DIY Eclipse Viewer

As you likely know, the August 21st solar eclipse is fast approaching! (Read more about the rarity in this post!) If your town has sold out of eclipse viewing glasses and Amazon doesn’t have time to deliver them, grab a cereal box, tape, and aluminum foil and make your own pinhole viewer!

Watch the video to see how easy it is to make your own!

This is a monumentally important celestial occurrence, but make sure you explain to your kids that they must NOT look directly at the sun. It is extremely damaging and must be taken seriously.

What you need:

  • Cereal box
  • Aluminum foil
  • Safety pin
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Black Masking tape
  • 1 sheet white paper
  • Glue stick
  • 3 to 4 sheets black construction paper
  • Wax paper
  • 2 colors of dot stickers  (I used 1 1/2-inch)
  • Washi tape

How to make it:

  1. Trace the bottom of your box on white paper, cut out and use a glue stick to attach to the inside bottom of box
  2. Cut off the two short tabs on the open end. Then, cut the ends of the long tabs to form two squares, approximately 2 inches wide.
  3. Tape aluminum foil over one of the openings and cut off excess.
  4. Use the safety pin to make a small hole in the center of the foil square. (You can also use a thumbtack, straight pin, or sewing needle.)

To decorate:

  1. Trace the all sides of the box and top center section onto black construction paper and cut out. Set these aside.
  2. Lay out eight red dot stickers and 1 blue in a 3×3 grid on a sheet of wax paper with the blue one in the center. Following the diagram below, layer blue stickers on top of the red to create phases of the eclipse. Cut off the excess from the blue sticker to create one circle for each phase. For the center blue sticker, just trim circumference by about 1/8-inch and center on top of a red sticker.
  3. Transfer stickers to construction paper on box in the same grid and you’re done!

solar eclipse phases

Using the viewer:

  1. Bring your viewer outside and stand with the sun behind you. Aim the viewer so that the sun shines on the aluminum foil and the pinhole.
  2. Look through the viewer to adjust the box until you can see a clear circle of light – NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN DIRECTLY, it is extremely dangerous and can cause serious eye damage.
  3. When the eclipse begins you will see the spot of light begin to have the shadow of the moon move across.

August 18, 2017| Everyday Crafts, Nature, STEM, Upcycled