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 @ Joyful Creations 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.

Anonymous 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.

marissa | Rae Gun Ramblings said...

what a clever idea, thanks so much for sharing!

Ms Muffin said...

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

Unknown said...

Thank you so much! My twin boys want "golden" spyglasses, and the only thing I've been able to find is either too small or made of brass. (Which, although very cool, would result in pain when they inevitably whack each other with them....)

d said...

İt looks profesional:clap

horstgraben said...

Thanks heaps for this. I made one for my son. I found all the parts at the hardware shop except the 1" CPVC slip coupling, so I cut a 1" piece of the 1 1/4" pipe then cut a gap in it 273 thou wide (7mm). When I squeezed the gap closed it fit snugly inside the 1 1/4" pipe. I glued it in place and spray painted it silver apart from the threaded eyepiece section. Result - one happy boy!