How to Make a Craft Periscope

Written by dana tuffelmire
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How to Make a Craft Periscope
Craft a periscope with a few common items. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Periscopes have historically been used on submarines to see above the water's surface and during World War I to see above the trenches. Today, spy movies show men dressed in black lurking in alleyways with high-tech gadgets to catch thieves and villains. Whether you are inspired by history or modern day movies, you can craft a homemade version of a periscope with a few common items.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • 3-inch diameter cardboard mailing tube
  • 2-inch paper square
  • Pencil
  • Craft knife
  • 2 square mirrors, 3 inch, or an old CD
  • 2 cardboard rectangles, 3 inch by 4 inch
  • Glue
  • Coloured duct tape

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  1. 1

    Place a 2-inch paper square at one end of the tube and trace around it with a pencil. Remove the template and use a craft knife to cut out the square.

  2. 2

    Trace two more 2-inch squares on each side of the open square using the template.

  3. 3

    Use a craft knife to bisect both squares with a diagonal slit. Place the slit from the top left corner to the bottom right corner of the square on the left of the opening, and from the top right corner to the bottom left corner on the square to the right of the opening.

  4. 4

    Cut another 2-inch square at the opposite end of the tube using the square template and a craft knife. Place the square on the opposite side of the tube than the square on the other end of the tube. One opening should be on the "top" of the tube, while the other should be on the "bottom."

  5. 5

    Trace two more squares on each side of the newest square opening and cut diagonal slits into each square.

  6. 6

    Glue each mirror face up onto the centre of a 3-inch-by-4-inch cardboard rectangle. To create a mirror from an old CD, measure and mark two 3-inch-by-3-inch squares with a permanent marker, place the CD in a vice and cut it out with a craft knife. (See Reference 2)

  7. 7

    Place the mirrors into the tube by reaching up through the bottom of the tube and pressing the edges of the rectangle firmly into the diagonal slits. Place the mirrors on opposite ends of the tube facing each other.

  8. 8

    Use coloured duct tape to cover the tube openings. Decorate the rest of the tube as desired, leaving the square openings unobstructed.

Tips and warnings

  • To view items around a corner or behind an obstruction, reach the top of the periscope in the desired direction while looking into the bottom mirror.
  • Craft knives should be used by adults only.

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