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DIY Safari Binoculars

Earth Day | Kid Crafts | Paper Crafts | Recycled Craft Projects | Zebra Safari Party

Create safari binoculars from cardboard tubes for awesome party favors or a fun new toy!

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Animal-themed binoculars.

Last month we celebrated my daughter’s birthday with a zebra safari party! It was so cute and I had a lot of fun making things for the party. I’m just getting around to going through the photos and wanted to share some craft tutorials with you starting with these DIY safari binoculars!

The main event of the party was a safari scavenger hunt, so I wanted each kiddo to have a fun set of binoculars and a safari hat. The original plan was to have the kids decorate their safari hat and make their own binoculars, but I realized there wouldn’t be enough time for both.

The kids would have had fun crafting both things, but we needed time to do the actual scavenger hunt – plus cake and gifts! I made these binoculars ahead of time and let them pick the set they wanted after they decorated their own safari hat. It worked out really well and they loved decorating the hats!

Plastic safari hats lay on a decorated table with stickers to decorate them.

Homemade safari binoculars sit in a basket.

I made these binoculars from Cricut Vinyl tubes. You can, of course, use toilet paper rolls, wrapping paper rolls or paper towel rolls, but if you craft with a Cricut, be sure to save those vinyl and foil tubes! They are sturdier and thicker than paper towel rolls and can be used for so many crafts!

Below is the tutorial for creating your own set of DIY safari binoculars! I’ll be sharing some of the other crafts from our zebra safari party, plus the epic scavenger hunt we created, over the next few weeks!

Animal print binoculars arranged in a stack.

Supplies Needed for DIY Safari Binoculars

Step by Step Tutorial

Step One: Cut out the paper you will need to make the binoculars. I used several different sheets of 12″ x 12″ scrapbook paper. I found the animal print paper at Joann Fabrics and Hobby Lobby and used the DCWV “Palms and Ferns” paperstack. This group of papers was used throughout the entire party, from the invitations to the banners, so everything was nice and cohesive.

Sheets of animal print papers and a paper stack called Palms and Ferns.

Each set of binoculars will need the following pieces of paper cut to size:

  • (2) 6″ x 6″ animal print papers
  • (1) 2.5″ x 12″ green print paper
  • (2) 1″ x 6″ green print paper

Below you can see my paper cut and ready to make six binoculars.

Pieces of green paper and animal print paper cut to size.

Step Two: Cut the tubes to size. Each pair of binoculars needs two 6″ long tubes and two 1″ long tubes. I cut one of my Cricut Vinyl tubes into 1″ pieces. First, I marked all around the tubes in 1″ intervals and then very carefully, and slowly, used a craft knife to cut the tube. The Cricut tubes are really thick so I couldn’t use a scissors and had to go slow.

A clear ruler is laid over a white cardboard tube with notches marked on it in pencil.A craft knife cuts a white cardboard tube into 1" pieces.

To create the 6″ tubes, I cut a Cricut Vinyl tube in half since they are 12″ long.

White cardboard tubes cut in half lay on a green mat.

Step Three: Wrap the tubes with paper. Start by wrapping the 6″ long tubes with the 6″x6″ animal print paper. I placed a strip of Scor-Tape (very strong double-sided tape) along two opposite edges of my 6″x6″ piece of paper. I then rolled the tube up with the paper.

A piece of paper with double-sided tape on the ends is placed underneath a cardboard tube.

A cardboard tube is wrapped in zebra-printed paper.

Wrap all of your 6″ long tubes in animal print paper and then wrap the 1″ long tubes with the 1″x6″ pieces of paper the same way.

Cardboard tubes wrapped in animal print paper.

Step Five: Assemble the binoculars! Place a 2″-3″ strip of double-sided tape on the center of each 6″ tube. I placed mine along the seam where the paper overlapped.Strips of double-sided tape are placed on a side of the cardboard tubes.

Place two 1″ tubes in-between the 6″ tubes as shown below. The double-sided tape you just applied to the 6″ tubes will help keep things in place.

Place small strips of double-sided tape on the top of the two 1″ tubes and on the ends of the long 2.5″ x 12″ piece of paper.
Two small cardboard tubes are placed perpendicular between two longer cardboard tubes.

Wrap the 2.5″ x 12″ piece of paper around the binoculars and secure so it is a tight fit. This piece of paper holds everything together. 

A long sheet of paper is wrapped around the cardboard tubes to form binoculars.

The paper is secured on the back of the binculars.

Wrap the binoculars with raffia or decorative twine or ribbon.

Raffia is wrapped around the binoculars for decoration.

Step Six: Poke holes and add twine so the binoculars can be worn around the neck. If making these for really small kids, you can always skip this step so the binoculars are safer.

Holes are poked on the end of the tubes with a sharp stylus.

Brown twine is used to tie a hanging strap to the binoculars.

The binoculars are finished! Wahoo!

Animal-themed binoculars.

Below you can see the six binoculars I made for the party. It was fun mixing the animal prints and green leaf prints. The kids each got to choose their binoculars, picking out their favorite animal prints. These were a big hit at the party and my kids are still playing with theirs.

They have held up really well, mostly due to the strong cardboard tubes we used. If you use toilet paper or paper towel tubes, they should still be great for using at a party or for a scavenger hunt – they just may not last weeks after. 

Animal print binoculars arranged in a stack.Homemade safari binoculars sit in a basket.

I have a bunch more crafts from our zebra safari party that I am excited to share with you! Be on the lookout for more tutorials over the next few weeks :)

Happy Crafting!

Happy Crafting! -Kim

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  1. Can you tell me more about the scavenger hunt? My daughter’s jungle party is in two weeks and I’d love to know what you did!

    1. Hi! For our party I made a safari adventure scavenger hunt! It was for a small group of kids, about 5 and they each got a little paper passport. I put paper signs up around our house with a different place in the savannah (like water hole, baobob tree etc) and the kids read a clue and figured out what area to go to. Once there, they searched for their next clue. There was a safari animal stamp with each clue for them to stamp their passport with. At the end of the hunt there were treat bags waiting for them and they got to keep their passports. I keep meaning to list the hunt clues in my shop! It was a cute hunt and could be played outside too. It was winter so we had to be inside :)

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