Introduction: Toothpick Tops

I think the best toys are the simple ones. Over time, toys and games have become more complex in an effort to hold onto people's attention, but I find that something as simple as a spinning top still amuses me and brings me a sense of joy, even more so when I can make it myself.

Step 1: Materials


  • Toothpick
  • Cardboard (corrugated)
  • Paint/markers*


  • Compass
    • (click here for my instructable on how to make one)
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Scissors


Step 2: Make a Circle

To begin, use a compass to draw a circle with a radius of 2 cm on a piece of cardboard. If you do not have a compass, I put a link in the materials list to a different instructable showing how to make one.

After the circle is drawn, use a toothpick to poke a hole through the center of the circle and use scissors to cut the circle out.

Step 3: Toothpick Shaping

On the toothpick, make two marks with a pencil- the first should be 1 cm from the tip and the second should be 3 cm from the tip. Use scissors to score around the mark closest to the center and break the toothpick there. The half of the toothpick that you haven't marked can be saved for another top.

Step 4: Attatchment

Insert the toothpick piece through the hole in the center. Line up the remaining mark (1 cm from the point) with the bottom portion of the cardboard. Use hot glue to secure it. Only use glue on the underside so it isn't visible.

Step 5: Coloring

Coloring isn't necessary, but it is an option to improve aesthetics. Pretty much any type of paint should work fine, but I prefer to use permanent markers because there is less mess and, that way, I don't have to wait for paint to dry.

Step 6: Giving It a Spin

To use the top, take the toothpick between your thumb and index finger and spin it. It may take some trial and error to discover how to get the top to spin for the longest possible time.

I really hope you enjoyed this project as much as I did. If you found anything unclear or have any questions or suggestions, you are more than welcome to comment in the section below.

If you liked this instructable, you might also like some of my others:

    • The Simplest Paper Airplane:

    • Paper Bow Tie:

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