How to Make a Simple Homemade Projector For Kids

    by Mason Howard

    About the Author

    Mason Howard is an artist and writer in Minneapolis. Howard's work has been published in the "Creative Quarterly Journal of Art & Design" and "New American Paintings." He has also written for art exhibition catalogs and publications. Howard's recent writing includes covering popular culture, home improvement, cooking, health and fitness. He received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota.


    Give your child a wondrous as well as educational experience by projecting luminous images onto her bedroom wall. Ideas for projections include stars and planets, her favorite cartoon characters, fairy lands and wild animals. A simple do-it-yourself projector can be easily built using a shoebox, a magnifying lens and a flashlight. Get your child involved in the construction and teach her about the science of light and magnification.

    Things You'll Need

    • Shoebox
    • Matte, black acrylic or tempera paint
    • Magnifying lens
    • Craft knife
    • Flashlight
    • Electrical tape
    • Binder clip
    • Image transparencies

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    Paint the inside of the shoebox with a matte, black acrylic or tempera paint. Allow the paint to dry.

    Trace the outline of a magnifying lens on the front-center of the shoebox. Cut out the circle, using a craft knife.

    Trace the outline of the back end of a flashlight handle on the back-center of the shoebox. Cut out the circle, using a craft knife.

    Set the magnifying lens in the corresponding hole and tape around the edge with electrical tape to hold the lens in place and to seal any light leaks.

    Insert the handle of the flashlight into the other hole from the inside of the box so the flashlight head is butted against the inner shoebox wall and the light is aimed at the lens. If necessary, the flashlight head can be propped up with a piece of foam, a chunk of wood, a wad of putty or folded cardboard. Tape around the edge of the hole to seal any light leaks.

    • When working with children, be cautious while using craft knife.

    Photo Credits

    • Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images