy on. If you are around a corner, you have to stick it out from around that corner. If you are under a window sill, you have to stick it up over that window sill. After you've done this, you will be able to look through the mirror that is eye level with you and see everything happening through the other mirror.

I hope you have enjoyed this instructable, and happy spying! I love feedback in the comments section, and positive ratings are appreciated!


russell117 (author)2013-11-14


gagegar (author)russell1172014-01-20

Why Bob?

shoopdawhoop13 (author)2010-06-17

Quack tape. :P lol.

friendlovepearl (author)2010-02-09


rkent20 (author)2009-05-06

How do you delete a user from this weird site that does not suit me anymore

rkent20 (author)rkent202009-05-06

ummmm you delete
my own account

i do not know but no-one knows anymore

Shajee4510 (author)2009-04-24

i did dis at skol once.....unfortunately we built it out of bristleboard n it wasnt stron enuf....... i m gonna try 2 make dis out of wood now

Aburame Shino (author)2008-04-05

*cough* Duct tape is the correct spelling. XD Sveet 'structable.

Yeah, yeah, I know Lol. Saying Quack Tape is fun to though. Maybe one day there will be tape that quacks when you put it on something.

Or even better, growls like a platypus. <33

rkent20 (author)Aburame Shino2009-03-26

platypuses growl?!

Aburame Shino (author)rkent202009-04-04

Yeah. Platypi are my favorite animals.

rkent20 (author)Gunk on Floor2009-03-26


casey321b (author)Aburame Shino2008-05-26

quack tape is more fun!!! duct tape is the kind of tape and duck tape is the brand

Actually its either way, they 're both right

rkent20 (author)2009-03-29

who knows Teddy Nelson

Blackbetty15 (author)2008-05-26

This was really cool.It actually work!!!

rkent20 (author)Blackbetty152009-03-26

what did you expect!! hahaa

rkent20 (author)2009-03-26

We are doing this assignment at skool and we have to make this periscope

mastermind1 (author)2009-03-05

i have 2 days left on my project this is a great last minute school project thnx for posting

Bisquick the ninja (author)2009-02-23

Nice ibl but you should paint it flat black so it is more stealthy!

Udon (author)2008-10-02

Nice instructable. These are so cool. I had a deprived childhood. I wanna build one that has a rusty green metal case and uses motors to adjust. Has this been done before? And has anyone tried attaching binocs to this kind of periscope? Does it mess with the optics, or could it work?

rocketguy (author)2008-07-07

Time for a tallest functional periscope contest!

whosdadog (author)rocketguy2008-07-07

I can see the news news now: "Earlier today, while trying to make an attempt for the Guinness World Record of tallest functional periscope, a man fell down an elevator shaft in the Burj Dubaia skyscraper under construction in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, the tallest man-made structure on Earth, at 2,087 ft."

Udon (author)whosdadog2008-10-02

Oh, the huge manitee.

richelton (author)whosdadog2008-07-21

"...rescuers advised that while the man miraculously survived the fall unscathed he apparently suffered a small cut from a piece of glass or possibly a mirror." (hehe)

Ah, the news news.

rocketguy (author)whosdadog2008-07-08

That's a lotta duct tape!

duck-lemon (author)2008-03-25

kEwl i have instructions on how to make in book and already knew in my head but never got around to making one. Nice job on the instructable and getting featured.

olivertwist (author)duck-lemon2008-08-22

I really enjoys the thing that i hav made-periscope.=)

hvac2010 (author)2008-08-03

Narrow, Long, and Sturdy...James Bond would be proud so childish....thanks 4 the post nice job?

olivertwist (author)hvac20102008-08-22


Zanzispot (author)2008-07-21

Didn't you do this when you were a kid? This was standard stuff years ago, milk carton periscopes.

guyfrom7up (author)2008-07-07

congrats on making MAKE

Gunk on Floor (author)guyfrom7up2008-07-07

This is on MAKE? I had no idea! Thanks!

OneManUniversity (author)2008-07-07

That is very cool. Good stuff man, I'll build it soon...

glsluvs2snobrd (author)2008-05-02

Also, you could use 2 milk cartons (half gallon) instead

Sandisk1duo (author)2008-04-17

this reminds me of 5th grade scince...

SnuffyDaPenguin (author)2008-04-06

Hey isn't that MY knife that I left over at your house a while back?

Lol, if said knife was a brand new Leatherman Core than yeah. But I doubt it was.

Notn4 (author)2008-03-26

nice! remember making one of these in elementary school :P mine was bigger though...

NeonLime (author)2008-03-26

My Grandpa Used To Make These When i Was 5 :P Hes Gone Now But Atleast I Can Still Make these ;)

Cougar Mauler (author)2008-03-26

cool instructable

Kiteman (author)2008-03-26

Thankfully it's unnoticeable to the rest of the people in my house.

Except they have now read that comment.

gmjhowe (author)2008-03-26

Love it! the duck tape just makes it also

darkmuskrat (author)2008-03-25

Lol, i remember doing this with a milk carton... If you get 2 nearly the same diameter pipes, you can fit them together and rotate the end too if you want to have para scope skillz :P

LinuxH4x0r (author)2008-03-25

Cool! I was going to make a small one for my macbook's camera

LinuxH4x0r (author)LinuxH4x0r2008-03-25

Oh, Thanks!

duck-lemon (author)LinuxH4x0r2008-03-25

Oh well tbeseda made one heres the link LINKL!!

Ethelon (author)2008-03-25

Oh cool, i remember i made one of these for a science project before...

About This Instructable




Bio: I enjoy visiting the dump to look at, and take, all the free stuff people throw away. It's a lot of fun. I like ... More »
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