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Valentine Kaleidoscope with a secret message

My first kaleidoscope was given to me by a friend from Japan many years ago. The tube was covered with Japanese rice paper and had many colorful glass crystals in it. After many years and moving several houses, I somehow lost that kaleidoscope. So I thought I’d try to make one myself and give it to my boys as a gift this Valentine’s Day.


I added a secret “I love you” message inside so my son, who is learning to read, can read it when he looks into the kaleidoscope. I used stars confetti and blue cellophane to resemble the sky so that the message “I love you” becomes “I love you to the moon and back.” You can try making this at home with your kids.


What you need:

Paper towel roll tube
Silver mirror card
Stars confetti
Clear cellophane
Blue cellophane
A marker
Sticky tape
Double sided tape
Coloured paper (I used red and blue)


How to:


Cut three pieces of silver mirror card roughly a little shorter than the length of the paper towel roll tube. Tape the three pieces together with sticky tape to form a triangular prism. Make sure the shiny sides face inwards. The prism must be able to fit inside the tube.



Use a marker to trace around the triangular prism on a piece of clear cellophane. Then write your secret message inside the triangle.



Secure the “message” cellophane to one end of the prism using sticky tape. Slide the finished prism inside your paper towel roll tube.



Cut a square of clear cellophane. Place it over the “message” end of the tube. Push it down so that it forms a little pouch and rests on top of the prism. Tape it to the tube using double sided tape and sticky tape.

Fill the pouch with stars confetti and blue cellophane. Place another square of cellophane over the pouch to seal the filling and attach to the tube using sticky tape, so nothing spills out.



Trace around the end of the tube using marker on blue colored paper. Cut out the traced circle. Cut a small circle in the center of the paper for peephole. Secure it to the tube with sticky tape.

Decorate the tube. I used red colored paper to wrap around the tube and drew some extra hearts for decoration.

Happy crafting!

PS: This craft was originally created and published in edition 3 (January / February 2015) of Kids Nation magazine.

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