DIY: 3 Ways to Watch the Solar Eclipse Safely

The solar eclipse is undoubtedly one of the most exciting examples of celestial synchronicity that everyone can get involved in. Today we will see a partial solar eclipse in the UK (the last total solar eclipse in the UK took place in 1999) and it promises to be a spectacular sight!

total solar eclipse

A solar eclipse is an extraordinary phenomenon and only occurs when Earth, the Moon and the Sun align perfectly, Earth is the only planet in our solar system that can see a solar eclipse! Though the Sun is around 400 times as large as the Moon, it is also around 400 times further away meaning that they look about the same size from Earth. When the Moon covers the Sun, we can only see the Sun’s atmosphere causing temporary darkness.

There’s no need for a telescope or any special equipment, but it is very important to ensure that you do not look directly at the eclipse as this will damage your eyes. But, here are three last minute DIYs (as even we can’t deliver in time!) that you can make with things that you’ll probably find at home. So pick yours and get ready for the solar eclipse! It will start at around 8.30 in the UK and the moon will cover the sun by around 97% at 9.30am.

Make you own pinhole camera in two minutes

What you’ll need:

  • Two pieces of white card
  • A knitting needle or something sharp to make a hole in the card

Simple make a hole in the centre of one piece of card, then stand with your back towards the sun holding up the card and projecting against another piece of card placed behind as in the image below.

You can also use an empty cereal box for this technique, simply place a piece of white card in the box to see the image more clearly.

solar eclipse pinhole camera


Use a kitchen colander

What you’ll need:

  • A colander
  • A piece of white paper or card

This makes for pretty impressive viewing of the solar eclipse! Stand with your back towards the sun and hold up the colander with the white paper or card behind it, this will project multiple images of the eclipse onto the paper.

Watch the reflection of the solar eclipse in a bucket of water

What you’ll need:

  • A bucket
  • Water (easy peasy!)

Fill the bucket with water and position so you can see the reflection of the solar eclipse, you can also do this with any body of water whether it’s a garden pond or a lake.

And there we have it, three quick and easy ways to safely watch the solar eclipse! Just as another note, it will still damage your eyes to look at the eclipse through your phone but if you want to take photos of the eclipse, why not try a time lapse to capture the changes?

We’d love to hear from you about your experience with the eclipse, tweet us and let us know how you get on with your DIY!

Clare Potts

Clare Potts

Lifestyle Editor

If I’m not at my desk poring over my favourite blogs and online magazines for inspiration, you’ll find me exploring the fells of the Lake District, trying out a new restaurant or styling my future home on Pinterest.

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