I first saw a Garden Kaleidoscope in a fancy resort in Arizona. This is my scaled down version that I think fits very well in my garden.
So the idea is you view the flowers thru the kaleidoscope and as you turn the flower pot you see the never ending changes of the reflections...nice huh?
Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.
Step 1: What You Will Need
Here is a list of the material you will need:
A metal ( brass) kaleidoscope that can handle weather. Do not get a cardboard one. I shagged a brass one on EBay for $30.00 that was 12" long and 2" diameter and had stainless steel reflectors inside. It also came with a clamp to hold the tube. You could make one also ( that will be another Instructables episode)
Bird Bath - get the heaviest cast iron one you can find , I picked up one at Walmart for about $40.00
Corrosion resistant turntable- McMaster-Carr part # 6031K21 $6.78
3' of brass, aluminum or steel square stock ( this will be the support for the kaleidoscope) I purchased .75 wide by .5 thick brass bar stock from McMaster -Carr ( about $50.00 ) you can go cheaper if you use steel flat stock but I wanted the look of the brass.
A nice flower pot that is low profile ( about 12" 14" in diameter) I found one at Home Depot for $15.00
Flowers ... use your green thumb instinct on this!! keep them low profile if you can
Dremel tool with cut off wheel, drill and bits , 1/4-20 tap and assorted 1/4-20 bolts, wood shims and glue
Step 2: Assembly and Creativity
1st) start by laying out the birdbath which is going to be the base. If it not flat on the bottom you may need to use wood shim and glue so the turntable sits flat in the birdbath tub and the flower pot sits on top of that...make sure the pot will spin freely .
2nd) Hold the kaleidoscope up to the pot and measure about where you would like the kaleidoscope to be positioned. ( a few inches from where the flowers are is best)
At this point I bent the brass bar stock to arc shape I wanted so I had the rough position figured out. Depending how thick you went with the bar stock this may be a little bit if a challenge, I was able to use a mechanical roller but you could try to bend it over your knee or in between a sturdy support on a vice.
This is where you may need to be creative as to how you mount the kaleidoscope on the base of the birdbath. I cut a hole on one side of the birdbath post and drilled and tapped a 1/4-20 hole in the end of the brass bar stock. This held the bars stock tightly into the base of the birdbath. I used heavy bar stock not because the kaleidoscope weighs a lot. I just wanted the look and durability of heavier material.
3rd) If your kaleidoscope came with a mounting bracket as mine did you should be able to adapt this to the bar stock by drilling and tapping a mounting screw on the end.
Step 3: Finality
Now that you have the kaleidoscope aimed at the proper position and the pot spins freely on the bird bath platform all you need to do is add flower and you are done,
Hope you all enjoy makng one, I love mine and look at it every day.
After one year of use outside the stainless reflectors started to get corroded so I had to dis assemble the brass kaleidoscope and cut new stainless steel reflectors, I could have had some glass mirrors made but I just thought the stainless steel is more durable. I will be bringing in the kaleidoscope for the winters from now on.