Make a Giant Wacky Colour Wheel

If you like the evocative names of paint colours (“Air Force Blue”, “Harvest Gold”, “Wild Strawberry” etc), then why not make a Giant Wacky Colour Wheel?

It’s really simple:

Step 1. Get a large piece of cardboard.

Cut the cardboard into 3 discs as shown below.  The large disc can be anywhere from 20cm up to a metre in diameter (depending on how big you want your wheel to be).  Your two smaller discs should be the same size, about 7-8cm smaller in diameter than the larger disc, and one of them should have a couple of slots around its edge.


Step 2. Attach the discs together.

Now take a brass fastener as shown below:

Brass fastener (a type of metal clip)

Make a hole in the middle of each disc, and use the fastener to attach the small discs on top of the larger one (with the slotted one uppermost), so that the discs can all spin freely, as shown below:

Step 3. Go wild with adjectives and nouns.

Write the nouns for your paint colour names around the outside of the middle wheel, and the names of adjectives around the rim of the middle wheel.

Step 4. (Optional, advanced technique).  Make an inner slot.

For extra wackiness, you can also create an inner slot, as shown in the picture below.  Create a smaller wheel and insert it between the top two discs, and write paint colour adjectives around its rim.  Then write some more paint colour nouns around the middle wheel, about halfway out from the center so that they will line up with the new wheel.  Finally cut out a long slot (or two!) in the uppermost wheel so that you can see your inner names.

Step 5.  Admire the finished product.

Spin the discs and make some neat paint colour names!


Top tips:

  • Use nice, hard cardboard to give your Wacky Wheel maximum robustness.
  • Try to use adjectives and nouns that will go well together.
  • You can write the adjectives and nouns before you assemble the discs to avoid bending the discs too much.
  • Decorate your topmost disc e.g. as shown above (with paint colour names from a real paint catalog).
  • Try not to poke yourself in the eye with the brass fastener.
  • Have a Wacky Colour Wheel party and give out prizes for the best colours generated by the wheel.

Other fun links:

Wikipedia’s list of colours.