A Working Polaroid Instant Camera Built Out of Popsicle Sticks


Brighton-based photographer and product designer Maxim Grew recently came up with the idea of building an instant camera out of a Polaroid film holder and a stack of wooden popsicle sticks.

The bellows of the camera were created using thick card stock and duct tape, and the lens was salvaged from an old folding camera (the kind you might find at a thrift store).

Grew took photographs at a regular interval as he was building, and created this video showing how the camera came together:

The camera takes Polaroid Type 100 film. Grew had some Fuji-FP 100C lying around, and shot this same photograph showing that the camera actually works:


Focusing the camera is a bit tricky. Grew says that he’d have to stick an external rangefinder onto it if he were to use the camera out and about.

(via Maxim Grew via Photojojo)

Image credits: Photographs and video by Maxim Grew

  • rz67

    The resulting photo is actually nice. Plus the fact that he took the effort to actually a camera himself is a big deal.

  • Bronicabuiltlikeatank

    Brilliant! Keep up the good work-both filming and making cameras!

  • DamianM

    its kinda silly.

  • Duke Shin

    A rangefinder made of saran wrap, tinfoil, and popsicle sticks?

  • tttulio

    One can get a Polaroisd 110a/250/360 even an 190 etc for less $$$ than that.

  • Winthrop Jackman

    This is very cool, I like it! The only improvement I might offer is that it could have been a pinhole camera – there would be less trouble focusing and no need for a lens. Of course, exposure times would be longer…

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  • fmfm

    So are people who make decisive opposing statements without justifying their answer.

  • Danielle Dickerson Cowden

    If he salvaged the lens from a view camera why not salvage ground glass to focus with as well?

  • DamianM

    What can I say?

    its made of Popsicle sticks!

    Lets take that very seriously then, fmfm

  • DamianM

    wasn’t a view camera but a folding camera that has no ground glass

  • Syuaip

    the result photo is still nice. popsicle no-popsicle..

  • DamianM

    Its a test photo.

    The guy was just playing around and really wasn’t a serious matter.

    Making a camera is not a feat really its just a dark box with a lens to project an image.

  • fmfm

    No one is suggesting we take it seriously. I’m simply suggesting you’re an idiot.

  • simon davies

    lets be honest about this, a camera is essentially just a light tight box. with sensitive material one end and something optical the other, be it film, digital….lens or pinhole.
    what’s been built here is nothing out of the ordinary, lolly sticks or not. ive built plenty of my own cameras and through doing so understand that the miracle of photography has nothing to do with the box you use… long as its light proof.
    the guy could have made it from cabbage leaves and i would still be un impressed.