Picture of My pirate costume ship's wheel!!
For Halloween I'm usually a pirate. This year I'm adding a prop component in the form of a ship's wheel. The Idea was to have a spinning ship's wheel attached to a harness of some kind.

I started this project with a few ideas of what I wanted and no idea how I was going to do it. In fact I didn't figure out most steps until it was time to do them. I also decided to make it primarily out of cardboard for two reasons:

First, I just happened to have a lot of cardboard laying around, making the project cheap,
Second, I am submitting this project for the gorilla glue cardboard contest.
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Step 1: Materials and Tools:

Picture of Materials and Tools:
For materials I gathered:

Large flat pieces of cardboard
One cardboard ring
One old used bearing
Spray paint and wood stain
1/4" Rope
Masking tape


Band saw
Hobby knife
Wood glue
Hot glue gun

Step 2: "Dowels" and Rings:

Picture of "Dowels" and Rings:
First thing was to glue the 2 pieces of flat cardboard together to make one thick piece of cardboard & then I cut them into 1/2 inch square "dowels". I just spread out a fair amount of wood glue between the 2 pieces, put some weight on top and left it over night.

Then I cut then the large ring into 4 thinner rings. I had to use a jigsaw so they didn't come out perfect, but no one should notice on Halloween night. I only needed 2 of the rings, but its always nice having extra in case you make a mistake.

Step 3: Smaller and Smaller:

Picture of Smaller and Smaller:
Next I cut one ring to make it smaller for the inside ring. What I did was run the piece under hot water for a minute or two & curled it into a smaller ring and glued it. It did not come out as circular as I had hoped, but it should be fine as it wont show much. I also made an even smaller ring with the piece i cut off the second ring just in case I wanted a different size. I didn't.
penchek (author) 11 months ago
TiffanyL1 - I got the cardboard ring from my work, it's the ring the palate strapping came on. Most places that ship palates just throw them away and would probably give them to you for free. If you make one post a pic in the comments for us to see!
TiffanyL111 months ago

Great tuturial! Where do you find the cardboard rings? I am needing to make one of these for a photo booth prop so hopefully its something I can find locally. Thanks!

anonygrazer3 years ago
On first glance I thought the wheel was made of wood or possibly foam but to find it is actually cardboard is truly amazing. Thanks for sharing.
zaniac775 years ago
Great Instructable and costume. I'm actually re-doing my room in a nautical theme and finding a ship's wheel in good condition is quite pricey. I will change things up a bit in the materials, but this gives me a great idea for making my own decor. Thanks!
MKohen5 years ago
Ha ha! Now you can go up to people, and when they ask why you have a steering wheel in front of your belt you can say: "I don't know, but its driving me' nuts!" ba-dum kshhh!
hahahahahahaha.. argh I like the rope wrap. good job
Beat me to it :( But still worth the laugh :)
I was going to say that.
caitlinsdad5 years ago
Nice job, matey!
J-Five5 years ago
Arghhh!!!! Give me all your candy or walk the plank!
Creativeman5 years ago
Amazing creativity, great instructable...hope you do more! Cman