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Ordinary kaleidoscopes must be pointed toward a light source to work. This one has built-in illumination, so you can hold it right up against a printed page. The RGB LED’s color-changing feature continuously cycles through a rainbow of colors, making viewing black-and-white comics a trippy treat!

Project Steps


Make the body from a 1¼”-diameter Tube-Pak cut to 6½” length. Cut 3 strips of thin black ABS, 1⅛” wide and 6½” long. Arrange with long edges together and the shiny sides facing in to form a triangular shape. Insert into the tube to create a great front-surface mirror kaleidoscope.


Cut a 1⅜”-diameter disk out of ABS and make a ¾” hole in the center. Drill 3 small holes near the edge and thread the LED’s legs through. Bend the legs to ensure the LED will shine inside the mirrors when the disk is in place. Then attach the SPST momentary switch to same side of the disk with super glue.


Wire the LED’s flat-side lead to ground of a 3V button cell battery holder and wire the center leg to positive. Then wire the switch between the third LED leg and ground. Press the button to turn on the LED and then cycle through its modes, the last of which is auto cycle.



Cut a 1-3/16″ hole in the center of both caps. Make a hole for the switch button in the side of one cap, and then make a matching notch in the end of the tube. Position the disk with the LED in place inside, and slip the battery between a mirror and the tube. Slide the cap on, with the switch poking through the small hole and aligned in the notch. Put the other cap on the opposite end. If needed, cover the back and side of the LED with a bit of black electrical tape to shade your eye from glare.