Prize wheels are always great fun, no matter what you're doing: hosting a little game show, having a draw, even doing a bit of impromptu gambling... nobody can resist the allure of the prize wheel. Especially if it's some massive wheel like on The Price is Right or Wheel of Fortune.
Can you make a prize wheel similar to the ones on television shows? Probably not. You can still make a nifty little thing of your own, however, at minimal cost. You'll need the following to make a prize wheel:
- A piece of thin plywood, or two pre-cut wooden circle
- A bottom wooden base
- A central spoke, either wood or metal (preferably metal)
- Numerous smaller, rounded pieces of wood
- Several pieces of bendable material - more construction paper should work fine
- A packet of construction paper
- Wood glue
- A marker
The steps for assembling the wheel are as follows:
1.) Cut a large circle out of your plywood using a circular saw. Note that if you don't have a circular saw, it's not that hard to find pre-cut circles at hardware stores.
2.) Use a dremmel to cut a small hole out of the middle of the circle. You want it to roughly accommodate the spoke you've procured.
3.) Use wood glue to attach the spoke to the base. If your spoke is metal, affix it with brackets and screws instead.
4.) Set the circle, your wheel, on top of the spoke. Attach a rubber cap to the top of the spoke so the wheel doesn't fly off when spun. Test the wheel's spinning ability; if it doesn't spin properly, put some polished metal beneath the wheel and the base.
5.) Attach the smaller wooden poles at spaced intervals around the wheel. Then, using a ruler, draw lines to the central spoke to denote the different prize sections.
6.) If desired, you can cut up the construction paper to fill in these gaps and make them look more interesting. You can also paint the intervals, if you wish.
7.) Attach another pole, at one end of the base, that's slightly taller than the rest. Affix something that will bend but offers some resistance, like folded cardboard. This will serve as your ticker which will stop the wheel from turning and choose a prize.
8.) Choose your prize sections accordingly and try it out.
There! You have a ready and working prize wheel. So long as you don't affix anything permanent to it, you can keep it for several occasions and change the prizes rather easily.