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Make It! A spy Periscope with André da Loba

Make It! A spy Periscope with André da Loba

All detectives need an arsenal of sneaky sleuthing devices at their fingertips. A Spy-in-Training is required to master all of the different spy gadgets they will need when out in the field, and if they are resourceful enough to make some of them on their own, than the sneakier spy they will be. We consulted the most adept and sneakiest of Spy Trainers, the great Gadget-Maker, André da Loba to guide us in making the ultimate espionage instrument, the Periscope. 

Andre's curiosity and experience has led him to create some interesting projects, so he was the perfect artist to collaborate with on our Detective-in-Training project! He crafted this incredible Periscope for us, made out of a recylced cereal box and mirror pieces, and in true André form, this is not just for make-believe, but is an actual functioning piece.

Traditionally used in tanks and submarines to allow people to see over the top of the surface, the periscope can also be used as a great spy tool to take a sneak peek around corners without being caught!

André Da Loba is the master of creating imaginative, eccentric 3-d sculptures out of recycled materials. He translates his incredible creations into illustration, animation, graphic design, sculpture, and education. A Portuguese native currently living in New York City, André has received international acclaim for his work, has taught at the Parsons School of Design, published several children's books, and has contributed illustrations to the New York Times, among others. We love Andre's whimsical and out of the ordinary style, and adore all of the creative pieces he puts together using recylable materials.

We paid a visit to André's studio, where he showed us a few of his latest projects and then gave us our own periscope-making lesson. 

Here ARE SOME of our favorite pieces FROM André's studio:


André shows how to make MAKE YOUR OWN PERISCOPE:



OPEN the cereal box so that the it lays flat on the table.

PRINT the persicope template onto a piece of paper. Be sure to print it on A4 paper not letter size, as it is formatted to fit a bigger sized sheet.

GLUE the template securely to the cardboard. If you can print it straight onto the card, even better. It is best to glue the sheet down onto the picture side of the cereal box, so that the blank cardboard faces out, making it easier to paint.


CUT through the cardboard and template carefully along the solid lines.  Make sure not to cut the dotted lines, only the full lines.


TURN over your template and GRAB your x-acto knife and ruler.

SCORE the cardboard using the dotted lines on the opposite side of the template as your guide.  Scoring means running a blade along a straight edge where you want to bend your material, making a clean fold. Make sure you do not press too hard, you don't want the knife to go through the cardboard. 



FOLD carefully (you can fold round the ruler) along all of the scored lines.

TAPE the periscope together using the tabs.


SLIDE one mirror into each end of the persiscope.

MAKE SURE the mirrors on each end face each other.

GLUE them down in place so that they sit on the end of each side of the periscope, flat.


TAPE the cardboard tabs together on the outside of the mirrors to make sure they are stuck in firmly.


PAINT the outside of your periscope and decorate it with patterns.


ALLOW the paint to dry on your periscope.

TEST it out! Bend down below a table and see if the periscope works. Can you see over the table while your body remains hidden?


View more of Andre's incredible work here >>

Posted in: Crafts: Make It!   

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