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How to Make a Solar Eclipse Viewer With a Cereal Box

SAFETY FIRST: Ask an adult to help with tools you haven't used before.

Making a solar eclipse viewer out of a cereal box is a fun and safe way to see the solar eclipse on April 8, 2024. This viewer is called a pinhole projector because it shows the eclipse’s image through a small hole onto a surface. You’ll watch the eclipse’s projection instead of looking right at the sun.

Don’t have a cereal box on hand? Make this shoebox eclipse viewer instead!


  • Cereal box
  • Piece of white paper
  • Aluminum foil
  • Tape
  • Pin or a needle
  • Pencil
  • Scissors


Join us at noon Central time April 8 for an eclipse party! We’ll have solar eclipse-themed crafts, special guests and astronomical fun as we watch this historic event sweep the nation.

Watch the show on the Scout Life Facebook page and YouTube channel.


Step 1: Insert the Viewing Screen

Making the viewing screen for the cereal box eclipse viewer

Using your pencil, trace the bottom of the box on the white paper. Trim it with scissors so it’ll fit the bottom of the cereal box.

Make two tape loops and place them on the back of the white paper.

View of the viewing screen in place inside the solar eclipse viewer

Slide the paper into the bottom of the box. The tape should secure it in place. This paper will act as the screen where you’ll see the image of the eclipse.

Step 2: Prepare the Cereal Box

Cut flaps off of the top of your solar eclipse viewer

Cut two rectangular holes on the left and right sides of the top of the box. For most boxes, this will just require you to trim away the open flaps on each side. Leave the cardboard flaps in the center between the two holes.

Cut two rectangle holes in the top of the cereal box

Close the center flaps and secure them with tape if necessary.

Step 3: Cover One Hole with Aluminum Foil

Cover one of the holes with aluminum foil. This will be the projector for the solar eclipse viewer

Cut a piece of aluminum foil slightly larger than one of the rectangular holes on the top of the box. Tape the aluminum foil over one of the holes, ensuring it’s smooth and completely covers the opening.

Step 4: Create the Pinhole Projector

Use a pin to make a small hole in the foil

Use a pin or a needle to carefully poke a small hole in the center of the aluminum foil. This hole will project the image of the solar eclipse onto the paper inside the box.

Step 5: How to Use Your Solar Eclipse Viewer

Stand with your back to the sun and look at the projection of the solar eclipse through the hole in the top of the cereal box

Stand with your back to the sun. Do not look at the sun directly. Point the side with the aluminum foil towards the sun, allowing the sun’s rays to enter the box through the pinhole.

Look through the other hole you cut into the top of the box. You will see the projection of the eclipse on the white paper at the bottom of the box. Adjust the box’s angle and direction as needed to get a clear view.

Completed solar eclipse viewer built with a cereal box


Practice using your viewer before the eclipse to find the best method for viewing. The image of the sun will be small, so be patient while looking for it. You may need to slightly move the box around to focus the sun’s image.

Remember, never look directly at the sun without proper eye protection, even during an eclipse.

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