I’m a fan of projects that you can do at your work desk – print on the office printer, cut out with scissors and an exacto, and glue/tape together. The Dirkon paper pinhole camera might be the pinnacle of this type of project. This thing is cool – it’s a fully functional pinhole camera that looks like a papercraft SLR. It uses standard 35mm film, and actually advances the film. It has a makeshift “shutter release.” Maybe best of all, it looks super cool – the assembled version is a great decoration for your camera shelf or desktop. It’s been around for a while; I put one together a few years back myself.
The original instructions are in Czech, but have been translated with assembly tips. There are a couple sections that leave some questions, but use some intuition and it all comes together.
If you plan to use this for photography, you’ll need to use cardstock when printing it out – double-check that it doesn’t let light through (if so, line the inside to eliminate all light). Otherwise, standard xerox paper will be just fine.
Here’s the main page with writeup, notes and tips: Dirkon Pinhole Camera
This is the PDF to print out.
And while at it, check out the Rubikon 2, another print-and-fold camera that is an evolution of the Dirkon.
The pinhole.cz site also has some great information about determining exposure time for pinhole cameras.
Finally, get inspired by checking out Flickr pics of other Dirkons and the photos they create.