How to Make a Functioning Prop Micrsoscope

Intro: How to Make a Functioning Prop Micrsoscope

In 8 simple steps you can make your own microscope!

Step 1: Materials You Will Need:

  • Empty detergent bottle
  • Exacto knife
  • Magnifying lenses (Lenses can be bought from several home improvement stores.)
  • Sharpie
  • Cardboard
  • Paper towel roll
  • Hot glue gun
  • Spray paint (optional)
  • Electrical tape (optional)

Step 2: Outline Areas on the Detergent Bottle and Cut Out

Step 3: Cut Out Dotted Lines Around the Handle (should Resemble an "E" Creating a Shelf)

Note: Use extreme caution when using exacto knife and scissors,

Step 4: Cut a Piece of Cardboard Proportionate to Detergent Bottle

Note: Use caution when using the scissors

Step 5: ​Outline and Cut a Circle on the Cap of the Detergent Bottle Proportionate to the Paper Towel Roll

Note: Use extreme caution when using exacto knife to cut out circle.

Step 6: Step 6: (Optional) ​If You Wish to Add Color and Design to Your Microscope Spray Paint Any Color of Your Choice. You May Paint the Paper Towel Roll, Cardboard Cut Out, Detergent Bottle, and Detergent Bottle Cap.

Warning: When using spray paint always use in well ventilated areas for fume may be toxic.

Step 7: Cut Out Narrow Strips of Cardboard the Height of the Magnifying Lenses and Tape to the Sides of the Lenses Creating a Wedge to Hold the Lenses Inside the Paper Towel Roll.

Note: Use two lenses of similar magnification (For this project we used a 7x magnification and 5x) adjust both lenses until they aligned correctly.

Step 8: Use Hot Glue to Secure the Cardboard Tray to the Shelf of the Detergent Bottle.

Step 9:

You have now completed a functional prop microscope with decent magnification.


Note: Credit for the outline of the microscope is given to "The Prop Master's Handbook" YouTube channel.

Original video can be seen here.

Step 10:



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    3 years ago on Introduction

    This is amazing! And would never guess that it was made from a laundry detergent container.