DIY Kaleidoscope craft for kids

A fun way to reuse
and repurpose

Sometimes the simplest crafts are the most entertaining. Your kids will have hours of fun with an upcycled old cereal box and paper towel roll transformed into a beautiful kaleidoscope — no fancy supplies required!

Kaleidoscope craft

What you'll need:

Kaleidoscope craft supplies

  • paper towel roll
  • ruler
  • multicolored translucent beads
  • tape
  • glue
  • hot glue gun
  • clear plastic fruit box
  • marker
  • scissors
  • aluminum foil
  • empty cereal box
  • colored scrapbook paper

What you'll do:


Step 1

Kaleidoscope craft

Use the marker to trace around the end of the paper towel roll on the clear plastic.


Step 2

Kaleidoscope craft

Cut out the piece of plastic so that it is just small enough to fit inside the end of the paper towel roll.


Step 3

Kaleidoscope craft

Put a small amount of hot glue along the inside rim of the paper towel roll, then slide the plastic circle into the roll so that the glue holds it in place.  (Caution — only adults should handle the hot glue gun.)


Step 4

Kaleidoscope craft

Start dropping the translucent beads into the paper towel roll.


Step 5

Kaleidoscope craft

Cut a second small plastic circle using the same method as the first circle. Drop the circle inside the tube on top of the beads. Use your ruler to help it lay flat if necessary.


Step 6

Kaleidoscope craft

Drop the ruler down into the tube and measure the distance between the second plastic circle and the top of the paper towel roll.


Step 7

Kaleidoscope craft

Cut out 3 strips of cardboard from the cereal box that are 1 inch wide, and as long as the distance that you measured. Wrap the 3 pieces of cardboard in aluminum foil with the reflective side out. Use tape to keep the aluminum foil in place.


Step 8

Kaleidoscope craft

Tape the 3 pieces of cardboard together so that they form a triangle.


Step 9

Kaleidoscope craft

Slide the triangle inside the tube so that it is resting on top of the second plastic circle. Mine fit pretty snugly in the tube, but you can secure the triangle in place with tape, if necessary.


Step 10

Kaleidoscope craft

Cut the piece of scrapbook paper so that it is as long as the paper towel roll and wide enough to wrap all the way around the roll. Attach paper to the paper towel roll with tape. Point the kaleidoscope toward a window and spin it to see the different colors and reflections.

Image credit: Amy Vowles

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Comments on "DIY Kaleidoscope craft for kids"

Tina January 19, 2014 | 7:34 AM

This does not work :(

Gigliola December 15, 2013 | 8:19 PM

very useful~~!

bookkaneer December 10, 2013 | 5:26 AM

i`ll give you an advice, don`t waste your time in this craft. the optical effect is not the same than original kaleidoscopes. muy cutre, no perdais el tiempo en esta manualidad. no se obtiene el mismo efecto que con los caleidoscopios de verdad.

Olga September 11, 2013 | 3:54 AM

Amazing!!Really, I´ve been googling for quite a long on how to make one kaleidoscope whith some beautiful opalescents beads that I´ve been keeping for such purpose and... here you are. Thank you for sharing and for the beautiful step by step.?

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