Introduction: Cardboard Modular Periscope With Adjustable Height

This tutorial will show you how to make your very own periscope out of recycled cardbord roll. Its a one of a kind periscope. Believe me, you won't see it anywhere else on google. You can keep your kids occupied by making this project for your kids at home so they can get to see outside their homes while staying safe at home.

A Periscope allow a person to see above, below, sideways etc depending on how it is configured.. It works by bouncing light off two mirors placed at an angle of 45degrees. Submarines use a much more sophisticated periscope. For more details, Click here



1. Toilet roll *4

2. Deodorant/insecticide container *2

3. Two mirrors

4. Electrical tape

5. Syringe(any size will do) *2 (Optional)


1. Hot glue gun

2. X-acto knife

3. A pair of scissors

4. Hacksaw(optional)

5. Sandpaper (Both rough grit and fine grit)

6. Spray paint Black(Optional)

Step 2: Making the Tubes

NOTE: You will be making two of this

Draw two lines along the circumference of the insecticide/deodorant container approximately 1cm from the base and top of the container. This can be done easily by raising your marker on a matchbox or flashdrive and then rotating the container. Once that’s done, make sure to totally empty the gas in the cylinder. This can be done by carefully piercing a small hole with an X-acto knife below the lines you’ve drawn. Cut along the lines the an X-acto knife or a hacksaw, the cut mustn’t be perfect as you can trim it with a pair of scissors. Sand the edges with a rough grit sandpaper. Now we need to give the container a paint job. This is optional. Start by sanding the surface of the container with a fine grit sandpaper and then spray a coat of spray paint. Let the paint dry before proceeding. Next, to prevent any cuts from the edges of the container, I wrapped some electrical tape around the edges, cut some slits vertically so that the tape can be bent into the container. Please refer to the pictures above. Slide a toilet roll into each of the container and then connect the two using another toilet roll in the middle.

Step 3: Mirror Compartment

Start off by drawing a square of about 8cm and the cross-out it diagonals to get the middle of the square. Measure the diameter of the toilet roll to get its radius. Mine was about 5cm diameter and 2.5cm radius. Draw a circle with the radius of your toilet roll using a pair of compass inside the square. Next draw two similar squares of the left and right of the first square. My mirror’s diameter was about 6.2cm (slightly larger than the cardboard tube). We can use some maths(trigonometry) to determine how to make our slope. Since we already know that our slope needs to be inclined at 45degrees, you can simply use the formula sin45=x/6 where x where we want to find out. Mine was about 4cm. Measure 4cm from the end of the square and then draw a diagonal. Please refer to the pictures above. Cut out the circle in the square and then using the tip of your blade, slightly score along the lines where the side flaps meets the center square. Add some hot-glue and fold the side flaps upward making sure that they are at an angle of 90degreees to the horizontal.

Cut a piece of rectangle whose width is 8cm and length is equals to the sum of the diagonal(mine 6.2cm) and 2 times the answer you’ve got after using the formula above. Bend the rectangle into shape and the glue it over the top of the mirror compartment. Now glue the mirror in place inside the mirror compartment on the slant wall.

Step 4: Front Face(Eye Piece)

Cut-out a piece of square 8cm by 8cm. Since my toilet roll was about 5cm, I subtracted 3cm from the bottom to form a 5cm by 8cm rectangle. Cross-out the diagonals and then draw a 5cm diameter circle in the middle. Cut out the circle. Glue this to the front of the mirror compartment. Now take one toilet paper cardboard tube and divide into two. Wrap some electrical tape around outside of each tube like you did earlier. You can spray paint the inside of the black. Glue this to the hole in the front side of the mirror compartment. Next, glue a toilet roll to each of the bottom hole of the mirror compartment.

Step 5: Assembly

Simply slide each of the periscope's head into one insecticide/deodorant cylinder. It should be a tight joint, so no glue is needed. Join the two pieces together and you're done. To adjust the periscope, simply pull up or down the cylinders to make it extend.You can glue the syringes to the side and bottom of the periscope to serve as a handle. With more cylinders, you can be able to make a much more longer periscope.


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