How to Make a Prize Wheel

Updated February 21, 2017

If you are in need of a fun way for people who have won a game to choose a prize, you may be in need of a prize wheel. Prize wheels offer an element of suspense and they make noise, which attracts people. You can buy a prize wheel at most party stores, but if you would like a durable wheel at a fraction of the cost, it is very easy to build one.

Screw one of the 2 x 4s to one edge of the 4 x 4. The 4 inch edge of the 2 x 4 should be flush with the 4 x 4 and the end of the 2 x 4 should be even with the edge of the 4 x 4. This will create a corner where the 2 x 4 meets the 4 x 4. Attach the next 2 x 4 to the 4 x 4 so it is flush in that pocket. Finish adding 2 x 4s until all four sides are covered and you have a base to stand the wheel on.

Place a screw in the centre of your plywood and attach a 1 inch piece of string to it. Tie a pencil to the string. Pull the string taut and draw a circle in the wood. Using a jigsaw, cut the circle of wood out.

Next, draw four lines running through the centre of the wheel that will split the wheel into eight different sections

On the wheel, drill holes that are approximately 1 inch away from the edge, 1 inch apart from each other and slightly smaller than the diameter of your dowels. Once the holes are drilled, place the dowels on the wheel.

On the stand, measure 1 foot 6 inches down from the top and make a mark. Drill a hole that is slightly smaller than your lag bolt in the centre of the post at this location. Screw your lag bolt to the post.

Screw in your remaining 2 x 4 to the top of the post with the 4-inch side of the wood flush with the top of the post. Once screwed in, you should have an 8-inch overhang over the lag bolt.

Screw the eye hook into the overhang. Hang the spatula on the eye hook and let it hang down.

Drill a hole in the centre of your wheel that is slightly larger than the lag bolt. Place the wheel on the lag bolt with three washers on either side and the nut to keep the wheel from falling off. The wheel should spin freely and the spatula should fall in between the dowels being used as resistance to stop the wheel from spinning and providing a marker.

Paint the sections of the wheel different colours.


A spatula works because it is rubber and can be found around the house, but any piece of rubber will work. Different objects will affect the wheel speed and the amount of noise the wheel makes, allowing you to customise the experience


Make sure the hole in the centre is slightly larger than your bolt as this will provide a smooth spinning motion.

Things You'll Need

  • 5 pieces of 2 x 4, 12 inches long
  • 4-foot piece of 4 x 4
  • Screws
  • 3 x 3-foot piece of 1/2-inch plywood
  • String
  • Pencil
  • Jigsaw
  • Drill with set of screw bits
  • 2-inch wooden dowels
  • Lag bolt
  • Eye hook
  • Spatula
  • 6 flat washers
  • Nut
  • 8 different paint colours
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About the Author

R.L. Cultrona is a San Diego native and a graduate of San Diego State University. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in theater, television and film with a minor in communications and political science. She began writing online instructional articles in June 2009.