DIY Fidget Spinners without Skate Bearings
I only learned what a fidget spinner was a few days before I actually tried to make one. Amy, knowing what’s cool with the kids in a way I absolutely do not, asked if I could make one and since I think I can make anything I was all “Sure!” I first did a quick Google search to see what in the heck I had gotten myself into. As it turns out, I’d seen these things for sale but hadn’t actually seen one work.
And so, with just a small amount of knowledge of what I was doing I hit the craft store and came home with a plethora of items from the paper crafting section. Sitting down with my tools I worked up about 5 rough drafts before I finally got one that worked. It was ugly but it worked, huzzah!
Only after I made these guys did I research how others made them and so I learned then of skate bearings. It seems skate bearings can make fidget spinners that spin a bit more loosely, freely, quickly BUT they’re a special order kind of a job. You can get them at Amazon but they’re like $8 but if you don’t want to wait, or purchase something you might never, ever have any other use for, this particular DIY Fidget Spinner tutorial is for you!
For this project you will need:
- Popsicle sticks (I used wavy edge sticks)
- Strong scissors
- Strong glue (I used crazy glue)
- Craft foam
- Round epoxy stickers
- Hot glue gun
- Drill & small drill bits
- Paint, pretty paper, embellishments, washi tape, glitter, etc.
Trim your popsicle sticks down to about 1.5 inches apiece. Cut your first, use it as a pattern and then cut 3 for each spinner. Strong scissors work best, I used tin snips.
Glue your cut sticks together to make the fidget spinner shape. If you already have a fidget spinner at home (I bought one to see how in the heck one actually works 🙂 trace it on a piece of paper and use it to help create the “right” shape. Allow glue to completely dry.
Using a drill bit a bit larger than the width of your toothpick, create a hole in the center of your spinners.
These are clear epoxy stickers I got in the paper crafting section at Hobby Lobby. My original thought was to use glass bezels from the jewelry section but I worried about the potential for the glass to break and kiddos to get hurt and when I was looking for embellishments for my spinners I just happened to find these in the same section. They are self adhesive and won’t break like glass, cool, right?
For each fidget spinner you’ll need 4 epoxy stickers. Decorate 2 with pretty paper and 2 with craft foam and trim away the excess.
Drill a hole through the craft foam sticker, taking care to choose a bit that is about the same size, perhaps just a teensy bit larger, than your toothpicks. Getting a drill bit that works well might take a bit of trial and error, FYI.
Push your first foam covered sticker onto a toothpick, foam side out.
Thread on your wooden spinner and the other foam covered sticker, foam side out. Work with distance between the wood spinner part and the two stickers, making sure the entire piece can rotate easily but not so loosely that it wobbles.
Trim the excess toothpick. Flush cutting snips are super helpful but not completely necessary.
Apply a dot of hot glue onto the toothpick and around the foam edge. Apply your pretty papered epoxy sticker on top.
Repeat for the other side, taking care not to squeeze the fidget spinner together as you work as this might prevent your spinner from rotating properly.
Embellish as you see fit at any point in the process. At the end, you can add stickers to weight down one side of the spinners. This seems to make them spin much more quickly!
Once complete you’ve got a handy, dandy DIY fidget spinner without any of those special order skate bearings. All it takes to a trip to the craft store, or if you’re particularly crafty, maybe even just a visit to your craft stash!