These homemade drop spindles are a great way to get inexperienced people spinning without investing a huge amount of money. So for someone like me, a teacher, this is awesome. These spindles are so inexpensive its okay if they get broken, lost, or are given away. Giftees can also decorate their spindles to make it their own.
You can make a half dozen or more of these spindles for less than $1.50. The dowels were about $.33, the wheels $.25 (or $2.00 for a pack), and the hooks I found on clearance. I eventually upgraded the dowels to sturdier craft sticks found in the kids/general crafts aisle at Michaels.
If you have the right kind of tools (which I don't) you can carve/woodwork your own handmade spindles from found wood.
*Note: I generally tag Michaels products for my examples because A.C. Moore doesn't have a product finder online.
Step 1: BoM
Dowels/rods/round craft sticks etc.
Step 2: Assemble
Measure out the dowels (unless they are pre-cut) to about 12". Slip them through the center wheel hole about 1-2" down. If the wheel doesn't stay put on it's own, you may want to add a little wood or Gorilla Glue and let set. I haven't needed to do this yet. Generally the problem I run into is the dowel being too big, which then leads me to carving out the center hole a little bit to accommodate the dowel.
Step 3: Hook
I used a push pin to pre-poke the towel. This made lining up the center easier as well as made screwing in the hook a lot easier. The hooks I bought on clearance at a craft shop, something like 20 of them for $.78. They were closed, so I used jewelry pliers (scissors also work) to open the hook up.