Want to view the first full solar eclipse in 38 years, but don’t have proper glasses? Don’t fret. Make this DIY Solar Eclipse Viewer Box from Common Household Items.

DIY Solar Eclipse Viewing Box

In June, my hubby was at the Electronic Expo (E3) in Los Angeles and came home with solar glasses and info about the August 21, 2017 solar exclipse.  I had no idea that a solar eclipse was going to happen and to be honest, I kind of forgot about it until last week. It’s only when increasing news coverage about the event and warnings of COUNTERFEIT eclipse glasses flooding the market that I remembered the upcoming event.

solar eclipse glasses

Lucky for us, we received solar glasses from the NASA reps at E3, so we don’t have to worry about fake glasses. However, if you bought glasses and aren’t sure if they are legitimate, click on the link to find out if your glasses are ISO compliant and to find out where you might still find some ==>>HERE.

If you can’t get a hold of glasses or totally forgot about this event, there is still hope. You can make a solar eclipse viewer box (instructions below) with simple household items. But before we get to the DIY portion, let’s go over some basic solar viewing safety tips.

Solar Eclipse Viewing Safety Tips

A total eclipse is when the sun is completely covered by the moon. Cities in the path of totality will be able to see the full eclipse, which will last up to 2 minutes and 40 seconds, depending on your location. The remaining continent will be able to a partial eclipse. You can type in your city and see an animated video of the eclipse for your area ==>> HERE.

  • DO NOT look directly into the sun as it can damage your eyes.
  • Use only approved solar eclipse glasses or make a DIY Solar Eclipse Viewer.
  • Inspect approved solar eclipse glasses for scratches or damage. Discard any with scratches or bends in the film as they may not protector your eyes.
  • Cover your eyes with your solar eclipse glasses or solar eclipse viewer box BEFORE looking at the sun. Do not remove your glasses or box until you look away from the sun.
  • Do not look at the sun or partially eclipsed sun through unfiltered cameras, telescopes, binoculars, or any other optical device without an expert approved solar filter. Also, do not look through these lenses using your solar eclipse glasses as concentrated solar rays can damage lenses and your eyes.
  • Only those that are in within the path of totality can remove their solar glasses when the sun is completely covered by the sun and it is dark. Glasses must immediately be put on at the first sign of the sun reappearing.

To find out more about the solar eclipse, safety tips, path of totality, times, and how to view it live online, head over to NASA.

DIY Solar Eclipse Viewer Box

DIY Solar Eclipse Viewing Box


  • cereal box or any long box
  • white paper
  • tape
  • scissors/x-acto knife
  • foil
  • pencil
  • nail or pen tip


DIY Solar Viewer Box - cutting out the white paper

  • Place the cereal box on a white paper and trace around the bottom of the box.
  • Cut out the traced rectangle.

DIY Solar Eclipse Viewer Box

  • Place the white paper inside the box at the bottom. If needed, trim to make sure the paper lays flat.
  • Tape the paper to the box along the sides.

DIY Solar Eclipse Viewer Box cutouts

  • Close the top of the cereal box and place a tape across the entire top. This helps to strengthen it for cutting.
  • Cut squares out on each side of the box top.
  • Place a foil over one of the squares and tape it down.

DIY Solar Eclipse Viewing Box outside

  • Take a nail or pen tip and make a hole in the center of the foil.
  • Go outside and aim the foil portion at the the sun. Move the box around until you see round image on the white paper. And now you’ve created a DIY Solar Eclipse Viewing Box to view the eclipse on August 21st!

You can also watch a live stream of the solar eclipse at NASA Eclipse Live page.


How to make a solar eclipse viewer box with viewing tips

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