How to Make a Kaleidoscope Out of a Pringles Can

Written by greg lindberg
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A kaleidoscope is a children’s toy that is shaped like a cylinder. You look into the viewing side and rotate the end piece to see changing shapes and colours. A kaleidoscope is basically a tube containing two or more mirrors that reflect images of coloured beads that are also in the tube. Making your own kaleidoscope out of a Pringles can is a simple crafts project, and once complete you'll be seeing your own shifting symmetrical patterns.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Pringles crisps can
  • Scissors
  • Acrylic mirror (6" x 9")
  • Duct tape
  • Scratch paper
  • Cardboard
  • Empty 2-liter soda bottle
  • Glue

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  1. 1

    Cut off the bottom and top of the Pringles can carefully. If doing this with a younger child this step should be supervised.

  2. 2

    Cut an acrylic mirror into three equal-size strips that are about as tall as the can. Use an acrylic mirror that is 6" x 9", which is flexible and safe to cut (See Resources).

  3. 3

    Arrange the mirror strips to form a triangle, with the mirrored side facing inward (See Resources). Wrap duct tape around the outside of the strips--one strip on each end and one in the middle--so the triangle will keep its shape.

  4. 4

    Insert the triangle securely into the Pringles can. Fill the gaps between the outside of the triangle and the inside of the can with wadded up pieces of scratch paper in order to secure the mirror.

  5. 5

    Cut a circle out of cardboard to place over one end of the can, and cut a small hole into the circle for the viewing point (See Resources). Glue the cardboard to an end of the can.

  6. 6

    Cut open the 2-liter bottle and the cut two circles that are the same circumference as the Pringles can. Cut a one-inch strip of cardboard and then wrap the strip into a circle. Glue one plastic circle to an end of the cardboard.

  7. 7

    Fill in the cardboard and plastic circle with small colourful beads, marbles, glitter and any other materials that are colourful and slightly transparent. Glue the other circle to the other side of the cardboard. Glue this piece to the Pringles can and your kaleidoscope will be complete.

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