DIY Spirograph

Written by anne baley
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Many baby boomer children spent enjoyable rainy afternoons drawing refrigerator artwork with a Spirograph. This simple toy enables children to create intricate op-art drawings with a regular pen. Introduced in 1965, the Spirograph is still available commercially in 2010, but you can avoid the expense of purchasing a set. Create your own Spirograph with items you already have in your home or can find in a crafts store, and your children can spend their rainy afternoons making classic artwork of their own.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Quilt template plastic
  • Compass
  • Fine marker
  • Pinking shears
  • Hole punch
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Push pins

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  1. 1

    Insert a fine-point marker into the barrel of a compass. Use the compass to draw a 4-inch circle in the middle of a sheet of template plastic.

  2. 2

    Cut out the circle using pinking shears. This will create the geared edge of the outer circle for your Spirograph.

  3. 3

    Draw a 3-inch circle onto the piece of template plastic that you removed from the original sheet. Cut along the drawing line with pinking shears. This will create a circle with geared teeth on the outside edge.

  4. 4

    Punch five or six holes in the geared circle at random places. Make some of the holes closer to the centre of the circle and some farther away. These will be the holes in which you place your pen.

  5. 5

    Punch a hole in each corner of the original sheet. Lay the original sheet on top of the corrugated cardboard. Push a pushpin through each of the four holes to keep the sheet in place. Place the geared circle in the middle of the hole in the sheet. Put a pen in one of the central holes and draw. Keep the gears of the inner and outer circles matched up while you circle the pen around.

Tips and warnings

  • Hot glue two or three layers of template plastic together to make a thicker plastic sheet if you are making this for smaller children. The thicker plastic will be easier for smaller hands to work with.

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