Cardboard Tube Binoculars

We are about a month away from the official first day of spring, so while your little rugrats are experiencing cabin fever, pull this idea out of your hat and they’ll love you for it. This homemade binocular craft is a fun way to get excited for spring, while still being able to utilize them while stuck inside. Great for bird watching or a fun indoor adventure game too!

Here’s what you are going to need for one pair of binoculars. You can most certainly substitute the camouflage felt with another pattern or solid color.

Be sure to visit the kid’s crafts section for more ideas!

Cardboard Tube Binoculars
printable version

2 cardboard bathroom tissue tubes
1 sheet camouflage felt
White craft glue
Craft foam to match your felt
6 rubber bands
40” piece of twine or yarn

Tip: If you like the idea of the camouflage felt but can’t find it, you can make your own by gluing different shades of the same color onto a like piece of felt or construction paper.

Lay felt, design side down, on the work surface and cut felt in half.

Roll up the cardboard tube inside the felt, gluing as you go. Trim off excess. Repeat for the other tube.

Cut a strip of craft foam long enough to go around the end of the tube, about 3/4” wide. Glue the strip around the end of the cardboard tube, lining up the felt seam with the craft foam strip seam.

Secure with a rubber band. Repeat for the other tube.

Cut another strip long enough to go around the opposite end of the tube, only this time cut it 1/2” wide. Glue as above and secure with a rubber band.

Place the tubes side by sides with the seams facing each other. Put a rubber band around both tubes to hold them in place.

Use a pen to poke a hole in the side of the tube, about 1/2” below the 1/2” wide craft foam strip. Insert the end of your twine into the hole from the outside of the tube. Bring it through the tube and tie a double knot. Trim off excess and gently pull the twine taut. The knot will keep the twine from coming back out through the hole. Repeat on the other side.

Pipe a generous amount of white craft glue in between the two tubes, lip over and do the other side as well. Let them dry completely, several hours or overnight, before removing the rubber bands and using your binoculars.



40 Responses to Cardboard Tube Binoculars

  1. 1
    creativejewishmom/sara says:

    These are great Amanda! Thanks so much for sharing on Craft Schooling Sunday!

  2. 2
    Gośka says:

    What a fantastic idea. Just great for summer play:)

  3. 3
    Becca says:

    What a fabulous idea !! My 4 year old son would love these. Thanks for sharing !! *Becca*

  4. 4
    RedTedArt says:

    Oh! These really are fun! Love them!! Will have to make some ASAP!

    Do come and link up again at Kids Get Crafty? Current linky: http://www.redtedart.com/2011/02/16/kids-get-crafty-robot-cards-the-robot-the-blue-bird/ But new one out on Wednesday!


  5. 5
    Kristin says:

    LOVE this idea! Very clever and I definitely will be trying this out for my little boys … and link back to you of course. Thanks for a great tutorial!

  6. 6
    MessyMissy says:

    I adore these. I host a craft time at my local library and this would be the perfect craft for the kiddos!! Thanks for the idea!! I would love it if you link up to my party, A Marvelous Mess. I will be picking one project to feature on the sidebar of my blog for a week!! Here is the link:

  7. 7
    Little Treasures says:

    Fantastic idea!

  8. 8
    Sara says:

    What a cool idea! This is one of those items I wish I had thought of!

  9. 9
    claudia lamascolo says:

    Wish I had the creativity you have, little ones again and this kind of imagination you are truly gifted!

  10. 10
    marla says:

    Love how you wrapped these binoculars in that paper! At school the kids make these – gotta tell them about the wrapping :)

  11. 11
    Amanda says:

    Thanks everyone! :) Looking forward to spring :)

  12. 12
    Becky says:

    You've been featured!! I featured your fabulous tutorial at Kids Create with UCreate.


  13. 13
    Amanda says:

    Thank you so much for the feature Becky! I really appreciate it – so glad you joined your sister and will be featuring fun things for the kiddos :) Hope you'll stop by more often

  14. 14
    RedTedArt says:

    Thank you for linking up! Will also feature it in "Spring Get Crafty" next week (after all, as Spring comes along you need your binoculars for finding all those lovely birds!)


  15. 15
    Mel says:

    This is great. I have been collecting our toilet paper rolls to do binoculars for my little preschool and wasn't quite sure how I was going to do this…this post was perfect timing and saves me some hassle.

  16. 16
    Richie says:

    Will be flying kites later in he afternoon. These binoculars will surely come in handy! I'll be adding colored celophane paper to make he visual more 3D!

  17. 17
    Sawdust and Paperscraps says:

    These are awesome!

  18. 18
    Michelle says:

    This is so cute! I might give this a go this weekend!

  19. 19
    Kim @ KimsKandyKreations says:

    What a GREAT idea. These would be such a fun idea for a jungle themed party or a backyard campout. Thanks for sharing the tutorial!

    I'd love it if you would like this project on our new Party themed blog link party here: http://kimskandykreations.blogspot.com/2011/02/shindig-saturday-party-blog-hop.html

  20. 20
    lauren@warmandfuzzy says:

    I'm stopping by from TT&J to say "I love these." I am a preschool teacher as well as a blogger and will so be doing this with my son and in my classroom. This is the cutest idea. It will be great in for our insect unit for bug hunts and even for Letter Scavenger Hunts. Again I love it!

    Stop by my blog if ya get a chance.

  21. 21
    RedTedArt says:

    (Spring Get Crafty is now out!!! I featured you: http://www.redtedart.com/2011/03/01/spring-get-crafty/ thanks for a lovely craft to include!)

  22. 22
    Laura says:

    Thanks for this idea! I'm going to try it!

  23. 23
    Stephanie says:

    This is great! My kids will love this.

  24. 24
    suzannah {so much shouting, so much laughter} says:

    how cute! i've been saving tp rolls and wondering what to make of them. my little explorers would love this.

  25. 25
    Becky says:

    I just made these with my son last night. They are fabulous!! Of course I linked back to you. I love your site! http://vermontwhitneys.blogspot.com/2011/03/i-spy-with-my-little-eye.html

  26. 26
    Kristin @ Preschool Universe says:

    I love these – possibly the best use of cardboard tubes I've seen. I'm definitely linking to this in my post on cardboard tubes. thanks for sharing!

  27. 27
    Carolyn says:

    This is an excellent activity for younger children. So easy to make and look fantastic.

  28. 28

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    [...] That Was Fun and Easy To Make! Binoculars! How cool are those? I got the idea from Crafts by Amanda and I have to say that hers came out prettier than mine. Not too surprising since her crafts are [...]

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    [...] Cardboard Tube Binoculars [...]

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    […] Binoculars | Sure to be a hit for outdoor fun all spring, this DIY craft are simply made using felt, glue, cardboard, twine, craft foam, and rubber bands. […]

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    stephanie says:

    You saved my life! I’ve had my church saving TP rolls for Vacation Bible School,not knowing what I was going to do with them.
    Thanks a million!

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