CMA Stories

How-To: Upcycled Viewfinders

Artists know how to look closely at the world around them. Use everyday objects to create a tool for observation! Once your upcycled viewfinder is complete, create your own compositions at the park, in the kitchen, or wherever curiosity strikes. Show us your viewfinder and tag it with #CMACIVICKIDS!


  • Cardboard, cut into four 2” x 6” rectangles

  • Popsicle sticks or anything else that holds shape work just as well!

  • Tape

  • String

  • Items to decorate your viewfinder: shells, gems, or collage material

  • Glue


1. Gather your cardboard or popsicle sticks, arranging them into a square. Make sure the edges overlap.

2. Glue the overlapped pieces of cardboard to form your square frame.

3. Once the glue dries, flip the square frame over. Tape a piece of string from the center top of your square to the center bottom.

4. Turn the square and do the same thing on the other sides. You should see that the strings will cross in the center of your square.

5. Turn your new viewfinder back over. Add some designs or personalized details to the outer frame!

6. Look closely!

This program is supported, in part, by the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts with support of Governor Andrew Cuomo, and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. CIVICKIDS is sponsored by Google.


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