Use a Pringles can or a cardboard roll to make a DIY Santa-scope for your kids. With their special Santa telescope, kids can scan the night sky on Christmas Eve, looking for signs of Santa’s sleigh.
RELATED: Make a Magic Santa Key for Santa to get in on Christmas Eve.
For most kids, Christmas Eve is the most highly anticipated night of the year, and searching the sky for signs of Santa is one of the most exciting things about that special night.
When my boys were little, one of our family’s traditions was to go for a walk on Christmas Eve to see if we could spot Santa in the sky.
Of course, the he always eluded us, but when we’d return home, the boys would stand watch at the window, hoping to catch a glimpse of his sleigh or Rudolph’s shiny red nose.
Here is a photo of them looking for Santa on Christmas Eve almost 20 years ago. They even had the globe out so they could follow along with the Norad Santa Tracker updates.
If only they’d had these Santa-scopes back then.
Our homemade Santa telescope makes looking for Santa extra-special on Christmas Eve.
The Santa-scope doesn’t have a lens of any kind in it, but that doesn’t matter. Your child’s excitement coupled with their imagination, will have them inspecting every inch of the sky, looking for tell-tale signs that Santa is near.
Get creative with your design.
We painted our Santa-scopes to look like candy canes, and then we added white trim, which mimics the trim on Santa’s hat and coat. Your kids can paint and decorate their Santa-scopes however they like. Sometimes Christmas wrapping paper can be great inspiration for a festive design. Add stickers, sequins and gems if you want to make yours fancier.
You could even make our Pringles can binoculars, and decorate those in Christmas colours and designs.
What to use if you don’t have a Pringles can
If you don’t have a Pringles can, you can substitute with any of the following cardboard rolls:
- a toilet paper roll (or 2 toilet paper rolls taped together)
- paper towel roll
- food wrap roll (see ours in the photos)
- wrapping paper r
Ready to make your Santa-scope?
Here’s what you’ll need:
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- empty Pringles can (or paper towel roll, wrapping paper roll, food wrap roll etc.)
- serrated knife
- Gesso primer (not required, but helps to cover the label better)
- acrylic craft paint
- clear craft varnish (optional, but adds sheen and makes your paint colours pop)
- white trim (ex. quilt batting, cotton balls, white felt)
Time needed: 1 hour.
How to Make a Pringles Can Santa-Scope to Watch for Santa Christmas Eve
- Remove end off can
Have a grown up use a serrated knife to “saw” the round metal plate off the bottom of the Pringles can. This will be the end that you glue your trim to.
If you’re using a cardboard roll to make your Santa-scope, skip to step 3.
Prime the Pringles can with one or two coats of Gesso to cover up the Pringles label. Let dry.
This step isn’t crucial, but it does help to cover the label so it won’t show through your paint.
If you’re using a plain cardboard roll, there’s no need to prime it.
Paint a festive design on the can, using Christmas colours.
You may require two coats of paint, so keep your design simple incase you have to go over it a second time. Let dry.
Brush a coat of clear craft varnish over your paint.
This will enhance your paint colours and add a nice sheen. It will also make an ordinary cardboard roll much sturdier. Let dry.
- Add trim
To finish, glue a band of white trim around the bottom end of your Santa-scope.
Wasn’t that easy?
Now, you’re all set to watch for Santa. I hope your Santa-scopes make it memorable and fun.
If you’re lucky, you might just glimpse of Santa zipping through the stars on Christmas Eve.
REMINDER: Don’t forget to make your Magic Santa Key so Santa can get in!
Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.