Wednesday, January 16, 2013

DIY: Ferris Wheel

I've had a fascination with ferris wheels and old timey carnival themes for a while.  Put "old timey" in front of anything actually, and I'm there!  So when I thought about a 30th birthday party theme, I was natuarally inclined to sway towards a carnival.  Maybe that had something to do with all the cute pictures I had recently seen on Pinterest about carnival-themed weddings and first birthdays.  Yes, this party could have easily been a girl's first birthday, but I don't have a baby so I'll just go on record as saying it's a perfect 30th birthday theme for a lady.  But I didn't want any of that red and white mumbo jumbo.  Instead, I wanted a plethora of peaches, pinks, and aquas to meet sparkling silver and gold colors.  So now that you have the back story on why I chose the theme, you should also know that I had an unfinished ferris wheel hidden behind the couch in my craft room for about 6 months.  I had lost interest in it before, but I felt a renewed surge of energy to finish the project and make this wheel spin!.  I'm sorry I don't have better pictures of each step.  I wasn't sure if it would work out, so I didn't document the process very well along the way. 

Supplies:  Wheaties box, 2 Crystal Light canisters, and a wooden dowel.

Step 1:  I eat Wheaties every morning.  And I mean every morning.  Have I mentioned before that I am a total creature of habit?  Well, Wheaties isn't just the breakfast of champions, it also makes some pretty sweet wheels for your ferris wheel.  I cut up a Wheaties box and laid it out flat and drew a giant circle on each side, using a plate for guidance.  Then I just used a ruler to draw in the spokes of the wheel.  Using an exacto knife, I cut out the space between the spokes.
Step 2:  Then I cut holes above each spoke using an exacto knife.  These holes are what the dowel rod will fit into, so make sure they're big enough for the rod.  Also put a hole in the middle of the wheel.  Next, I spray painted the wheels.  It takes quite a few coats since one side of each wheel is covered with the Wheaties logo.  You could use a plain cardboard piece to fix that. 
Step3:  Then cut your dowel rod into equal pieces and paint if you like.  I just used a craft paint, which worked well.  Then put the painted dowel pieces into the holes you punched in Step 2.  Cut a longer piece for the hole in the middle of the wheels since that is what the ferris wheel will be resting on.
Step 4:  Now it's time to create the objects that the ferris wheel will be resting on so that it can spin.  I used 2 old cannisters of Crystal Light, but you could use anything for this as long as it keeps the wheels in the air.  I just wrapped the cannisters with tissue paper and tape/glued in place.  You're done!  You have a cool statement piece that is 100% customizable and can be fun all year round!

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