Make Your Own Fireworks Glasses

As if fireworks weren’t already colorful or spectacular enough on their own, these DIY fireworks glasses take 4th of July festivities to the next level! Make your own “fireworks glasses” using simple materials and enjoy an eruption of rainbows everywhere you look!

What You Need:

Materials needed to make fireworks glasses

What You Do:

  1. Print the glasses template and carefully cut out only the temples (the piece that rests on your ears).
  2. Carefully take the cardboard box apart so that it’s one flat piece.
  3. Trace the temple templates onto the cardboard and carefully cut out.
  4. Cut out another notch of cardboard that’s about 1/2″ wide and 4″ long to use as the bridge (the part of glasses that rests on your nose).
  5. Hold the diffraction grating in front of your eyes and note how far apart they need to be to fit your face like frames of glasses.
  6. Using the stapler or tape, fasten the diffraction grating to the bridge piece of cardboard according to the note you made in step 5, i.e. 1″ apart.
  7. Now use the stapler or tape to fasten the temples to the cardboard frames of the diffraction grating.
  8. Put on your glasses, look at light, (or fireworks!) and enjoy!

Fireworks glasses made with diffraction grating.

What Happened:

Have you ever noticed a rainbow glancing off the back of a CD or DVD? Diffraction grating works in a similar fashion. On a CD or DVD, information is stored in the tiny dents and grooves engraved into the surface. When light hits these, it reflects at different angles, allowing us to see the colors of the spectrum in what otherwise looks like white light.

The diffraction grating is a transparent film with many tiny parallel scratches on its surface—the ones we used have 13,400 scratches per inch. When light shines through it, it’s separated into all the colors of the spectrum. For obvious reasons, glasses like the ones you just made are also called rainbow glasses.You don’t need to wait for a fireworks display to use yours either! Try looking at a TV or computer screen, at the light in your room, or at stars.

For further study, use your diffraction grating to make a spectroscope. And read about the color of light plus read this introduction to light.