You’ve seen them in stores, on social media, and even in the news. What is a fidget spinner, besides a millennial craze and something YouTubers perform trick shots with?
Every generation has a toy that is used as a method of easing stress. Some have a worry stone, others have spinning tops, while others still have a stress ball.
Then came the fidget spinner. A popular toy that swept the nation in the middle of 2017, fidget spinners were designed as a way to help alleviate anxiety symptoms as well as help with ADHD and autism.
There are also those trick shots we mentioned – but that’s just plain fun.
Fidget spinners have a rather simple design, with a ball bearing in the center and counterweights around the outside that allow the device to spin at a high speed for a rather long time.
Their simple build means they are easy to create, so instead of buying the shiny – though incredibly expensive – ones available on the market, here you will learn to make one yourself!
Key Components of a Fidget Spinner
A fidget spinner consists of three main parts: A central ball bearing, counterweights, and an outer shell to keep it all together.
With all these in mind, it is advisable to experiment with different designs and see which ones work best for you.
However, there are a few things that must be standard: the ball bearing must be well cleaned and oiled so as to provide the least amount of friction.
As for the counterweights, you will need to balance between two and four equally sized weights that allow the spinner to rotate for longer.
If it’s off balance, it will wobble, resulting in a shorter spin and a less appealing spinner.
As for the outer shell, that is up to the designer. If you have the chops for metalworking, you can make a cast and pour molten metal in; others may attempt to 3D print themselves a spinner.
As for those who are feeling craftier, this article will cover how to make rather unusual variants: LEGO and cookie!
How to Make a LEGO Fidget Spinner
In order to make a fidget spinner from LEGOs, you will need a few specific pieces.
Starting with the counterweights, you will need eight 2×3 plates of whatever color you desire, as well as four 2×2 plates.
For the center, you will need two 4×4 round plates, a 6×6 round plate, three 1×1 round plates, two with a round hole and one with a plus hole, and finally a three-stud-long axle with an extra end-stud.
Once all of these are together, it is time to begin construction.
Start with the 6×6 and 4×4 circle plates, fixing the smaller ones onto the center of the larger so that the holes at the center of each are lined up. Then fix the circle-hole 1×1 plates at the center as well, studs up.
Next, slide the axel through, making sure the stud is sticking out of the bottom. The stud will make it so that the axle doesn’t slide through completely and will provide more stability for the spinner.
Finally, add the 1×1 circle plate with the plus hole, while ensuring the studs are facing up and the flat side is down, so that it doesn’t get stuck.
From there, it is time to assemble the counterweights. Take the 2×3 plates and put them on the bottom of the 6×6 circle plate, making sure four studs are sticking out.
Once this is done, place the 2×2 plates on top of those before adding the last plate on top.
Once this is done, you will have built your very own functioning fidget spinner with nothing but LEGOs!
As hard as it may be to believe, it is entirely possible to make working fidget spinners out of cookies!
It doesn’t spin terribly fast, but it is operational and makes for a rather interesting party treat, as well as a great cooking project for kids.
Should you wish to make these cookies, you will need the following:
- 2 ½ cups of all-purpose flour.
- ¾ cups white sugar.
- ¼ teaspoon table salt.
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature.
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract.
- 2 tablespoons cream cheese, room temperature.
- Royal icing for decorating, any color.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a large mixing bowl, add flour, sugar, salt, and mix together until fully incorporated.
- Add the softened butter and continue to mix until it looks crumbly and slightly wet – for around one minute.
- Add the vanilla and cream cheese, mixing until the dough starts to form large clumps – for around 30 seconds total.
- Transfer the dough from the bowl to the table and begin kneading until it forms a cohesive dough ball. Then wrap it in Saran wrap and place it in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
- Roll out the dough to ¼ inch thickness and cut into the desired shape using a cookie cutter. Next, you will want to take a bottle cap and make two circles for each spinner. Once you have twelve shapes made, take the extra dough and roll it out into a half-inch sheet. Taking a straw, poke out small pegs to go into the center, as well as holes for the pegs in the center of the cookie.
- Place the shapes on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes, taking the pegs out after seven minutes.
- Now it’s time for construction. Let the cookies cool and frost as you please using the royal icing.
- Using the icing, attach a peg to the backside of one of the circles, fit it through the hole of the spinner, then top with icing and the other circle.
- All that’s left now is to allow the icing to solidify and enjoy!
If you want to try your hand at more, here’s a video showing more ways to make a fidget spinner.
Fidget spinners are fun toys that are enjoyed by a wide collection of people, and with these instructions, you will be able to create your own!