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10 DIY Telescope You Can Build On The Cheap

A DIY telescope is a fun thing to have around for family members of all ages to use. Get a closer look at the stars in the nighttime sky and learn about the constellations or look for shooting stars. A homemade telescope is also a must-have for an up-and-coming spy, and they’re cheap to create.

A DIY telescope will provide hours of fun and information, regardless of what you use it for. Building one can also be a family project, providing fun and bonding time for you and your children.

Check out these plans for 10 DIY telescopes we found around the internet you can build on the cheap and get started with your viewing fun this weekend

1 -Wrapping Paper Tube DIY Telescope

Recycle a long cardboard tube from wrapping paper into a homemade telescope with these plans by savvyhomemade we are sharing with you. Cut down the cardboard tube to the desired size, have the needed lens installed in each end, then embellished as desired.

Cheap, easy and quick to create, plus you probably already have the wrapping paper tube on hand.

DIY telescope
Wrapping Paper Tube DIY telescope, Image via: Savvyhomemade

2. DIY Dobsonian Telescope

Unlike the one we discussed before this is a large size diy telescope. Just follow these detailed instructions that will show you how to build a telescope by Instructables that will allow you to see far up into the sky and get a closer look at the solar system. Starry constellations, comets, planets and meteors will appear almost close enough to touch with this large and powerful DIY telescope.

Build this telescope and leave it set up in your backyard so viewing the solar system will be as easy as walking out your back door.

DIY Telescope
DIY Dobsonian Telescope, Image via: Instructables

3. Galilean DIY Telescope

This is an ideal homemade telescope by Space to create with your children for a beginner’s telescope or one for a school science project. Easy and cheap to build, most of the components can be purchased at your local office supply store.

The range of view is limited with this model, but it can inspire a young astronomer to build a telescope in the future that has a far reaching view or build other projects for science. This cheap DIY telescope will provide a view of the solar system that is grand enough to capture their imagination and fans the flames of their natural curiosity. Inspire a future astronomer and DIY builder with just a small investment of time and money on this DIY project.

Galilean DIY Telescope
Galilean DIY Telescope, Image via: Space

4. Backyard  Dobsonian

We like this diy telescope as it’s unique in its design, portable and easy to build, these detailed instructions will show you how to build a telescope that will provide a bird’s eye view of the stars from your own backyard. Use these easy to follow plans to build a telescope that will enable you to see the world from your own backyard.

Large, but lightweight, this DIY telescope design by Makezine can be built cheaply and provide hours of viewing pleasure for young and old alike. The written and pictorial instructions will walk you through each step of the building process so the end result will provide a clear view of whatever you are trying to view.

DIY telescope design
Backyard  Dobsonian Telescope , Image via: Makezine

5. Under $200

Use these free plans to build a powerful Newtonian-Dobsonian style DIY telescope by manmadediy that will give you the viewing power to see solar flares, the auroras, stars and planets. Use these free plans to build this telescope and enjoy hours of observing and discovering all the wonders our universe has to offer.

All the components for this build can be found at your local building supply store for under $200. You may have some of the building materials already on hand that will bring the price well under $200 for powerful homemade telescope.

DIY telescope
Under $200 DIY telescope, Image via: Manmadediy

6. DIY Astronomy Project

As long as there are kid’s science projects, there will be a need for a cheap, easy to build DIY telescope. This is Dobsonian design that will meet the criteria for being cheap and easy to create.

These easy to follow instructions will create a homemade telescope by Popular Mechanics that will help a child win the science fair or enable a budding young astronomer get a better look at the solar system.

Great project for the family and will provide inspiration and information for all ages. These free plans will show you how to transform a cardboard tube into a functional Dobsonian style telescope that will provide a clear image of the solar system. The total build cost will be under $25, even less if you have some of the materials on hand.

DIY Astronomy Project
DIY Astronomy Project, Image via: Popular Mechanics

7. Digital Telescope

This high range diy telescope can easily and cheaply be built with PVC pipe, recycled lens and a webcam. These pictorial instructions show you how to make a telescope by Instructables that sets on a tripod and records what you have it pointed towards.

Inexpensive to build and great for research projects. View the recorded footage over and over again to discover new and exciting things about our solar system that the naked eye can’t see. The recorded footage provides easy to access documentation that can be viewed over and over again and shared with friends and family. Great science project that will be sure to win the blue ribbon.

Digital Telescope
Digital Telescope, Image via: Instructables

8. Beginners Telescope

This beginners telescope by Instructables can be built for under $20 and provide hours of viewing pleasure. Great for the want-to-be astronomer, this design is powerful enough to provide a sharp, clear view of Jupiter, Saturn and Venus. The image will also be clear enough so you can see the craters on the moon.

This Kepler design is a tried and true design that will provide a clear image with a simple, stream-lined build. Lightweight and portable, take this homemade telescope along with you on hiking trips and vacations so you can get a good view of the solar systems from different angles.

Inspire your beginning astronomer and open up a lifetime of discovery by following this easy to read instructions and creating this cheap DIY telescope.

Beginners Telescope
Beginners Telescope built for under $20, Image via: Instructables

9. DIY Replica of Galileo’s Telescope

To buy a telescope like the one used by Galileo could cost a small fortune. However, building one will be very cheap. A few pieces of PVC pipe will be the biggest expense for this DIY project.

Create the DIY telescope such as the one by popsci and explore the solar system and perhaps make new discoveries just as Galileo did centuries ago.

Build this diy telescope with PVC pipe and two lenses. It’s portable and easy to carry along with you wherever your explorations may take you. A tripod can be built with PVC pipe and then spray painted gold to give this DIY project a high end finish. No one will suspect the telescope is made from PVC pipe after it has been painted.

DIY Replica of Galileo’s Telescope
DIY Replica of Galileo’s Telescope, Image via: popsci

10. Kids Telescope

Fuel your kid’s natural curiosity and provide them hours of fun with this easy to build DIY telescope by Gift Of Curiosity. Inspire them to search for land and buried treasure just like the pirates of old once did by using a telescope. Encourage them to look up into the dark nighttime sky and discover the bright starts that shine in our solar system with this easy to build kids telescope.

This homemade telescope is assembled from an inexpensive kit that uses recycled materials. Easy for kids to build with just a little parental help, plus the kit keeps usable items out of the landfill. Ideal way to teach kids two lessons- recycling and discovery of new things.

Kids Telescope
Kids Telescope, Image via: Gift Of Curiosity

Wraping Up!

Building a diy telescope does’not need a lot of scientific knowledge or know how. You can build at your own or with your kids to enhance their learning skills. The ones we have shown you above can help you to build a similar type of telescope. 


NASA, APR 24, 2020, “What Is the Hubble Space Telescope? (Grades K-4)”, https://www.nasa.gov/learning-resources/for-kids-and-students/what-is-the-hubble-space-telescope-grades-k-4/

Harvard Library, “WorldWide Telescope in Research and Education”, https://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/11688788/goodman-worldwide-telescope.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

About Farhan Ahsan

My name is Farhan Ahsan,I am web enthusiast, writer and blogger. I always strive to be passionate about my work. I started my work at the beginning of 2007 by engaging myself with detail reading and exchanging information with others. Since then things and times have changed, but one thing remains the same and that is my passion for helping and educating people, building a successful blog and delivering quality content to the readers. I always love to write about gardening, sustainable life, off grid living and homestead farming.

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