Tuesday, March 16, 2010

How to Make a Kids Spyglass Telescope

Susan made the most FABULOUS telescopes for my boys last week -- pirate style, of course -- and today she is here to show you how to make one of your own! Read on for Susan's instructions!

Here is how to make a Kids Spyglass Telescope -using PVC pipe!

The idea came when my nephew had a pirate birthday party coming up-and needed the perfect Pirate Spyglass! I have a ton of PVC pipe leftovers from making Teepee Tents- so this idea was born. It looks great and collapses down, just like the real thing!

And this pirate thinks it's pretty awesome.

(I got my supplies at Lowes. I recommend that you try out all your pieces before you buy them, just to double check that they fit together. I'm sure people at Lowes thought I was nutty when I spent an hour there testing pieces together to see what would fit!)

You will need:

One 8" piece of 1 1/4" PVC pipe (comes in 5' lengths. 1.20)

One 7.5" piece of 3/4" PVC pipe (also in 5' lengths. $1.09.)

One 3/4" Slip coupling ($.24)

One 3/4" Adapter, Slip and Thread ($.44)

One 1" CPVC Slip coupling ($1.22. This piece is key and is found in a slightly different section than the other regular PVC pieces. It is more of a tan color.)


PVC pipe glue or Super Glue (put everything together for a trial run before you glue it)

Paint, stickers, or whatever to decorate!

Your CPVC piece needs to be able to fit inside your 1 1/4" PVC pipe. You will need to sand down the ridge across the middle in order to get it in. It should be a very snug fit!

You will also need to sand down the ridge on the inside a little bit. Just enough that your 3/4" PVC pipe can slide smoothly inside (keeping in mind that you will need some extra clearance to accommodate a layer of paint if you want to paint your telescope).

Insert the CPVC piece into your 1 1/4" PVC pipe, leaving a little bit sticking out (just for looks) You can glue this piece in, but it is such a tight fit, you shouldn't need to.

Take the 3/4" coupling and put into place on one end of your 3/4" pipe.

Insert that 3/4" piece through your 1 1/4" pipe (the coupling will be hidden inside) and put the 3/4" adapter on the other end (You will end up seeing the side with the threads). And you are done!

To paint mine, I used Krylon Fusion spray paint,which seems to work well, though not totally scratch proof. However, a word of warning that you are supposed to let it cure for 1 week. And they mean it. I am very impatient. I also recommend that you paint it before you glue all the pieces together.

Enjoy! Make one for a pirate or explorer (or Princess) that you know! And share pictures with me! I love to see how creative you can all be! (in fact, if anyone can figure out how to make these really work to magnify things, I would love to know how!)


Ashley said...

Awesome! Now, if only I can remember this in about 2 or 3 years when my son begins to pretend to be a pirate. Maybe I'll make a few pretty soon just to be prepared.

L Johnson said...

Those are some very cool looking telescopes, watch out Lowes your pipe department is going to be full of creative women looking at PVC pipes!

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

Oh how fun. I love the pirate idea. I'll be linking.

CraftCrave said...

Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave.com in the Handcraft category today [17 Mar 12:53pm GMT]. Thanks, Maria

marissa said...

what a clever idea, thanks so much for sharing!

Miss Muffin said...

Oh, that is so cool!!! I should not let my daughter see this or I will havwe to make one right away. :-)