Magical Kaleidoscope

I recently purchased a kaleidoscope from the ABC shop and got to thinking how I could create a craft tutorial on how to make a basic kaleidoscope from paper rolls…


You will need…



A rubber band

A small piece of clear contact

2 paper rolls, one slightly wider in width {circumference} then the other to allow them to fit inside each other.

One small piece of clear cellophane

A pencil

A ruler

A few precious gems – glitter, beads, plastic gems

Silver reflective card {I used the top of a disposable foil tray}

This activity is aimed at the bigger kid, 6 years and over.

Step 1.  Squash the larger width paper roll {to allow for easier cutting} and cut two pieces off. One approx. 2-3 cms the other approx. ½ – 1 cm.

Step 2. Cut the circles apart, then staple {or sticky tape} the two circles back together with a slight overlay {see photo below}. This allows them to  now fit back inside the larger roll.

Step 3. Put the end of the roll onto the contact and draw around it. Cut out leaving a cm or more over hang.

Step 4. Apply the contact circle to the top of the larger cut circle. Press the over hang to the roll to secure.

03-May 2013 - Misc Pics-001

Step 5. Cut the remaining paper roll to around 10cms length.

Step 6. Push the contacted circle into the roll, close to the end. Now slip the smaller cut circle into the top of the paper roll.

02-May 2013 - Misc Pics

Step 7. Now you will have a little gap from the top of the roll to the contact tray, add your precious gems.

Step 8. Place the cellophane over the end of precious gem end; wrap the rubber band around to secure the cellophane on. Make the cellophane tighter by gentle pulling on the cellophane sides hanging down. Cut off cellophane to 2 – 3 cms from the edge of the rubber band.

04-May 2013 - Paper Roll Craft

Step 9. Then measure the rolls length {from under the elastic band as it hard to cover the elastic with contact or paper} and the size of the roll end {circumference}. Transfer the measurements to the contact or paper. Cut. Cover the roll in contact, paper or leave bare to decorate.

07-May 2013 - Paper Roll Craft-003

Step 10. Measure the rolls inside edge just a little in from the side of the roll {see photo below}. This is the measurement, your will use to create the silver foil triangle that the gems reflect off.

05-May 2013 - Paper Roll Craft-001

Step 11. Transfer the triangle side measurements and length of the roll to the silver card. Add an extra tab onto one side to help tape the triangle together. Cut out.

Step 12. Bend the card into the triangle shape. Tape together.

06-May 2013 - Paper Roll Craft-002

Step 13. Insert the silver triangle into the long roll. If you have made it too small like me, tape the triangle edge to the side of the roll.

Step 14. To hide the gap between the triangle and roll I added some washi tape.


Step 15. Then measure the rolls length and the size of the roll end {circumference}. Transfer the measurements to the contact or paper. Cut. Cover the roll in contact, paper or leave bare to decorate.

Step 16. Insert the long roll inside the small roll, now you have a kaleidoscope. Turn the end dial towards the light and watch the gems reflect onto the silver card.



Enjoyed reading this or even making your own kaleidoscope, please feel free to drop me a comment below,


Love, Light and seeing the light from another angle

Fiona x