How To: Quick DIY Fidget Spinner (in 10 Mins Tops)
A new toy mania named as the must-have toy of 2017, the fidget spinner has an interesting origin. It was introduced and designed by a graduate from New York's Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Florida-based mom. Catherine Hettinger first conceptualized the toy upon seeing children throwing rocks at peace officers in Israel, and thus she thought of ways for the little ones to let out their energy.
The fidget spinner has become a craze for children and adults alike looking for an outlet for all pent up energy. You can now kiss goodbye the constant squirming, desk drumming, and pen-clicking. You can even allow your nails grow normally!
Since then, many toy manufacturers are producing fidget spinners. But, what you may not know is that you can do a DIY fidget spinner at home for ten minutes tops. Let us show you how.
How To: Quick DIY Fidget Spinner (in 10 Mins Tops)
Grab These Essentials:
1. Ceramic Ball Bearings for Skateboards (4 pieces)
We prefer using skateboard bearings because it is just the right size for hand spinners. We specifically opt for ceramic bearings over the steel ones because the ceramic is smoother, and at the same harder than steel ball bearings.
Any type of wood product will do so long as they think enough to fit the bearings. We prefer using a semi-finished plywood with ½ inches thick. The size and surface finish lessens the cutting and cleaning process.
3. Nuts with Bolts
You can do away with this. But, we go for having these materials for easy gripping as this will be placed in the middle of the center or main bearing (you can see further explanation in the Procedures section).
4. Wood Varnish
If you want a professional finish for the wood body, we recommend brushing it with wood varnish to make it smoother and look sleek.
5. Penetrating oil (WD-40)
We need to clean and grease the interiors of the ball bearings as it can help with fluid spinning.
Important Tools You Need:
3. Step Drill
4. Industrial-Grade Glue
5. Measuring Materials (Ruler)
6. Marking Materials (Pencils or Crayon)
You can also Make Use of These Materials:
1. Steel Ball Bearings
Some skateboards use steel ball bearings instead of the ceramic ones. So if you are getting the bearings from old skateboards having steel bearings, this can still work with this project.
2. Zip Ties/Thick Rubber Bands/ Polymer Clay
Instead of using wood, there are other simpler materials to make the body of the fidget spinner. You make use of zipping ties and rubber bands. But, these two are not very durable considering the mobility of the product. Working with polymer clay will also require more process to form the body.
3. Spray Paint/ Paint
You can also experiment with spray paint instead of varnish for a more creative and fun design.
How to Combine All These Materials?
Making the Body
With the use of your measuring and marking materials, draw an equilateral triangle on the plywood.
Our math teacher taught us that an equilateral triangle is an equal three-sided geometric shape. Simply put, a triangle with three equal sides.
To ensure that the sides are equal, don’t forget to use your ruler.
Cut the plywood by tracing the equilateral triangle you’ve drawn on from Step 1.
A USEFUL TIP! Regardless of the length that you want, make sure that the four ceramic ball bearings will fit into the triangle you are cutting.
Rub the sides of the triangle body with the sandpaper to avoid tiny grits from sticking to your hands. We find smooth edges important since the fidget spinner is always in contact with your hands.
Once each edge is smoothened with the sandpaper, use your marking material to mark where you will position the four ball bearings.
Since the shape we are using with the project is a triangle, we need to mark the three points or edges of the triangle. You should use the bearings to trace the right circumference. These edges are where the ball bearings will be inserted later. The fourth bearing will be placed in the center of the body. Thus, you should also mark the middle.
A USEFUL TIP! You have to make sure that the markings are equally placed to balance the spinner. A balanced body allows the spinner to turn longer. Also, this ensures a smooth spinning performance.
With your step drill, puncture holes in the drawn circular shape.
A step drill is ideal to do the job. But, if it is not available, you can work around with the traditional driller to open holes for the ball bearings to fit in. It will be helpful to have a sanding drill bit to help achieve the actual hole size.
A USEFUL TIP! You have to neatly and keenly follow the marking to ensure that the ball bearings will fit in perfectly. It will help avoid from adjusting small mistakes, which can end up into too big or uneven holes.
In each side of the triangle, draw a half circle or a concave.
A USEFUL TIP! Use a smaller circular object (such as a magnet) to trace the half circle to make perfect ones.
Again, with the use of your drill, cut the half circle you’ve previously traced.
The concave gives the fidget spinner an edgier look similar to a star-like Shuriken weapon used by ninjas. Aside from having a cool looking spinner, this design can help with smooth spinning.
Rub the sides of the triangle body with the sandpaper. We have pointed out from Step 3, this is to avoid tiny grits from sticking to your hands. As the spinner is used by hand, it is only right to smoothen its surface.
Brush the finished body with wood varnish to give it a professional finish. The varnish coating also makes the fidget spinner a water repellant.
You can also spray paint or paint the wood with the design that you prefer.
Working with The Ball Bearings
If you are using old ball bearings from your skateboard, you need to clean up the interior of the bearings. But, even with newly bought ball bearings, cleaning it up will improve performance.
To clean the bearings, you need to remove the lid or covers from both ends. Use a knife or a flat screwdriver to pry the ends open.
Once the lid or shield is open, spray a good amount of penetrating oil on the insides of the bearing. Use an old toothbrush and carefully clean the insides. A wooden toothpick is also a good alternative cleaner.
Wash the bearings with alcohol to remove the slickness of the bearings. Allow the bearings to be soaked in for about 3 to 5 minutes.
Finally, rinse the bearings with warm water
Building The Bearings and The Tody
As the body is finished and the bearings are clean, it is time to place them all together.
Dab small amounts of industrial grade glue on the insides of each circle.
Make 4 to 5 slats with 2x6 wood depending on how wide you want your table to be. We deemed it enough to have 4 slats).
Create properly lined holes on each slat of wood.
Quickly place the ball bearings inside the holes.
Place a bolt in the center of the ball bearing that is located in the middle of the fidget spinner. With the nut, secure the bolt at the other end of the spinner.
One alternative with nuts and bolts is to glue magnets, buttons and other flat circular object where you can place your finger.
A USEFUL TIP! Use a nut and bolt combo that snugs perfectly into the ball bearing. It means looking for nut and bolt with the right circumference and height.
Here’s a look at how the professionals built their fidget spinner. Don’t frustrate yourself if you cannot fully achieve the finished product from this video. The crafter has all the equipment at home to produce a pro fidget spinner. But, the video shows the basic processes of the making your own fidget spinner.
Quick, easy and fun, wasn't it?
There you have a shining new fidget toy to help you with restlessness and constant fidgeting. You don’t have to worry about getting glares from your workmates or classmates for too much fretting. Now, you can release your energy without hurting yourself and disturb others.
We’d love to hear about your fun experience with our tutorial. Share your story in the comment box.