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DIY Pinhole Projectors

How to Make a Pinhole Projector For Safe Eclipse Viewing

Pinhole Projector Using a Box

Items You Will Need:

  • a long cardboard box, shoe box, or tube
  • scissors
  • duct tape
  • aluminum foil
  • a pin or a thumbtack
  • a sharp knife or paper cutter
  • a sheet of white paper


What to Do:

  • Cut a rectangular hole at the end of the box. You can tape 2 boxes together to make a long box. The longer the box, the larger the projected image.
  • Using the scissors, cut out a piece of the aluminum foil slightly larger than the rectangular hole. Make sure the foil is completely flat and not crinkled.
  • Tape the foil over the rectangular hole in the box.
  • Use the pin to poke a tiny hole in the center of the foil.
  • Tape the sheet of paper on the inside of the other end of the box.
  • Stand with your back toward the Sun. Place the box over your head with the pinhole towards the Sun. Adjust your position until you see a small projection, a reversed image, of the eclipsed Sun on the paper inside the box.


Simple Card Pinhole Projector

The simplest and quickest way to safely project the Sun is with a projector made from only two pieces of cardboard or paper.

Items You Will Need:

  • Two pieces of stiff white cardboard, e.g. two paper plates
  • a thumbtack, a sharp pin, or a needle


To make a quick version of the pinhole projector, take a sheet of paper and make a tiny hole in the middle of it using a pin or a thumbtack. Make sure that the hole is round and smooth.

  1. With your back towards the Sun, hold one piece of paper above your shoulder allowing the Sun to shine on the paper.
  2. The 2nd sheet of paper will act as a screen. Hold it at a distance, and you will see an inverted image of the Sun projected on the paper screen through the pinhole.
  3. To make the image of the Sun larger, hold the screen paper further away from the paper with the pinhole.


A box projector works on the same principles, it requires a little more time and a few extra items to construct, but it is more sturdy.