Making a pinhole camera is a fun art project and an excellent way to introduce photography to your child. This can also be very educational, as it will teach your child more about vision, light, and how our eyes work.
What you will need:
- A cardboard cylinder – An empty oatmeal canister, coffe container, or pringles cyclinder works perfectly for this project. (If you are looking to make a more permanent pinhole camera, use a small wooden, 5-sided container or cylinder instead of cardboard.)
- Parchment paper (printer or wax paper will also work)
- A rubber band that is large enough to stretch around the container
- Something to poke a hole in the container (A pushpin, pen, screwdriver, or long nail works great. Make sure there is adult supervision with the sharp objects if you are working with young kids)
Follow these simple instructions:
Step One: Poke a hole in the bottom, center of your container. If you are using cardboard, this is a pretty easy step, and can be done with something as easy to find as a ballpoint pen. If you are using wood to make a more permanent pinhole camera, you’ll want an adult to drill a hole in the bottom, center of the wooden container.
Step Two: Cut out a piece of parchment paper that is big enough to cover the opening of the container. The parchment should be stretched tight, and should completely cover the opening of the container.
Step Three: Stretch the rubber band around the opening of the container so that it is holding the parchment paper tightly in place. By this step, your pinhole camera should resemble a drum.
Step Four: Stand in a dark room (or drape a blanket over you and your camera), and point the bottom of the container out towards a brightly lit object or space. When you look at the parchment, the scene coming through the pinhole will appear upside down.
For more detailed and visual instructions on building your camera, check out this “How To” video.