Sunday, June 19, 2011

So Easy Kaleidoscope!

We created a kaleidoscope out of a Pringles can! This great idea came over from a link that Jen from Paint Cut Paste suggested after her post on Creating A Kaleidoscope.  The link she suggested is on a site called and the link is here if you want their instructions. We don't usually have pringles, but saved the can for a school project that C had missed. Here is C looking through her newly made kaleidoscope!


Before constructing the kaleidoscope we had to decorate the outside of the can, so we sponged acrylic paint over the can with different colors! The acrylic paint worked well to cover the glossy can and it won't chip off like tempera paint might! You could decorate the can with scrap paper or stickers if you don't want to fuss with paint.

Here is the finished can.....very pretty! We also mixed up some glue and glitter to paint on to give it a glittery finish! We let the paint dry for the next steps.

Next we needed to make a small hole to look through on the metal side of the can. We used a hammer and nail to do this. I had to steady the can so C could do this.

Here is the hole so you can see how small it is. This is the hole you look through for the kaleidoscope.

You'll need some small pieces of cut up colorful tissue paper to glue on the plastic lid and for a piece of contact paper.

I mixed up some glitter, white glue, and a pinch of water so C could paint the pieces of tissue paper on to  the plastic pringles lid. We painted them on outside part of the lid.

Here is the finished lid part with tissue paper and our homemade glitter glue! Let this dry. This is the part you twist to make the kaleidoscope move.

Next, we used a piece of contact paper for the part that won't move on the kaleidoscope.  C put the small pieces of colorful tissue paper on the sticky side of the contact paper and I put another layer on top (no glue needed).

This shows the tissue paper in between the layers of contact paper. I took the pringles can and roughly traced around it because this part will be glued on the open end of the can. Now cut the circle out!

Put some glue on the edge of the opening. I used stronger craft glue.  I tried a glue gun and that did not work because you want the surface to be smooth so the lid can be turned. Let both parts dry before working the kaleidoscope!!!

Here is how the open end with the contact paper will look. You may want to trim the edges of the contact paper if it is hanging off the edge. This will allow the lid part to turn more easily. Let dry!

Now put the the lid on the end like this and your kaleidoscope is ready to go! The lid part is what you turn. So make sure it can turn easily or the contact paper may come off.

Here is C enjoying her kaleidoscope! She is not turning it here! I think she just likes looking through it without making it turn! Either way it was a fun process to create a simple kaleidoscope without mirrors! It looks pretty too!

What Do You Think?

More simple Kaleidoscope ideas:

How to Make a Kaleidoscope for Preschool

How to Make a Kaleidoscope for a Science Project

Recycled Kaleidoscopes from Mrs. Bearden's Art Room

This post is linked to:
Sunday Showcase
No Time For Flashcards
Craft Schooling Sunday
The Play Academy
Made By Little Hands Monday


  1. I love it! I see lots of possibilities here!

  2. This is lovely! Very clever idea. And you've made me fancy some Pringles now too! ;) Julia x

  3. oh, my kids would love to make this -- and to eat Pringles which I have never bought for them.

  4. I love this idea. And a good excuse for buying some Pringles. :-)

  5. We just bought a huge case of pringles at Sams so we will have plenty of cans . What a fun/great idea. My guy loves looking through things.

  6. Are you kidding me? This is way too easy! We don't eat Pringles, but for the sake of art we may just have to buy some!

  7. i so wish pringles were gluten free - when we did our kaleidoscope post a few weeks ago (from a kit - see: i was exploring ways to make them with products at home, and i really want to attempt the pringles idea. thanks for this post!

  8. So wonderfully easy - nice job!

  9. great project! thanks so much for sharing on Craft Schooling Sunday!

  10. So fun and very clever. My son would LOVE this. I'm a new follower from the Sunday Showcase blog hop. Stop by my blog sometime:

  11. This is so simple and pretty! And you can make various kinds of lids to change the view! Great idea!

  12. Added to our summer holiday to-do list - thank you!

  13. I'm so glad I found your blog! You have such wonderful ideas to do with your little one! Following you on Facebook!

  14. love this! i'll be linking from my blog. thanks so much for sharing your creativity!

  15. I love this simple idea! I'm bookmarking this because I've been on the lookout for a kaleidoscope craft to do for letter K week! Thanks!!! :)

  16. This is a great original idea! Thank you for sharing. I'm following you now!

  17. Melissa!
    This is so great!!
    I have saved it to use in the near future. I really enjoy doing things like this with my children, and have wanted to make a kaleidoscope for some time. It's great this doesn't require mirrors. It is difficult enough to make an interesting project, but not too hard.

  18. Can you give me an idea of how long this project took and not counting the painting/drying time as we would use paper/stickers. Thanks.