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Spy Glass Color Wheel
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Spy Glass Color Wheel

What you will make:

Use red, blue and yellow cellophane to make a color wheel that teaches kids about combining the primary colors. Have your child see how many colors can be made by overlapping the colored cellophane layers. For even more colors, the color wheel doubles as a spy glass that your child can look through to see the colors of things change.

This craft is well-suited for family, group or classroom craft time, and with preparation by the adult or teen leader, can be used with younger children.

Related craft: For more fun with colored cellophane, see the Multicolor Binoculars craft project.

Here's what you need:
  • Cardstock
  • Scrap paper
  • Cellophane: red, blue and yellow
  • Glue
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • 1" or larger circle punch
  • Hole punch
  • Paper fastener

This project is rated EASY to do.

How to Make a Spy Glass Color Wheel

Read all of the steps before starting.
Step 1: Project Preparation

Gather the materials needed for making the color wheel. If you are doing this project with a group of young children, pre-cut the cardstock and cellophane.

Step 2: Make a Pattern

Cut a 2" by 3" piece of scrap paper. Fold the paper in half lengthwise, then unfold. Use the 1" circle punch to punch a circle in the center about ½" from the top. With the paper folded, draw a larger semi-circle around the hole, then draw a handle shape at the bottom of the circle. Cut out your pattern and unfold. For a larger circle punch, increase the paper scrap rectangle proportionately.

Tip: Make a pattern from cardstock for the children to share. Some children may have trouble using the paper pattern.

Step 3: Cut and Punch Cardstock

Trace around the pattern six times on cardstock. Cut out each traced pattern. Try to trace and cut accurately.

Use the circle punch to punch a hole in each piece of cut cardstock. Use the paper pattern as a guide for where to punch. It is important that the holes in all the cardstock pieces line up!

Step 4: Cut Cellophane

Cut out the cellophane pieces. Cut them just smaller than the outside of your cut pieces, but larger than the punched circle.

Step 5: Glue

Sandwich a colored piece of cellophane between two pieces of cut cardstock. Glue together to make a spy glass. Repeat until all three spy glasses are made.

Step 6: Assemble

When the spy glass pieces are dry, punch a hole in the center of the handle end. Be sure to punch each piece in the same place. Use the first punched spy glass piece as a guide for the other two.

Stack all the spy glass pieces on top of each other, aligning the cellophane circles and punched handles. Fasten them together with a paper fastener to make your color wheel.

How many colors can you make with different combinations of two layers?

That's it! Your color wheel is complete!
Spy Glass Color Wheel

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Before you start:
  • Make a place to work.
  • Read all of the directions.
  • Gather everything you need to do the project.
  • Think about the project. Imagine how it will look and what you will do with it.

Are you ready?
Okay, get started!!!

Thanks to...

Thanks to Evelyn Quinones for sharing this craft idea with Aunt Annie's Craft Exchange in 1997.

Evelyn shared, "I wanted my boys to see how to make different colors by combining the primary colors, so I came up with this idea. They had a lot of fun making the wheels, but even more fun playing with them. "

Looking through the Spy Glass Color Wheel at a book

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Tip: Change the color of things around you by looking through the Spy Glass Color Wheel.

Spy Glass Color Wheel made with flower die cuts

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Tip: It's easy to make fancier Spy Glass Color Wheels using die-cuts. This spy glass was made with flower die-cuts in primary colors and a leaf die-cut used as a handle.

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