It takes science to create a top that spins well. The top must be balanced and the weight must be low to the ground. Adding weight to the top’s edge increases inertia (the resistance to change in motion) and causes it to spin faster.
Tops are fascinating and colourful toys that may be easily made from a few leftover pieces such as plastic lids and wood skewers. Make the top of the toy out of metal bits like washers for a longer-lasting toy. Create a gorgeous wood top that you can spin for days without it breaking if you’re excellent with wood crafts.
How to Make a Plastic Top
1. Trace the outline of a plastic lid onto a blank sheet of paper.
A plastic bottle cap or the lid of a coffee container are two nice top choices. If necessary, wash the lid with soap and water before placing it on a piece of white printing paper. Trace the shape of the lid on the paper with a pencil.
- The paper is used as a top embellishment. You can skip the paper and go straight to skewering the lid if you don’t want to decorate the top this way.
- Make toppers out of various materials. For something different, use CDs or metal cans. If you’re using a metal can, you may either leave it whole or use tin snips to cut it down to size.
2. With a pair of scissors, cut a circle out of the paper.
Cut carefully along the outline you traced with a sharp pair of scissors. Make the circle’s edges as smooth and even as possible. The paper will fit within the lid of the plastic container.
- Keep in mind that heavier, larger tops spin for longer. For greater spinning, try using larger lids and heavier paper.
- If you want to make several toppers, draw more circles on spare paper. To avoid destroying the outlines, carefully cut the paper.
3. Fold the paper in half, then open it and fold it again.
Make two independent folds in the centre of the paper to create creases. Fold the paper horizontally with care, making sure the edges are aligned. Fold the paper in half vertically after opening it. In the middle of the paper, the creases from the folds will meet.
- Slowly fold the paper so that the wrinkles meet in the middle.
4. Place the paper inside the lid and poke a hole in both of them.
A thick piece of metal with a sharp edge, such as a nail or a wood burning tool, is required. Aim the tool at the paper’s centre. Push it down until a small hole appears in the plastic lid while holding it in place. Wiggling the metal item or slamming the back end of it with a hammer can often help it break through the plastic.
- If you didn’t use paper to mark the centre of the can, you can find it by measuring the diameter of the can.
- If the paper is getting in the way, remove it. The nail may rip the paper if you have trouble piercing the plastic.
- Other tools may be used in the hole-making process. Use the point of a utility knife to make it. Thicker lids are often punctured with thick needles or metal skewers.
5. Through the hole in the plastic, insert a toothpick or a wooden skewer.
If the paper isn’t already in the lid, firmly place it there. Then, approximately a third of the way through the lid, insert the wooden stick. For smaller toppers, such as those created from bottle caps, toothpicks work well. Get a skewer like the kind used to toast marshmallows over a campfire for larger tops like the ones fashioned from coffee can lids and the one used in these procedures.
- Wood skewers and toothpicks can be found online or at most supermarkets.
- If you want to shorten a skewer, use a sharp pair of scissors or a similar tool to cut off the end.
- Instead of a wood skewer, use a nail to make a top out of a metal object like a can. Hammer it through the centre of the metal.
6. Remove the paper and use markers and sequins to adorn it.
With permanent markers or other tools, create any design you want on the paper. Attach sequins or other ornaments to your top with a craft or fabric adhesive to add more flare. Apply a dot of glue to the embellishment with a toothpick, then stick it to the paper. To keep it balanced, scatter the embellishments evenly across the top.
- White PVA glue is suitable for youngsters to use while decorating the top, although it doesn’t last very long.
- Come up with other ways to dress up the top. Wrap coloured tape and pipe cleaners around the wood skewer to decorate the handle of the top, for example.
7. Attach the paper to the inside of the plastic lid using glue.
Place the lid with the open end facing up. Apply some adhesive to the interior of the lid. Although white PVA glue works nicely, epoxy is preferable for a longer-lasting finish. With a toothpick, spread the glue out as needed until it forms a thin coating. Then, with the decorations facing up, insert the paper in the lid.
- Because they don’t get in the way of the decorations, transparent glues are ideal for this project.
- You won’t be able to fit the wood skewer in place unless the holes in the plastic and paper are aligned.
8. Return the wood skewer to its original position through the paper and plastic.
Push the toothpick or skewer through the lid until it’s about a third of the way through. Check to see if the paper ornamentation is still in place. After that, check to see if the skewer fits tightly inside the plastic hole you produced. Remove it and expand the hole with a thick needle if it doesn’t fit nicely.
- Spread some glue around the skewer to fill in the gaps if it fits too loosely in the hole. It’s preferable to use hot glue or epoxy.
9. Allow at least 2 hours for the glue to dry before spinning the top.
The top will tempt you to spin it right away, but if you wait, it will last longer! Place the top on a counter that is open to the elements. Allow the glue to dry for 24 hours for a firmer bond. After that, spin the top in brilliant colours!
- The amount of time it takes for the glue to dry is determined on the type of adhesive you use. When epoxy glue is left alone for up to 72 hours, it performs better.
- If you don’t give the glue enough time to dry, decorations like sequins will fall off. Before rotating the top, double-check that they’re securely attached to the paper.
What can I do to get my top to spin faster?
To begin spinning the top, spin it as straight up and down as possible. Any deviation from a completely straight up and down will result in a faster loss of energy as the top will go in a circular pattern until it finds its balance. This causes the Schulte to slow down faster than it would if it were spinning in position.
How do you maintain the momentum of a spinning top?
A top’s angular momentum must change from pointing vertically (up or down, depending on which direction it’s spinning) to pointing sideways in order for it to fall over. In a nutshell, tops stay upright because they violate angular momentum if they topple over.