Let’s make personalized binoculars (or “desert-oculars”) for use in a desert-themed scavenger hunt.

Monica, one of our Gallery Educator at the i.d.e.a. Museum, shares this art activity that you can do at home as a part of the Mesa Family Take Out Night, supporting our downtown Mesa restaurants.

The activities we have chosen for this series all highlight our appreciation for being Together in the Desert. Each activity can be done individually, or you can check out  the videos each Wednesday to create all of the activities.

Next week, we will present you with several ways you can use your art to create your own unique art gallery at home. Later, we will show you how you can contribute to a community art installation outside the i.d.e.a. Museum!

Getting started

Materials needed:

  • 2 toilet paper tubes (alternates: cut a paper towel in half or roll up some heavy paper to create two tubes).
  • Tape, glue or glue dots
  • Art supplies for personalizing/decorating your binoculars
  • Optional: Hole punch and yarn

Tip: For decorating, you can try markers or crayons, paint, magazines or even some old art you’d like to repurpose. Have a mini scavenger hunt in your house and see what you find. We have a few samples in the video to see what these people have used, but we encourage you to create what you’d like.


1. If you’re using paper, make two tubes, securing the ends with tape or glue. If it’s easier, you can decorate your paper before rolling it up. Or you can wait until the glue is dry and decorate later.

2. Once you have two tubes — either paper or from TP rolls — glue them together. Just line up your two tubes and stick them together. Allow them to dry while you imagine how you’ll decorate your new binoculars.

3. After the tubes are stuck together, you can use a hole punch to make a hole on each side of one end, and then tie a piece of yarn or ribbon on for a neck strap.

4. Use your imagination and personalize your binoculars however you’d like. Things to think about:

  • What colors will you use?
  • What materials did you find?
  • What are you going look for with your new binoculars?


If you’re in downtown Mesa, you can scope out your favorite details of our murals and sculptures. We’re providing a download with some of their locations. Find it here.

If you’re staying closer to home, there’s also a nature scavenger hunt you can download for your backyard or next neighborhood walk. Click here.

Enjoy using your binoculars to find out who is together with us in the desert.

About the project

As part the Mesa’s Family Takeout Night initiative, we invite you to do this creative activity at home, snap a photo and send us your art image to engagement@mesaartscenter.com.  We are hoping to include your project pics in a final installation in downtown Mesa!

Also, please post pictures of the process to social media with the hashtags #mesatakeout #togetherinthedesert. We can’t wait to see what you’ve done! We’ll see you next week for another project.