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Kaleidoscope Tutorial {Craft Camp}

Posted by  ·  June 19, 2011  ·  Last Updated: May 23, 2016

I am excited to be offering 30 days of fun crafts to keep kids active and entertained this summer! You won’t want to miss a day of these fun crafts for kids from some amazing bloggers! Please be sure to pay them a visit!

This is Mandy from Little Birdie Secrets, and we’re so excited to be a part of Skip To My Lou’s craft camp again this year! Our kids are still in school another week, but I can already hear that familiar summer refrain, “I’m bored, Mom!” Craft Camp is definitely my go-to list for summer boredom busters!

My boys are very curious, so this is a cool craft that can also be a physics lesson.

Make Your Own Kaleidoscope

Supplies for DIY Kaleidoscope:

*Plastic report cover (mine came in a pack of 6, which will make at least 12 kaleidoscopes!)
*Empty paper towel tube (toilet paper rolls are too short!)
*Plastic wrap
*Wax paper
*Shiny objects (transparent are best–beads, plastic confetti, etc.)
*Paper cutter
*1/4″ hole punch
*Rubber band
*Pencil, scissors, tape
*Patterned paper or construction paper

How to make a kaleidoscope

1. Cut a piece of report cover 11″ x 5″. Measure and score a line at 1 3/8″. I used my paper cutter to make a perfect score line.

Score another line 1 3/8″ from the first line, and another at 1 3/8″ from that line. Then cut the end off 1/2″ from that line. Your plastic should look like this.

2. Fold your plastic into a triangular shape, using the 1/2″ section to overlap. Tape down the flap to secure your triangular tube.

3. Trace one end of your paper towel tube on your patterned paper or card stock. Cut it out.

Punch a hole in the middle of it.

Tape it onto one end of your paper towel roll.

4. Insert your triangle into your paper towel roll.

5. Cover the other end with a square of plastic wrap. Push the plastic wrap inside the triangle to create a shallow cup.

6. Collect shiny beads, shapes, buttons, etc.  Transparent objects work best.

Fill your cup with shiny objects.

7. Cover the end with a square of wax paper. Secure with a rubber band.

8. Cover the tube with patterned paper or colored construction paper. Secure with tape.

Hold your kaleidoscope up to the light and turn to see different shapes and colors dance before your eyes! Then have a good talk about how light reflects off the sides of the triangle and they’ll be learning, too. Enjoy!

Filed Under: Crafts for kids, Make

Leave a Comment


  1. deepak
    Wednesday, February 17th, 2016
    Thanks I am going to do my friend sister
  2. Saturday, April 12th, 2014
    Wow! After all I got a blog from where I can truly obtain valuable information concerning my study and
  3. Abigail
    Monday, January 13th, 2014
    This was a highly disappointing experience. I tried following the given steps for making a kaleidoscope, however, the finished product was incredibly mediocre. I've seen/used many kaleidoscopes in my day, and this tutorial was sub-par. If you enjoy making crafts, then please give this a try. However, if you admire kaleidoscopes for any matter, then stay away from this site!
  4. Bailei
    Tuesday, March 19th, 2013
    That is not right !.
  5. K.A.V.Nekaa
    Wednesday, February 6th, 2013
    Wow. the result is wonderful. i love having one for my own.
    Friday, August 31st, 2012
    I AM a student and i have tried to make kaleidoscope reffering from your website and the result was perfect
  7. Carolyn
    Thursday, July 12th, 2012
    I've been collecting toilet paper and paper towel rolls with my Girl Scout Daisy Troop. This is a great use for those - I can't wait to try it out with my girls!
  8. Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011
    My son would love this, I'll have to try it. I have lots of beads lying around...
  9. Tuesday, June 21st, 2011
    I just found your site & I love everything! I will definitely try this project with my kids this summer! Very neat!
  10. Sunday, June 19th, 2011
    This is such a cute idea. I am going to have to make one for my little girl!
  11. Karen Keiper
    Sunday, June 19th, 2011
    this is so cool i want to make one for me!!! OK i'll wait till the kids get home from school!!
  12. Sunday, June 19th, 2011
    Wow! That is so cool! I had no idea it would be that easy to make one. Thanks so much for sharing.