Quirk of the Month: DIY Kaleidoscope

I was underwhelmed after downloading the iPhone app, KaleidaCam. It gave me trippy designs to post on Instagram, but it was far from my childhood experience of using a good ol’ kaleidoscope. I was sick of it after one day.

For the past few months, I was hunting for a kaleidoscope—not the brass collector’s item that costs a fortune, but a cardboard version similar to the one I had when I was a little girl.

A little trivia: The kaleidoscope was patented in 1817 by Sir David Brewster, a Scottish physicist. It wasn’t until the 1870s that the kaleidoscope reached American shores. How did the kaleidoscope get its name, you ask? Well, Brewster coined three Greek words: kalos (beautiful) + eidos (form) + skopein (to see).



My hunt finally ended when my good friend Javier gave me an early birthday present last week—this DIY set by Gemini Kaleidoscopes, one of the biggest manufacturers of kaleidoscopes in the US. It has a kit of colorful plastic gems and fancy rings that you can place into the removable lid for unlimited viewing possibilities.


As a writer and artist, I’m constantly fidgeting with toys, books, and other inspirational analog items I’ve hoarded from travels. It keeps my creative juices flowing, especially when I’m stuck in a rut or what we call writer’s block.

Thank you, Javier! My inner child is pacified.

If you’re in the Philippines, you can get the Princess Kaleidoscope from Hobbes and Landes for P649.75. If you’re in the US or other international locations, order online at kaleidoscopestoyou.com for $12.99.

February 28, 2014

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