The Steampunk Kaleidoscope




About: Dan Aetherman, Steampunker, Inventor and Adventurer - Creator of fantastic victorian machines, gadgets and movieprops - Visit me on and on Facebook:

Dear Friends, dear Steampunkers

Our little son's most beloved toy in the "Kindergarten" is a beautiful Kaleidoscope. He spends a lot of time to observe the changing effects and pictures in this magic tube.
Some time ago he came home with a big smile and a present from his Kindergarten teacher: three mirrors for a Kaleidoscope. The teacher lady told him: "Ask your Daddy - I'm sure he will build you your own "Magic Tube"...

So, that was the challenge. But I only wanted to guide our 7 years old son because I was sure he is able to build it whit his own hands and with my help....

Here the steps we went thrue...may you will build soon your own "Steampunk Kaleidoscope"!

Step 1: Building the Tube

For the tube we used the paperboard roll in which the mirrors were packed, because the shape and dimensions fitted perfectly. We found some old wood to plank the tube, so it will look like a wooden barrel....
After all we painted the tube with varnish.

Step 2: The Brass Fittings

Now we had to find some parts from my Junk Yard Collection to use them for the front and for the back panel.
For the front we found a brass ring from an old bakery machine and for the back an old machine bearing. Before we mounted this heavy gear we added some brass screws for decoration...

Step 3: The Finish

After we mounted the front and the back, we filled a transparent little jar with glass beeds of different colors. This jar we placed in the center of the heavy brass front panel. The little jar can be opened to change the content….
To bring the “Steampunk Kaleidoscope” around we mounted a leather belt.
Finally we found a few smaller metal and brass parts to create something like a finder sight.
That’s it! We finished this little project as a “Father & Son Project” and it was really fun. Our boy made most by himself – I helped with cutting and painting.

We send you greeting from Switzerland

The Chocolatist & Son



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    11 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Very pretty inside and out. Good job. That inspired me.


    Hi Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately I'm not good in leather works, but I know two german guys which are really great in that. Visit their website on - they have wonderful things there... Sincerely The Chocolatist

    I must admit being a little envious of your boy, I have always loved kaleidoscopes. This is a lovely piece, well done to you both.

    Winged Fist

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Wow! Beautiful! Really nice job with the photos too... I'm sure Master Chocolatist Jr. has the fanciest "Magic Tube" in his class!;-) 5 stars from NYC!;-)

    Thanks for your comments.
    Yes, that's my top hat which I wear every day - it's a standard size.
    The Kaleidoscope is 35cm long and quite heavy....