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Thursday, February 14, 2013

DIY Kaleidoscope Craft

Hello everyone!  So nice to meet you all!  I'm Cheryl and I blog over at That's What {Che} Said...

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I am thrilled to be here today to share with you all my tutorial on how to make a kaleidoscope from supplies you probably have already around your house!  I just had to pick up one item to make this project!  

I have two boys and they love to help me with my projects, and better yet, they love when my projects are for them!  My oldest helped me with this craft while my youngest was napping.  {A perk of being the older brother!}  

Supplies Needed:
  • Cardboard tube (paper towel roll, wrapping paper roll, vinyl roll insert, etc.)
  • Paper Cutter with scoring blade
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Scotch tape (not pictured)
  • Hot glue gun / glue sticks
  • Plastic Container (berry bin, grape tomato container, dessert lid)
  • Plastic Beads
  • Reflective Scrapbook Paper (or aluminum foil)
  • Corrugated Scrapbook Paper
  • Extra Paper or Embellishments for decoration 
1.  First start out by measuring your cardboard tube.  {If you are using a gift wrap roll, cut down to appropriate size first}.  Mine was from the center of a roll of vinyl and it measured 9 inches long.  

 2.  Next we are going to make the "mirrors" that go inside to reflect all the pretty colors!  I found this great piece of mirrored scrapbook paper/cardstock right in the open stock selection at Hobby Lobby!  I have seen similar at almost every craft store I have visited!  You can certainly just use some aluminum foil on regular white cardstock if you don't want to run out of the house. This was the one item I had to pick up from the store! :)
3. Since my tube is 9 inches long, I cut the length of the inside mirrors to be 7.5"  Make them 1.5" shorter than your length of your tube so you have plenty of room for your beads!  For the width, I measured the diameter of the inside of my roll, subtracted 1/2" and then multiplied that number by 3.  

For example:  Diameter (distance from side to side) of my roll was 1.75", I subtracted 1/2" and multiplied that by three.  

1.75" - 0.5" = 1.25" 
1.25" x 3 = 3.75"

So I cut a 7.5" by 3.75" rectangle out of my mirror paper and then used the scoring blade to score at each 1.25" mark!  
{Did I mention I am a Chemical Engineer by degree??  I get very technical sometimes but moral of this story is: make a triangle that fits inside your tube!}

4.  Using scotch tape, form a triangle with the mirrored part of the paper to the inside.
5.  Next we are going to cut circles out of our plastic piece.  I used some containers that we had in our recycle bin from some cherry tomatoes!  Any plastic container that is clear will work awesome!    We are going to need three plastic circles.  Hold your tube onto the plastic and trace with a marker.  Cut out.  
{We will need to trim one of these a bit smaller later so don't put your scissors away yet!}

Now let's assemble our Kaleidoscope!!

6.  Apply a thin stream of hot glue on one end of the tube and apply your first plastic circle.  Trim excess plastic as needed from the outside edges.  

7.  Insert your mirror triangle into the tube so that it's resting on the plastic circle you just glued on in step 6.  

8.  Trim your second plastic circle just enough that it will fit inside your tube.  Just eye ball it!  Place that trimmed plastic circle inside your tube, resting on the mirror triangle.  

9.  Fill with colored beads!  You want to see pretty colors, fill it up almost to the top!   

10.  Repeat step 6 with the last plastic circle, sealing in all your kaleidoscope parts!
11.  To apply a "spinner", I cut a length of corrugated scrapbook paper and used scotch tape to apply it around the tube.  Leave it a bit loose so that you can hold the spinner with one hand and spin the tube with the other!   I also cut a piece of paper with a hole as the eye piece.  (this is totally optional)
Now hold it up to a window and take a peek inside!  
He had a great time with it! {Little Brother's was ready when he woke up from is nap too!}
Thanks so much for letting me spend today with you!  I hope you will drop by and say hello!  My door is always open and today I am sharing my super simple, super delicious recipe for my Crock Pot Chicken Taco Soup!  A great recipe where your slowcooker does the work, you take the credit and you get extra time to go make a kaleidoscope!  {wink}

You can also check out my Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Activity and one of my absolute favorites, my DIY Chrysanthemum Clock from Plastic Spoons!  I dabble in a bit of everything!

Can't wait to see you again next month!  Have a great Valentine's Day Everyone!  

And That’s What Che Said…
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  1. What a cute project! They just fascinated me when I was a kid- xo Diana

    1. I loved them too! Maybe that explains why I am infatuated with lots and lots of colors :)

  2. So fun! Great job Cheryl. We may have to make these. :)

  3. How cute and fun is that! I am going to make one with my daughter!

    1. Thanks Jessica! I bet she will decorate it all cute too :)

  4. So cute, Cheryl! My boys are going to LOVE this!

    1. Thanks Heidi! It's nice to show them some "old school" toys that are fun and not an electronic :) See you in a few weeks at SNAP!

  5. Love this idea Cheryl. I'm excited to try it out!


Thanks for leaving a comment! I love reading them! I try to reply to questions the best I can, but you can always email me at sumossweetstuff {at} gmail {dot} com.