Yes, I got paid to craft at work today. And I found a lot of ways you can mess up a DIY solar eclipse viewer, so now you can learn from my mistakes.

I used a tutorial from LiveScience, using a shoe box. But there are tons of other ways to make a solar eclipse viewer. Don't risk burning your retinas-- most of these crafts are quick, easy, and can be made with materials you probably already have in your home.

NASA has instructions for creating a viewer with a cereal box. Here's an excerpt:

  • Empty your cereal box including the inner paper that held the cereal.
  • Cut a white piece of cardboard that will fit snuggly in the bottom of the box, or secure it permanently by gluing it in place.
  • Cut the top of the cereal box, removing both ends and leaving the center in tact.
  • Put a piece of tape across the center of the top to securely hold it closed.
  • Tape a piece of heavy duty foil or double a single layer for additional strength , covering one of the openings at the top of the cereal box.
  • The other opening will remain open for viewing
  • Using a small nail (approximately 3mm in diameter) push a hole in the foil.
  • The actual size is not a critical issue; you can experiment with different sizes and shapes
  • The finished box should be held with the pin-hole side facing the sun. It may take a little practice pointing the box.

Happy crafting!