How to Make a Board Game Spinner at Home

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Whether you've lost the spinner to your favorite board game or have a brand-new game idea that requires one, you can make your own spinner by repurposing objects from around the house. Upcycle cardboard boxes and paper clips into simple spinners requiring just a few basic craft and office supplies to complete.

Extremely Simple Spinner

Things You'll Need

  • Paper spinner printout or drawing of spinner design
  • Thin cardboard or poster board
  • Tape or glue stick
  • Paperclips
  • Craft knife

Print this spinner template or draw your own spinner on paper with pencil; then trace it in marker. Draw a spinner that suits the needs of your game.

Tape the paper spinner onto a piece of poster board larger than the paper, or use scrap cardboard such as a panel from a cereal box. Use a glue stick if you prefer glue to tape.

Poke a hole through the paper and cardboard in the center of the spinner. Use the end of a bent paperclip to puncture the cardboard. If this is difficult to do without bending the cardboard, press the tip of a craft knife through the cardboard.

Warning

  • If using a craft knife to poke the hole, set the cardboard atop a cutting mat or piece of corrugated cardboard to prevent injury.

Bend the outside end of a paperclip at a 90-degree angle to the rest of the paperclip. If you set the unbent part of the paperclip flat on a table, the bent part should stick straight up.

Place the bent end of the paperclip through the hole in the top of the spinner. The flat part of the paperclip rests atop the spinner.

Hold the spinner up, keeping it horizontal, without obstructing the part of the paperclip sticking through the bottom of the spinner. Flick the flat part of the paperclip to spin the spinner.

Making More Durable Spinners

  • Instead of placing your paper spinner design on top of poster board or card stock. glue it atop chipboard or corrugated cardboard. If you think you'll use the spinner a lot, laminate the paper before gluing it to the cardboard with a craft adhesive; this way the spinner top will stay in good shape no matter how often you use it. Poke a hole in the center with the tip of a craft knife.
  • Make a more realistic pointer for your spinner by cutting one out of card stock or chipboard with a craft knife. Apply a stick-on lamination plastic to the top and bottom of the pointer. 
  • Make a plastic pointer out of a flat panel in a  plastic jug such as a laundry detergent container, or use plastic cut from the lid of a plastic food tub. The plastic must be perfectly flat to work well. If the plastic is thin, double it up by adhering another layer with a silicone sealant.
  • Attach the durable pointer to the spinner by placing the pointy ends of a brad through the spinner hole, then through the hole in the center of the spinner. Bend the brad arms out sideways, snugging them up against the back of the spinner to secure the pointer.
  • Find the balancing point for your homemade pointer by balancing the pointer on the tip of your finger, or on a narrower surface such as the tip of a chopstick. Poke the hole for the pointer along this balance point, making sure the hole is centered. Use the tip of a craft knife to make a hole, then widen the hole by turning the knife blade through the plastic or card stock.

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