Two weeks ago I found myself with my nephews running all over the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum trying to capture as many photos as possible of the fun we had. It was tough! Whenever I paused to look at a photo of my nephews on my phone, the two of them were quickly asking to see what I had snapped. I wished at that time that the two of them had their own cameras to capture their own perspectives.
While I wouldn’t give them the most expensive cameras to run around with, I would give them a play camera, paired with a scribble pad on the back, to document their favorite moments from the day to act as photos. Here’s how your child can make his or her own easy DIY craft – an upcycled play camera, which is perfect for your next family outing.
- Small empty cardboard box (4.5 inch by 5.5 inch is used in the example shown)
- Poly-Fil batting
- Double-sided tape
- Plain duct tape – color of your choice
- Card stock in black, red, white, gray and silver colors
- Circle punches: large, medium and small sizes
- Hot glue and glue gun
- Small, bound notepad
Start out by stuffing the empty box with Poly-Fil batting so that the box is full but not bulging. Close the other end of the box.
Next, cover the ends of the box with duct tape. Once that’s done, cover the sides with duct tape, too. This will help give the camera strength.
Add duct tape to the front and back of the box. Use your scissors to trim the excess tape.
It’s time to give the camera its look. Punch a large circle from the black card stock, a medium circle from the gray and a small circle from the white. Layer the pieces with double-sided tape and attach to the front of the camera. Add a small 1-inch by 1-inch silver square to the front, as well, to create a flash.
To create the shutter release, punch a small circle of red card stock and attach to the top of the camera with double-sided tape.
Cut a square of black card stock slightly larger than the notepad and attach it to the back of the camera with double-stick tape. Cut another 1-inch by 1-inch white rectangle and position on the back of the camera to act as a viewfinder. Affix the notepad on top of the black square with hot glue and let cool. Once that’s done the camera is ready for the next photo opp!