DIY: How to Make a Pinhole Camera

Today I"m going to teach you how to make a Pinhole Cameras. Pinhole cameras are simple and cheap to make, and are fun for all ages. 

-Oatmeal container
- black spray paint
-masking tape
- black matt board
- aluminum foil
- access to a darkroom with chemicals
- photo paper
-exacto knife
- black construction paper

  To help ensure that your camera is light light you need to spray paint the inside of the container as well as the lid black.

Next you are cutting out a square in your container, that is about 1 inch by 1 inch. It's okay if it isn't exact. This is where you are going to place your pinhole.

Using a pin, poke a very small hole into the tin foil. You need to make sure that the hole goes the whole way through, but you do want it to be the size of small pin. The smaller the hole the sharper your image will appear. 

Take your piece of foil and tape it on the inside of your oatmeal container. You want to be sure that the pinhole is showing through the opening, and that all edges are sealed. You only want light to get into your camera through the pinhole. 

You need to cut your matt board into a rectangle that is about 3x4". You need to cut an opening in the center that will allow your pinhole to shine through. To find the center, draw an x over you rectangle and draw a box where the two lines intersect. You need to cut the small square out.

The rectangle needs to have flaps to help it to bend around the oatmeal container, so we are going to score each side. Draw a line down each side about an inch in. With your exacto knife cut down this line, but don't cut the whole way through, you're just making a cut so that it is easier to bend.

You should now have a piece that looks like this. 

Tape the piece that you just created onto the front of the camera. Once again making sure that you are leaving the pinhole exposed. You should leave a little bit of room so that another piece of matt board can slide down the back, this is going to act like your shutter. The black piece slides to cover the pinhole, and is removed to allow light in and take a picture.

We are now making a cover for the lid. Take your lid, place on top of a black piece of paper, trace, and cut out.

Make a tape donut, and tape the circle that you just cut out onto the top of your lid. Next cut a strip of black paper that is about 1 1/2 inches in width and 13 inches in length.

Put the lid back onto your container.  You are wrapping the strip that you just cut around the container and attaching it to the lid. The purpose of the strip is to help keep light from sneaking in through the crack where the lid goes on. Make sure that you are just taping the strip to the lid and not to the container, as you still need to be able to take the lid on and off. 

Now your camera is ready to take pictures.

I'm offering a darkroom workshop for elementary kids. They will have the opportunity to work with the pinhole camera, and make photograms in the darkroom. The darkroom is a magical place for people of all ages, your child will surely love the experience. Click here for more information:
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