How to Make a Lighted Prize Wheel

Updated April 17, 2017

A lighted prize wheel is a great addition to any school carnival, fair or other event with games and prizes. Prize wheels add a touch of fun to any game, and kids love to spin them and see what they've won. Attaching lights to a prize wheel is fairly simple, especially with the availability of battery operated lights that require no wiring.

Draw a circle on the piece of plywood by marking the centre of the plywood and using a carpenter's scribe. The circle should be 3 feet wide. Cut the circle out using a jigsaw and sand the edges smooth.

Drill a hole in the centre of the circle and mount the circle on the 2-by-4 using the lag bolt. The circle should be mounted in the middle of the 2-by-4 so that about six inches show above and below the circle.

Divide the circle into 16 equal sized pie wedges. Paint each wedge a different colour or alternate colours for every four wedges. Cover each wedge with a corresponding colour of glitter. When the paint and glitter are dry, cover the entire circle with a clear coat of polyurethane.

Hammer two of the nails into each colour wedge about 1 inch from the edge of the wheel.

Drill two holes in each colour wedge equally spaced below the nails. Each hole should be slightly smaller than the size of one of your Christmas lights so the light will push through from behind but still have a snug fit. Insert each light from behind and staple the wires to the back of the circle so they won't show or hang out.

Attach the strip of leather to the top of the 2-by-4 by drilling a hole large enough to insert the dowel rod. Brush a little carpenters glue into the hole before inserting the rod. Then attach the leather strip to the rod using two staples. The leather strip should hang down long enough to hit the nails as the circle goes around.

Attach the wheel to the side of a table with heavy duty clamps, or if the table is wood, attach directly with several wood screws until the prize wheel seems stable.


To give the edge of the circle a finished look, attach a thin piece of rubber trim or a strip of coloured duct tape around the circle. Use super glue to attach the rubber.

Things You'll Need

  • 4-by-4 inch piece of 1/2 inch plywood
  • 2-by-4 inch 48 inch long piece of wood
  • Drill
  • 1 string of battery operated Christmas lights
  • Glitter
  • Polyurethane clear coat
  • Jigsaw
  • Lag bolt
  • Strip of leather
  • 3 inch nails
  • Carpenters scribe
  • 3 inch piece of dowel rod
  • Wood glue
  • Paint brush
  • Colourful paint
  • Sandpaper
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About the Author

Patti Richards has been a writer since 1990. She writes children’s books and articles on parenting, women's health and education. Her credits include San Diego Family Magazine, Metro Parent Magazine, Boys' Quest Magazine and many others. Richards has a Bachelor of Science in English/secondary education from Welch College.