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This printable tulip spinner craft is a pretty cool DIY toy, but that’s not all. It’s also a hands-on way for kids to learn about primary colours and colour-mixing.

Make it for a Spring craft project with a STEM element thrown in.

Get the spinner craft template here

Tulip spinner craft for kids

Spinning tops are such old-school fun, right? Who doesn’t remember playing with these as a kid?

Well, they’re also very easy to make.

Our tulip spinner template can be used for both a spinning top and a whirlygig spinner on string. We’ll show you how to make them both in this tutorial.

The Whirlygig spinners use fewer materials (just cardboard, string, glue and the template), but the spinning tops are super easy too and just require a few extra things. Namely, hot glue, beads, and toothpicks.


tulip spinner side view

The idea behind the spinners is that when the spinners are twirling at full speed, it creates the optical illusion of a blended colour.

Does it work? You’ll have to make them and test it out for yourself.

colour-your-own spinner template

There is also a colour-your-own tulip template so you can experiment with other colours too.

Spinning tops

You will need:

  • The template printed onto ordinary white paper
  • Recycled cardboard for the base
  • Glue stick
  • Scissors
  • Pointy toothpicks, or a kitchen skewer and blunt toothpicks
  • Hot glue gun
  • Wooden beads in 2cm (0.8”) diameter for the base and 1cm (0.4”) diameter for the top (or similar sizes, they don’t need to be exact)

How to:

Print out the template and gather your materials.

tulip spinner template

Cut the shapes out and glue onto recycled cardboard.

glue spinner shapes to recycled card stock

Poke a toothpick through the centre dot (ignore the two outside dots). If you have a blunt toothpick, use a kitchen skewer to poke the hole before poking the toothpick through.

poke toothpick through centre dot

Turn the top over and place a dab of hot glue around the toothpick, then slide a large bead into place. Turn over and press the top disc down over the bead against your work surface. This way the bead glues into place right at the edge of the toothpick (so the pointy end doesn’t stick out of the bead hole)

hot glue bead to base

Use your hot glue gun to add three smaller beads to the top side of the spinning top. Trim the pointy end of the toothpick off the top using a pair of scissors.

hot glue beads to top

spinning top craft for kids

Your spinners are done! Spin them on a flat surface using the small beads for a handle – it’s mesmerizing to watch them go.

Now let’s make the whirlygig spinners.

How to make a whirlygig style spinner

You will need:

  • The template printed onto ordinary white paper
  • Recycled cardboard for the base
  • Glue stick
  • Scissors
  • String
  • Needle and threader (optional)
  • Kitchen skewer

How to:

Print out the template and cut out the circles. Glue one circle onto recycled cardboard.

string spinner step 1

Cut around the shape and glue another on the reverse side. Try to match the small black centre dots up if you can, but don’t worry if they are not perfectly aligned

string spinner step 2

Using a kitchen skewer or similar, poke holes in the two outside black dots (ignore the centre dot).

poke hole in centre

Thread a long piece of string through one of the holes it should be approx 80cm (31″) long, or 40cm doubled over once you’ve tied it. You may need to use a needle for this part. Thread it back through the opposite hole and tie in a loop.

finished spinner

Your spinner is finished! To spin, hold each end of the loop and toss the disk in a circle repeatedly to wind up the string. Pull the ends tight to set your disc spinning!
It may wobble at first, getting the right technique can take a little practice.

spinning spinner 1

spinning spinner with coloured tulips

And there you have it, hours of fun made from paper and cardboard!

More DIY toy ideas with a STEM element for kids:

tulip spinner craft