Turn A Cardboard Tube Into A Pirate Telescope

DIY Pirate Telescope

My son is obsessed with pirates these days. He’s always playing dress up, so I thought it was about time he had a proper pirate telescope! With just a few simple supplies found around the house and five minutes, we had our new telescope.

DIY Pirate Telescope

What You Need

  • Cardboard tube from a paper towel roll
  • Duct tape in two contrasting colors
  • Craft knife
  • Scissors
  • Cutting mat
DIY Pirate Telescope

Step 1
Cut or rip off strips of your duct tape and lay each strip carefully down onto the tube vertically. You will want to make sure you have a little bit of hang over at each edge. Lay one strip at a time!

DIY Pirate Telescope

Step 2
After each strip of tape is attached, use your scissors to cut the ends into fringe. This will allow you to push each fringe down inside the tube to get a clean look on the outside of your telescope. If you want to have more of the inside covered, just make your strips longer so the fringe reaches farther into the inside of the tube.

DIY Pirate Telescope

Step 3
Now it’s time to decorate! We wanted to make an “E” for our captain, but you could make polka dots, stripes, or even a skull and crossbones! Lay a strip of tape down onto the cutting mat and carefully cut your design with the craft knife.

DIY Pirate Telescope

Step 4
Pull your design up off of the cutting mat and place it on your telescope.

DIY Pirate Telescope

That’s it! Have a great time pirating with your new telescope :)


  • This is so cute! What a lucky little boy! I remember spending hours playing in a cardboard box, and I think if I had this, I would have been a little more creative (haha).

  • Definitely doing this with our 3 yo daughter this weekend. She is a big fan of Jake and Never Land Pirates and never misses an opportunity to appropriate used paper towel and TP tubes for spying from the Crows Nest:)

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