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Make Your Own Magnifier

You use magnifying glasses and microscopes to make small things look big.  This is so we can see them and study them better.   Here’s a need craft for making your own magnifier.  Look at salt, sugar, leaves, etc. and see if they look like what you expected them to up close.


piece of cardboard about 2 by 3 inches
1 inch square piece of thin clear plastic*
spoon or eye dropper


1. Cut a dime-size hole in the middle of the cardboard.
2. Set the clear piece of plastic over the hole, and tape it down. Tape it around the edge; don't tape over hole.
3. Fold each end of the cardboard down 1/4 inch.
4. Dip the tip of the spoon in the water. Hold the spoon directly over the center of the hole, and let ONE DROP of water fall onto the plastic.  There you have it.


1. Set a piece of newspaper with printing, on the table.
2. CAREFULLY lift your magnifier, and set it down on top of the paper.
3. Look STRAIGHT DOWN through the top of the water drop, and you will see the printing in the paper, magnified.

Note:  If it is blurry you must focus your magnifier. Put the tip of your finger on the cardboard just to one side of the hole. Press the cardboard down gently. This will bend the cardboard so the drop will be moved down closer to the newspaper. You will see the print sharply at one place. Hold your finger still, and study the magnified letters. You will see that the edges of the letters are very ragged and not nearly as sharp as they looked before you saw them magnified!

Try using different size water drops on the plastic and see what the results are.

*You can cut the plastic from a container food comes in.


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