How to make a DIY Pinhole Viewer for the 2017 Eclipse

Make your very own DIY pinhole viewer for the upcoming 2017 solar eclipse!



The materials needed to make a DIY pinhole viewer

Kevin Wu, Multimedia Editor

With a total solar eclipse coming to North America on August 21st, solar eclipse glasses are running out of stock at stores around the country. If you happened to miss out on purchasing a pair of eclipse shades or  if you wish to simply make one for the fun of it, never fear. Here are some fun and simple instructions to make a DIY pinhole viewer!

REMEMBER to NEVER look at the Sun directly without proper protection. You could severely damage your eyes or even go blind! Sunglasses do NOT count!

Information and images courtesy of NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory.


  • 2 pieces of thick white card paper stock OR thick cardboard
  • Aluminium foil
  • Tape
  • Pin/thumbtack or paper clip


Step 1: Cut a square hole into the middle of one of your pieces of card stock.

Step 2: Tape a piece of aluminum foil over the hole.

Step 3: Use your pin or paper clip to poke a small hole in the aluminum foil.

Step 4: Place your second piece of card stock on the ground and hold the piece with aluminum foil above it (foil facing up). Stand with the sun behind you and view the projected image on the card stock below! The farther away you hold your camera, the bigger your projected image will be.

To make your projection a bit more defined, try putting the bottom piece of card stock in a shadowed area while you hold the other piece in the sunlight.

Step 5: For extra fun, try poking multiple holes in your foil, making shapes, patterns and other designs. Each hole you create will turn into its own projection of the eclipse, making for some neat effects. Grab a helper to take photos of your designs for a stellar art project you can enjoy even after the eclipse has ended.

Source: NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory