How to Make a Fake Magnifying Glass

A. Johnson

When the kids are playing detective, they will probably want a magnifying glass in their dress-up box. A real magnifying glass could break and cause injury. It's fairly easy to create a fake magnifying glass from recycled materials. If the kids break this magnifying glass, there's no broken glass to worry about.

Trace a circle on a piece of wax paper, making the same size as the inner circle of the empty roll of masking tape. Repeat this on the other 3 sheets of wax paper.

Cut out the four circles of wax paper.

Thin the white glue with a little water, and paint a coat of glue solution onto one of the wax paper circles. Lay another circle on top of the glue-coated circle, and smooth any air bubbles. Repeat this until all four pieces of wax paper circles are glued together to create a thick circle. Set this aside and allow it to dry until stiff.

Make a hole along the center of the roll, large enough to push the unsharpened end through, to create a handle. Secure the area with the glue from the hot glue gun. Allow this to dry.

Wrap the entire mock magnifying glass with black tape. The tape will be the outer surface of the magnifying glass.

Insert the stiff wax paper circle in the center of the roll, and run a bead of hot glue around both sides to secure it in place.

Things You'll Need

  • Empty masking tape cardboard roll
  • Pencil
  • 4 pieces of wax paper
  • Scissors
  • White glue
  • Paintbrush
  • Unsharpened pencil
  • Black tape
  • Glue gun


  • You can leave out the "glass" if desired.


About the Author

Ann Johnson has been a freelance writer since 1995. She previously served as the editor of a community magazine in Southern California and was also an active real-estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University, Fullerton.

Photo Credits

  • A. Johnson