The hand spinner or fidget spinner has become a really popular toy over the last two years. Online spinner videos abound, and I’ve seen many people playing with them in real life, too. Some say it’s an extremely effective way to de-stress. Spinners have gained popularity among children and adults alike, and many people even make their own using all sorts of materials. Commercial hand spinners on the market today are made of plastic, wood, or metal and come in different shapes and sizes, and some even glow. The spinner is centrally supported on both sides by a precise bearing. You hold it in your fingers and spin it, and the higher the precision of the bearing, the faster and longer it spins. Because this toy is so popular among all ages—and out of occupational habit—we are of course going to learn to make our own hand spinner using just paper.
We’re using 15 cm by 15 cm colored paper to make the hand spinner without any cutting or gluing. The most difficult parts will be: using only folding techniques to rig up a “bearing” structure that can be held between two fingers, and overcoming the high friction between the paper and fingertips when spinning. The next step is making windmill blades on each shaft, so that it spins by wind power as well as “finger power”.
After three days of experiments, trying out about six different methods, I finally managed it. The video tutorial is below. Please give it a spin!