DIY Microscope Slides

Glass Slides and Glass Cover Squares

Glass flat slides should be handled with care as they can break easily.

Wet vs. Smear

Wet mount slides is the most common slide preparation and uses a flat glass slide with a glass cover plus a little bit of water. This type of slide preparation should be used with materials like hair or thin slices of plant materials.


Smear slides are used for liquid samples like pond water or even yogurt. Using an additional flat slide, you drag or smear the liquid sample across the base slide for better coverage.


What You’ll Need

  • Blank flat slide (two for smear)

  • Cover square

  • Sample

  • Tweezers

  • Pipette

  • Water (for wet mount)

  • Tissue


Preparing a Wet Slide

  • Gather your materials, including your sample.

  • Place your sample in the middle of the blank flat slide.

  • Place a drop of water on the slide just above the sample.

  • Place a cover square over the sample, holding it at a 45-degree angle.

  • Gently lower the square over the drop of water and blot up excess water with a tissue.

  • Load the slide in the microscope and observe.