How to Make Your Own Microscope Slides From Cardboard & Tape

Written by heather inks
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How to Make Your Own Microscope Slides From Cardboard & Tape
Make your own microscope slides. (microscope image by christemo from

Making your own microscope slides from cardboard and tape is a great way to cut the costs down to almost nothing. If you are a teacher or parent of young students, they will find making their very own microscope slides a fun activity as well. You can use the microscope slides with a standard microscope or a "make-believe" microscope. Either way, microscopes and microscope slides make learning science more fun.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Cardboard
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Clear tape
  • Tweezers
  • Glue
  • Fine-tip permanent marker

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  1. 1

    Measure and mark a 1.5-inch-by-2.5-inch rectangle on a piece of thin cardboard, like from a cereal box or poster board.

  2. 2

    Cut out the rectangle and fold it to form a 3/4-inch-by-2.5-inch slide.

  3. 3

    Cut out a 1/2-inch-by-1/2-inch window in the centre; you can favour either the folded slide or the cut slide.

  4. 4

    Cut a 1-inch long strip of clear tape. Carefully lay it sticky side up.

  5. 5

    Place the object or specimen to be magnified and studied on the centre of the tape strip using a pair of tweezers.

  6. 6

    Cut another 1-inch long strip of clear tape. Place this tape on top of the tape strip with the object or specimen to "close it."

  7. 7

    Open the cardboard microscope slide and place the tape strip into it, positioning the object or specimen to be in the direct centre of the viewing window.

  8. 8

    Glue or tape the tape strip in place. Glue or tape the cardboard microscope slide closed.

  9. 9

    Label the cardboard microscope slide by writing the date and specimen or object name directly on the cardboard with a fine-tipped permanent marker.

Tips and warnings

  • Don't touch the tape with your fingers--use tweezers to place the object or specimen--because fingers will leave a fingerprint, dust, dirt or grease.

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