Make your DIY solar eclipse viewer

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – As the eclipse draws nearer, the special solar eclipse glasses are getting harder to find. Don’t worry, though, you can still safely watch the solar eclipse by making your own pinhole viewer!

You will stand with your back to the sun and hold the box up so that the sunlight shines through the hole. It will take some small movements to find exactly the right angle.

Follow these instructions to make your own pinhole viewer.

Materials you need:

  • Cardboard box – any size will work but you have to hold it up during the eclipse. A longer box will give you a larger projection!
  • Scissors
  • Aluminum foil
  • Tape
  • Thumbtack or needle to poke a small hole
  • White paper

Here is your step-by-step list to make the pinhole viewer:

  • Tape a piece of white paper on the back inside of your box, the place you’ll be looking at the projection. (Note from Hannah Strong: when I have done this in the past, I have not use the paper.  But it likely makes for a better projection)
  • Cut two small holes on one of the short sides of your box. They should be about 1 inch by 1 inch. (Note: I used a cereal box that has one large opening. That will let in more light and make your projection harder to see. It still works, but your best option is to cut two small holes as listed here) 
  • Over the hole on the right side, tape aluminum foil. Make sure the foil is smooth and that you have enough to completely cover the hole.
  • Use the thumbtack or needle to poke a hole in the center of the aluminum foil. The hole needs to be perfectly round and smooth.
  • Stand with your back to the sun and look through the still-open hole you cut, on the left side.
  • The sun light will come through the small hole you poked in the aluminum foil and show up as a projection on the backside of your box.