A while back, I saw Silhouette had a post on how to make a fidget spinner. I had never used one, but I thought that was clever. I was disappointed when I saw they used a plastic to make it and decided I wanted to make my own all paper fidget spinner. I eventually got a real one and this paper one doesn't spin as well as a legit one with the ball bearing center, but it is fun to make, personalize, and play with.
I made this using a Silhouette paper cutter, but it is possible to print off my design and cut it out of paper. It would just take longer.
Step 1: Supplies
I'll put the supplies I used for my Silhouette version and also my suggested supplies if you decide to print and hand cut it.
- Silhouette - I've made the document so you can use a Portrait or Cameo
- White Cardstock
- Colored Paper - optional for design, does not need to be cardstock thickness
- Mod Podge - I recommend this because it is easy to paint on your fidget spinner but you can also just use plain white glue or a glue stick (I would use a glue stick as a last resort) - also, you can just make mod podge by adding a little water to white glue until you get a consistency you like, it will be more glue than water
- Foam Brush - these are just nice to have for doing crafts
- Wax Paper - it is a lot easier to glue everything on top of wax paper since it won't stick as well and tear your paper
Print and Cut Version:
Step 2: Design
You can do your own design or use the one I already created.
If you decide to make your own, here is a rough idea of how to do it and the fun gif above will give you a quick walkthrough of how I designed it.
- Pick a design you like and make it so it is roughly 3" in diameter, you need to be able to spin it so if it is too big it will be difficult
- If it has any decorative elements you want to cut in another colored paper, move that away so you can concentrate on the main fidget spinner
- Find the center to the best of your abilities and add a circle that is about .398" in diameter (Fidget Spinner center hole)
- Using Offset, create another circle based off the one you just made that is about .75" (finger pad)
- Using Internal Offset, create another circle based off your first one that is about .326" (center post between finger pads)
- Move the smallest and largest circles off to the side
- Group together the fidget spinner design and the circle you made first, those will all be one design
- Copy and paste images until you have as many images as you need (numbers in next step)
- If you want a design on the finger pad, create it, make sure it will fit, then move it to the side so it can be cut out separately
Step 3: Cut Out Pieces
- 6 Main Fidget Spinner Design
- 10 Large Circle (5 for each Finger Pad)
- 9 - 16 Small Circle (center post between finger pads) - I originally did 16, but thought it might be too much and have also made it successfully with 13 and I think it turned out better with less. You need at least 9 in order to have it thicker than the fidget spinner + design, but your goal should be to have as few as you can get away with to avoid wobble when it is spun.
- 2 Design
- 2 small Finger Pad Design (I cut out 3 just in case) - these are to help make the pads easier to grip so your fingers don't just slide off.
For the design pieces, if you are going to cut them from patterned paper, I recommend you line the pieces up in your silhouette document and make sure it matches with your paper lined up on your mat. For my green spinner, it didn't matter but for the other one, I wanted the pattern to go from the tip to the center of each point so I lined them up as you can see in the last image.
Cut out all the pieces and group them up. If you use my design, I recommend you keep them all the same way they were on the mat, don't flip them. For some reason, it isn't perfectly symmetrical, and it helps to keep the same side up.
Step 4: Glue Main Pieces
We are going to start by gluing the main fidget spinner piece and finger pads.
Glue all 6 of the fidget spinner pieces together. Once they are all together, put on the decorative/design pieces. Put it between two pieces of wax paper and press down to make sure it stays together. I recommend also spreading mod podge along all the exposed edges for extra stability. Spread some mod podge on top of the design also to keep it in place.
For the finger pads, glue two stacks of 5 circles together. Glue around the edges. Push them together between wax paper and then glue on your decorations. To help with your grip on the finger pads DO NOT put mod podge on top of those designs. It will make it more slippery and their purpose is to help you grip it better.
Give your finger pads and main design a little time to dry. Then place them between two pieces of wax paper and flatten them between something flat and heavy. It helps to have your pieces as flat as can be to make them spin better.
Step 5: Glue Center Post
So, as I mentioned previously, this could be between 9 and 16 circles. Start by gluing at least 9 together and smushing them together the best you can. Lay them down with your design and see how much it sticks up. You can even assemble the fidget spinner without the glue and see how well it spins. If it gets stuck, you need more circles. If it wobbles a lot, you have too many circles.
If your circles don't line up well, you can try to shave them down with sandpaper or a nail file.
Put mod podge around the sides when you are done. This will help it spin nice and smoothly.
Step 6: Assemble Fidget Spinner
Start by gluing the post in the exact center of one of the finger pads.
Once that is on, put the spinner on and then glue the other finger pad on. Press it together as well as you can and then make sure it spins. Try not to use too much glue or it will all stick together and not spin.
If it does stick together, just force it to spin until it gets unstuck. If you are lucky any tears will be under the finger pads and won't' show.
Step 7: Play!
Once it is all dry, you can go ahead and play with it. With all the layers you used and mod podge, it should be a pretty sturdy fidget spinner so don't worry about it breaking. Also, it's easy and cheap to remake it if you need to.
Have fun! It takes more effort to spin it than one that has a ball bearing center, but I think that just adds to the appeal.