Pinhole Viewboxes (for you!)

Seth, my oldest son, is not usually the child to dive into projects unrelated to coins or fossil collecting.  So, when I recently printed up the instructions for the pinhole viewboxes in the latest volume of Alphabet Glue, I assumed that it would be Keats who would make one.  Seth picked up the instructions though, and immediately started getting excited about making one of these camera-ish contraptions for himself.  Over the next day or two, this little shoebox camera was very popular and my children were all, at one time or another, seen cloaked in quilts.  One box wasn’t enough, so Keats and Gabe decided to make their own as well.  I spent some time under the quilt trying to make out objects myself.  We all had fun with these!

My friend Annie, the creator of Alphabet Glue is sharing this project from volume 11 with all of you today!  The following pdf contains not only instructions on how to make a pinhole viewbox, but a camera and photography inspired booklist as well!  You can donwload the pdf by clicking this link:  Pinhole Viewboxes.

I hope you guys have as much fun with these as we did!


  1. Hi Ginny,

    This is the first time I visit your blog and love the way you mixed the photos with the text. My friend’s young son is very passionate about photography. The free pdf for making pinhole viewbox (which I just downloaded) could be a starting point for him. Thanks for sharing this simple tutorial.

  2. did it work? my attempts at this ort of this always seem to fail.

  3. Thanks so much Ginny. My boys were just asking me yesterday about how cameras work and this will be a perfect project for them!

  4. Thank you for this! We will be doing it this week. I LOVE that last photo…..that’s just what life is like in a home with lots of children.

  5. you have beautiful children. of course i have 24 beautiful grandkids

  6. Thanks! I really appreciate the opportunity to try out a little piece of Alphabet Glue goodness!

  7. What a wonderful educational exercise for the kids! It seems like a fun introduction to the camera and creates a base knowledge for kids to grow into manual and digital cameras.

  8. Wonderful family! I love your blog Ginny! 🙂

  9. Thanks to you and Annie for sharing this wonderful project! My 8 year-old godson is super interested in photography and this will be a fun way to spend some time together. Also great book ideas. Thanks again!

  10. Oh, I love the last picture! Dad surrounded by his kids and still reading with such a peaceful face!!:-)

  11. Ginny, is the picture of the tree on the wall in the 10th picture embroidered?

    • Hi Olivia! Yes, it’s crewel work. My Great Aunt Jiji made it, and it hung in my mom’s bedroom when she was a little girl with a matching one. My sister has the other.

  12. thank you for this. pinhole has been on my mind, and coming here i am so often invigorated to go out and about and create something with a smile. this, however, is just totally perfect.

  13. What a wonderful project! thank you to both you and Annie for sharing it!

  14. Love the picture of him looking through his box while everyone else reads a book!

  15. Doing it! After school this afternoon – can’t wait! Thank you.

  16. Great project. Particularly timely given that it is 1) cold out and 2) a day off from school!

  17. Love the last picture!


  1. […] a pinhole viewbox – You can find the link to the directions at the bottom of the Small Things blog post linked […]

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