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This is a DIY Activity to make your own Kaleidoscope using an empty chip canister. It is a fun learning exercise for kids of age group 4-12 and can be used to teach them about scattering of light and refraction.

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Step 1: Collecting the Materials


materials are needed in order to make a Kaleidoscope

•Pringles Chip Canister

•3 x Plastic sheets

•1x Black paper

•1 x Waste Cardboard


•Craft Blade


•Masking tape


•Screw Driver/ Hole Punch


Step 2: Cutting Cardboard, Paper and Plastic Sheets

  • To make the Kaleidoscope, we will need to empty the chips canister and clean it from inside using a dry cloth. After that we need to cut 3 strips from the cardboard. Each strip must be 5 centimeters wide and 20 centimeters long.
  • we have to cut 3 strips from the black paper . Again, each strip must be 5 cm wide and 20 cm long
  • Now, similar to cardboard and paper, we need to cut 3 strips from plastic sheet in same dimension, 5cm wide and 20 cm long

Step 3: Preparing the Strips

Now that we have cardboard, plastic sheet and paper cut in strips, next step would be to paste black paper on cardboard using glue stick and simply place the plastic sheet on top of them.

Step 4: Making the Triangular Tube

In next step, we will join all the cardboard strips together using masking tape, forming a triangle.

Step 5: Placing the Tube Inside Canister

In this step, we will coat one end of triangle with glue and place it in the center of chips canister and leave it to dry.

Step 6: Placing the Plastic Strips

Once the glue dries, we will slide in plastic strips over each face of triangle from the internal side.

Step 7: Placement of Closure Strip

While the glue dries, we will trace the lid of chips canister on a plastic sheet and make dotted lines a little bit inside the boundary we traced. After that we will cut the sheet along dotted lines using a scissor.


After cutting the circular disc, we will place it on top of the triangular part in the canister and cover it up with a rolled strip of cardboard.

Step 8: Cutting the Color Bits

In this step, we will take the remaining plastic sheet and color it up using permanent markers with bright colors. After coloring it up, we will cut the colored pieces into small bits using scissors.

Step 9: Placing the Colored Bits and Sealing the Canister

After cutting the color bits, we will place them on top of circular disc that we placed on top of triangular face and seal the canister by gluing back its lid.

Step 10: Punching Hole for Eyepiece

Now, we will flip the canister and make a mark at its center. Then we will use a screw driver or a hole punch with mallet to punch a hole through it. This will serve as an eyepiece for our Kaleidoscope.

Step 11: Final Testing

Once you have punched the hole, hold your kaleidoscope against light , peek through the eyepiece and rotate it, you should be able to see beautiful patterns.


If you feel like the patterns are really small, you can simply add more color bits on the opposite end.


So, what are you waiting for? Gear up and make your very own Kaleidoscope. And while you're at it, don't forget to vote for our contest entries, it does help the lab.


This project is supervised by our Maker Evangelist: Suffian Suhail

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    4 Discussions


    Question 1 year ago

    Is there any reason for not glueing the plastic sheets on the black sheets from the beginning ?


    Answer 1 year ago

    Yes. Once you glue them, it reduces the reflection from sheets as they become cloudy because of glue


    1 year ago

    Could you post a photo from inside?

    Kink Jarfold
    Kink Jarfold

    1 year ago on Step 11

    Wow, did this ever bring me back to my childhood. You never get too old for great stuff like this. Wonderful instructable.