Easy Pinhole Projector

Make a simple pinhole projector to safely view the solar eclipse.


  • Cardboard box with a lid like a shoe box
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • X-acto knife
  • Piece of white paper
  • Needle, pin or thumbtack
  • Aluminum foil

Now Follow These Steps:

First: Using your X-acto knife and/or scissors, cut a hole 1.5” x 1.5” into one end of your box.
Second: Cut a piece of aluminum foil slightly larger than the whole and tape it tightly to the outside of the box covering the hole. 
Third: Use a needle, pin or thumbtack to carefully poke a hole through the center of the foil.
Next: Cut a second hole into the side of your box large enough to look into the box. The whole should be on the side of the box at the opposite end of your first whole. 
Then: Tape a piece of white paper in place on the opposite side of the box from the pinhole to make a screen where your image will appear. 
Finally: Point the pinhole end of the box towards the sun. Do not look directly at the sun!  Now look at the paper screen through viewing hole in your box. What do you observe? Let us know what you see by posting pictures to our Facebook Page or send them to us and we will post your observations!

*Try this with a larger box and let us know what happens. 
* Decorate your box and take a picture and share it with us on Facebook

Here’s What’s Happening!

When the light that reflects off an object enters our eyes through our pupils, the light travels through the different parts of our eyes and produces an upside-down image on our retina. The image travels to our brain through the optic nerve. Instead of seeing an upside-down image, our brain compensates by reversing the image so that it is right-side up. In a pinhole viewer, the light enters through the small pinhole, much the same way that light enters the eye through the pupil. The light creates an image on the white paper, similar to the way that light creates an image on the retina of the eye. However, since a pinhole viewer lacks a “brain” to “fix” the image, it will appear upside down.

Watch this video to learn more about this experiment: