DIY Play Camera - Made from Recycled Materials

Turn a cardboard box into a camera! Made entirely from recycled items these frugal fun cameras are sure to inspire oodles of creative play, ideal for the half-term holidays.

These super-simple cameras are perfect for all ages to create, all you need are:
:: Small cardboard box (we found ones made from corrugated card work best)
:: Cylindrical container (cardboard tube/paper cup) or jam jar lid
:: Bottle top or large button
:: Ribbon to create a camera strap (optional)

We started by turning our box inside out, to do this we ran a blunt knife down each glued edge of the box & then flattened it out onto a surface with the inside (plain side) facing upwards.

We used an old cardboard container to create our camera lens, & drew around the base of it onto the box. We wanted the 'lens' to be able to twist & move like a real one, so I left a small border around our drawn circle before cutting it out with a craft knife which left room for our 'lens' to sit snuggly in the hole.

To create a viewfinder I cut a small square hole in the top corner, & then another on the opposite side of the box. We then remade the box (plain side on the outside) & resealed the edges using double-sided sticky tape.

We stuck a bottle top to the top of the camera using a glue gun & our little camera was ready for action.

If you fancy adding a telescopic lens you could use a longer cardboard container. We used these drinking chocolate containers which were perfect & meant our lenses could move in & out of the camera as well as twist from side to side, giving it the feel of a real extended lens

These cameras are great for encouraging imaginative play both indoors & outside, and as the boxes are plain kids can customise the cameras by adding their own designs, colour & accessories.

A simple, lowcost activity for the school holidays & great for kids to take with them on days out. I wonder what they'll disocver through the viewfinder of their camera? 

Interested in more recycled crafts? Click on our 'Recycling Ideas' tab at the top of our page.