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Wooden Tops

by Fiona Duthie

These wooden tops are easy to make and fun to use! Make them with your children by putting them together but letting the kids do the coloring and painting (or help them complete the entire process). Over the years, my children have spent hours and hours with these toys, making up games with the tops as characters and seeing how long they can keep them spinning.

Wooden Tops


  • 2.5″ wooden wheel
  • wooden dowel 3/8″ wide x 3″ long
  • wood glue
  • optional: watercolor paints, pencil crayons

You can use any size of wooden wheel for these tops. Adjust the dowel size to the hole in the wheel – it should be a tight fit.

Wooden wheels are available through many crafts stores and online at specialty woodworking shops such as:

Cut 3/8″ dowel into 3″ lengths. Sharpen one end with a pencil sharpener. The tip should be a little flat at the end – not completely pointed as for a pencil. Lightly sand the flat end of the dowel to smooth the cut edge. Push the dowel through the hole in the wheel. The closer the wheel is to the point, the more evenly it will spin; the further away, the more wildly.  If your dowel is a tight fit, you can test it in different spots to get the spin you would like. Once you have the placement, remove the wheel, apply a small amount of wood glue inside the wheel hole, and push the dowel through to that placement point. Wipe away any excess glue with a damp cloth and leave to dry for an hour. If desired, paint the surface with watercolor paints or color with pencil crayons. Let the spinning begin!

Wooden Tops

Wooden Tops

Posted by Living Crafts on Dec 14, 2010 08:08 AM | 4 Comments

4 Responses to “Wooden Tops”

  1. Linda says:

    These are great. I am always looking for good projects for boys and this fits the bill on many counts!

  2. Fiona Duthie says:

    Linda, my boys truly have spent hours and hours making up games and stories with their basket of spinning tops.
    One of my sons made a batch of these to sell at a local winter fair- very achievable for a broad range of ages, and with very few tools.

  3. Tracy Bernard says:


    I am planning to make these for my boys in class. I just need to pick up the dowels on Sunday. I have wooden wheels already.


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