First, you need to buy the materials at a craft store like Hobby Lobby or Michael's. What are the materials, you ask? A toy wooden wheel, a dowel rod, and an eye hook or cup hook.
|Materials--dowels, wheels, hooks|
The wheel diameter should be 2½-3". The hole in the wheel and the diameter of the dowel should each be ¼". If you use an eye hook, you'll need to open it up with pliers. Pliers are also useful for holding the hook while screwing it into the dowel, but you can screw the hook in without them.
Now push the wheel onto the dowel, hopefully without much trouble. You may need wood glue if the fit is loose. All of ours last night were tight, and we had to tap them into place, about 1½" from the end of the dowel. Then start screwing the eye hook or cup hook into the end of the dowel (now called the shaft) closest to the wheel (now called the whorl). This took us a few minutes. Pliers helped the job go faster.
|Close-up of drop spindle end|
|Finished drop spindle|
The whole project took maybe 30 minutes. We forgot the cost of the hooks, but we believe it cost less than a dollar to make one. We included the links below for different instructions for making drop spindles.