How to Make a Kaleidoscope


To build a basic Kaleidoscope to see colourful 3D patterns.

Materials required:

  1. Some duct tape.
  2. Some coloured paper
  3. A pair of scissors.
  4. Glue.
  5. Three pieces of glass mirror.


  1. Buy a glass or acrylic mirror of 1/6or 1/8 inch dimension from a shop and have them cut the mirrors into small pieces of 12 inch length with a width of 2 inches at the narrow end and 7 inches at the other end. Get three such identical pieces. Do not try to cut the mirrors yourselves as it is dangerous.
  2. Using the tape to join the three pieces together with the reflective sides facing inwards.
  3. Stand under a light and place your hand under the narrow end of the kaleidoscope while you look in through the wide end. You will see your skin monstrously stretched across the mirrors.
  4. Next place the smaller end on your eye and have your friend look in through the other end while you move your eye from side to side. Your friend will see a spherical monster covered with eyes which are swerving crazily around.
  5. Cut up small pieces of coloured paper and put it into the kaleidoscope. Keep the narrow end against a tabletop and watch through the other end while rotating it. You will see beautiful patterns in 3D.

Scientific explanation:

A Kaleidoscope is a device which operates on the principle of multiple reflections. Using several mirrors which are joined together, a number of beautiful patterns can be seen if coloured objects are put inside the Kaleidoscope and viewed while rotating. A three mirror model provides a 3D pattern.