How to make kaleidoscopes/tech & Tips
Back in December of 2000, the last month these pages were up (as kaleidoscopeheaven.org), we had a page telling how to make a kaleidoscope using a Pringles potato chip can. Just for the fun of it, that is what this main How to Make a Kaleidoscope page will show, but we won't stop there! The links above, as we add and modify the contents, will take you further in your adventures, knowledge, and skills of kaleidoscope making. Keep coming back for more and more!
by Bethany Croasmun
The mirrors inside the kaleidoscope reflect what you have at the end of it, creating an image. When you change or move the end pieces, the image changes.
Materials and tools: Pringle can with lid, Scissors, Measuring tape, Plexiglass, Glue, Mirrors - 1/8 inch thick, Mirror cutting tools (glass cutter), Masking tape, "Popcorn" foam (packing material), Depending of type of scope to be made: two wheels, a wand, bead, paper clips, etc....
How you make it:
Cut a hole in the metal end of the can, large enough to look through.
Cut two pieces of Plexiglass so that it will fit inside the can.
Take the lid off and put some glue around the edges of one of the Plexiglass pieces. Push the piece all the way in the back, against the metal end.
Cut the mirrors about 2 inches wide and 8 3/4 inched long.
Lay them on your work surface, reflective side down, with about an 1/8 inch gap between them.
Take three pieces of tape, 8 inches long, and lay them across the mirrors with the extra tape hanging over one side.
Fold the mirrors into a triangular prism, with the reflective side on the inside of the shape, and using he extra tape to wind around it. (note: you will want to have one edge of the mirror overlap the edge of the next mirror consistantly around the prism)
Fit the mirrors in the can, using the foam to keep it in place (packing the foam on the outside of the mirrors)
Glue the other clear Plexiglass piece where the mirrors stop, near the lid.
If you are making:
A regular, three mirrored kaleidoscope, take the lid off and put the beads and things between the lid and the Plexiglass. Experiment with the different number of things inside.
A "wand" kaleidoscope, attach a place that you can slide the wand into. (Usually drill a whole large enough in opposite sides of the can so the tube can pass through the object chamber...where the lid goes).
A two wheeled kaleidoscope, attach the two wheels on an axel about an eighth of an inch apart.
If you have or know of an item used regularly for kaleidoscopes, and where they can be obtained, please let me know and I will add it as soon as I can. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 1995-2001, 2009, B. Bensley
Note: I will not be held responsible for the information or content located on the sites these links direct you to. Please address all issues and concerns with the site owners!