DIY Cardboard Sundial

Ah the Sun - great for keeping the Earth warm and providing sunlight, but before the invention of the clock we relied on that big ol’ star to help keep track of time too. The earliest “clocks” known, from the archaeological finds, are Shadow Clocks (1500 BC) in ancient Babylonian Astronomy. If you want to lose track of time,  try delving a little deeper into the History Of Sundials


There is a lot of precision behind a detailed sundial, but even a DIY sundial constructed in minutes from materials lying around your house is surprisingly accurate. Perfect for beginner astronomers to get started, a sundial is a great way to introduce the wonders of the universe.

 Things You’ll Need:

  • Round Item (Like a bucket or lid)
  • Cardboard (You can use one of your Wild | Life kit boxes)
  • Box cutter or scissors
  • Black marker
  • Straight stick or wooden dowel
  • Ruler

Step 1

Trace the round bottom object with your black marker directly onto your cardboard.

Step 2

Cut the circle out of your cardboard with your box cutter or scissors.

Step 3

Using your ruler, find the center of your circle and mark it with a dot.

Step 4

Cut a hole (at the dot you made) large enough for a stick or wooden dowel to fit through.

Step 5

Take your sundial outside and fit the stick or wooden dowel through the hole you made at the center of your sundial and push it into the ground.

Step 6

Using your ruler (so that you can make straight lines), make marks on your sundial at each hour. To make the hour/minute mark, line up your ruler with the shadow that the sun is making and draw a short line. You now have a working cardboard sundial.

Search