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How to make a kaleidoscope


* Empty pringles potato chip can * 2 plastic caps (yep, you'll have to eat two cans worth) * 2-3x3 pieces of thick clear acetate * 3 mirrors (or two mirrors and black mat board). See notes * Double-sided tape * Duct tape * Bubble wrap * Foam packing peanuts * White contact paper * Clear silicone sealer * Materials for object chamber * X-acto knife * Scissors Note: A two-mirror scope produces one central image. Three mirror scopes produces innumerable images. In a scope with two mirrors, the mirrors are arranges in a "v," with black mat board forming the third side. The angle of the V determines the number of reflections. Use your imagination! As per mirror size, there are many variables. For starters, try 8x1 1/2 inches each. 1. Empty potato chip can and cut out the bottom with a clean opener. Wipe the inside clean. 2. Make the eyepiece using one of the end caps. Carefully cut a hole, traced from a dime, in the center of one plastic end cap with an X-acto knife. 3. With scissors, cut two pieces of clear acetate to fit nicely inside the potato chip can. Tape one of them to the inside of the cap with double-sided tape. Save the other one for step 10. 4. Make a cover for the eyepiece with white contact paper, which you can decorate with paints or colored pencils or markers. 5. Snap eyepiece into place. You may want to glue in on tightly. Carefully clean mirrors. Watch for sharp edges as well as leaving fingerprints and dust. 6. Lay the mirrors, shiny side down, next to each other with 1/16 inch gap between them. 7. Put little pieces of duct tape over the gaps, so you can fold them together (mirror sides inside the triangle) and arrange them in place. When they are arranged to your satisfaction, tape from top edge to bottom edge of each seam. This is for stability as well as to keep light from the inside of the mirrors. 8. Wrap mirrors in bubble wrap. 9. Slide mirrors inside the potato chip can. Push it snug against the eyepiece. Position center of mirrors in the center of the can (use eyehole for guidance) and pack firmly into position with foram peanuts. 10.To create the object chamber position the second clear acetate circle at the open end of the mirror. 11. Glue circle into the place with clear silicone sealer. Be careful not to get "Strings" of silicone across the mirror. Let dry. 12. Place objects into chamber, but leave about 1/3 of the space empty so the objects can move. Snap the lid in place. Experiment with what object combinations make pleasing patterns for you.

13. If you wish, when you are satisfied with the patterns your objects create, seal the lid on tight with clear silicone sealer for safety.



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