Microscopes are too bulky and expensive for the average person, but you can still explore the intriguing world right below your nose. You can examine cells, see creatures too tiny to be viewed with the naked eye, and see how salt crystals are shaped like minuscule pyramids… and so much more!

Problem solved: it’s easy to turn your smartphone into a microscope for a fraction of the price! The bonuses here are that it is super mobile and you can take photos.

1. Get crafty

For an easy home-made microscope, you can buy a laser pointer and take it apart so that you remove the lens. By attaching it to your phone camera with sticky-tack or as in the video below, you can magnify anything that you want on the go. You can also create a mini-lab at home to view tiny organisms living in a puddle of water with the instructions here.


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If you’re feeling inspired, you can make yourself a 10$ stand which can magnify up to 375X. With this magnification, it’s possible to see plant cells and their nuclei.

Or find a friend with a 3D printer for 1000X for 1$ of material costs.

2. Buy an attachment

If you’re not the crafty type, there are portable microscope attachments for smartphones available for purchase, as thin stickers and thicker plastic stick-ons.

Happy microscope-ing!