Instructions for Making a Spin Art Machine at Home

Children seem to delight in everything messy and spin art is an activity that can be quite messy while producing beautiful results. It is amazing that such beautiful swirling patterns of colour can be made by simply drizzling paint onto a spinning piece of paper. Normally, children only have the opportunity to use spin art machines at carnivals or art fairs but you can make your own spin art machine at home. A spin art machine does not have to be elaborate or expensive to produce beautiful results.

Place the round Direct Current (DC) motor in the centre of the hardwood board and trace around it with a pencil. Cut out the shape using a hole saw or jigsaw. Insert the DC motor into the hole and check that it fits snugly.

Mark the exact centre of the 6-inch plywood disk and drill a hole through it using an electric hand drill and a drill bit the approximate diameter of the DC motor shaft. Put some epoxy glue on the motor shaft and slide the plywood disk onto it. Allow it to dry completely.

Create a plywood housing for your spin art machine by cutting four pieces of plywood to 12-by-24 inches. Nail one of the pieces of plywood to each side of the hardwood motor board.

Support the walls by cutting four lengths of scrap hardwood, 1-by-1 inches and at least 20-inches long. Attach one upright at each corner of the plywood housing by fitting it into the corner formed where two pieces of plywood meet. Apply a layer of wood glue to each of the two sides making contact with the plywood frame and nail the plywood walls to the hardwood supports to complete the frame. Use clamps to hold the frame together as the glue dries.

Drill a hole through the back of the hardwood housing, or through the hardwood motor board, large enough to pass the cord of the DC motor.

Secure a piece of paper to the plywood disc using bulldog clips or alligator clips. Plug in the motor and, once the paper begins to spin, dribble bits of paint onto it and watch as colourful patterns begin to form.


Paint the outside of your spin art machine in your favourite colour but do not paint the inside because it will become paint-splattered after one or two uses. Make a spin art T-shirt by mounting a plain white T-shirt on the plywood disc. Slip a piece of cardboard inside the shirt before you begin to keep the paint from seeping through from front to back.


When your spin art machine is in use, paint will splatter so you may want to wear safety goggles to avoid getting paint in your eyes. Depending on the speed of the motor, the spinning paint may form a sort of mist in the air in and above the plywood housing. Only use your spin art machine in a well-ventilated or outdoor area.

Things You'll Need

  • Round direct current motor
  • 12-by-12-inch hardwood board
  • Hole saw or jigsaw
  • 6-inch plywood disc
  • Electric drill
  • Epoxy glue
  • Plywood sheets
  • Plywood scraps (1-by-1 inch diameter)
  • Hammer and nails or nail gun
  • Wood glue
  • Clamps (optional)
  • Bulldog clips or alligator clips
  • Paper
  • Paint
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About the Author

Katherine Barrington has written on a variety of topics, from arts and crafts to pets, health and do-it-yourself projects. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English with a creative writing concentration from Marietta College.