Introduction: Cardboard Ferris Wheel

About: I am an author and a maker. My current project is Santa's Shop. I'm working on a science fiction type book--more later. @EngineerRigsby

In response to a question by dromedarius, ". . . my daughter has to make a ferris wheel for school do you have any ideas how she can make something similar to your model using recyclable items," I decided to put together a quick instructable answer.

Supplies needed:


One pencil

Three paperclips

Three toothpicks



Step 1:

Draw circles on cardboard. I traced the bottom of a flower pot.

Step 2:

Cut out the circles.

Step 3:

Find the center of the circle--this requires high school geometry or a fair amount of trial and error.

Step 4:

Insert toothpicks at the 12 o'clock, 4 o'clock and 8 o'clock positions.

Step 5:

Insert a pencil through both cardboard circles--to keep things lined up.

Step 6:

Insert the toothpicks into the other cardboard circle.

Step 7:

Find a thin little cardboard box--Amazon often supplies these.

As a side note, long ago when I wrote a book, "Amazing Rubber Band Cars," I tried to get Amazon to print some of my cardboard toy designs on their boxes--thinking their boxes could be turned into toys and that some people might purchase my book. Right :)

Step 8:

Tape the box securely closed and draw the part that needs to be cut out.

Step 9:

Cut the excess away and place the pencil/cardboard circles combo in the slot.

Step 10:

Cut a "boarding" slot so that the "riders" can get on.

Step 11:

Cut three narrow pieces of cardboard and bend them to make seats.

Step 12:

Insert a paper clip through the top back of the seat. Bend the other end to fit over the toothpick.

Step 13:

To keep the paperclip from sliding over to the edge, wrap two small strips of tape to build up a barrier that will prevent the paperclip from sliding left or right.

Step 14:

Place the seat assembly on the toothpick.

Step 15:

Now you can turn the ferris wheel by hand.

Hopefully, this will provide a jumping off point for cardboard ferris wheel construction!

Full Spectrum Laser Contest 2016

Participated in the
Full Spectrum Laser Contest 2016