Kids, Make a Lantern 2017-06-15T19:00:48+00:00

Kids, Here’s What You Will Need
  • A cardboard box, at least 6” x 6” x 8”.  It can be bigger, but not too big.
  • A flashlight
  • A paper-towel roll or toilet-paper roll
  • A piece of cardboard, about 2” x 11”
  • A small piece of cardboard, about 2” x 2”
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • A big magnifying glass. (You don’t have to have this, but you will get a bigger picture if you do.)

 Next: Make slides

You can see what original toy lanterns looked like here.

Kids, to make your own magic lantern with the cardboard box, cut a round hole in the top about the size of a toilet paper roll.  This is for the chimney.  At one end of the box, cut a hole big enough to reach inside with a flashlight in your hand. At the opposite end, cut a 3” hole for the lens tube.  To make the lens tube, cut the large piece of cardboard, roll it into a tube 3” in diameter, and tape it in the 3” hole.  Tape the 2” square piece of flat cardboard along the bottom of the lens in the front, with a flat part sticking out of it by 1” to hold the slide.  Fold up the front edge of this flat slide holder to make a slot for the slide to sit on. Make the chimney by taping a paper-towel roll or toilet-paper roll in the top hole.

For extra fanciness, use spray paint to paint the lantern brown, the chimney black, and the lens brass.  Be careful not to paint anything but the lantern.

Congratulations Kids!  You’re almost a Magic-Lantern Showman!  All you need are the slides. Click “Make Slides” below.