If you make french beaded flowers or for any other reason need to string large amounts of beads of one colour or in random sequence, a bead spinner is invaluable. There are some very beautiful bead spinners on the market but their price reflects the works of art that they are. This bead spinner works great and the materials cost me well under $10 Canadian. You can make multiple bowls for different colours of beads and switch from one to another very easily. In this version you don't even need any tools.
These are the materials you need to make this bead spinner. I got most of these at the local dollar store. There are 2 wooden decoupage panels. One is slightly smaller than the other, but they can both be the same size. There's a packet of self-stick velcro pads. I got circular ones, but you could use strips and cut them to shape. The small wooden bowl was originally a basket - I cut the wicker top off - I don't suggest this as a perfect bowl - the beads sometimes pop out the little holes - but I liked the look of the wood. Each of these cost $1. The main part of the spinner is the small, 3-inch lazy susan plate. You can get these at a hardware store like Home Depot. That cost $1.75 So that's a total of $5.75 Canadian.
The only tools you need are a pencil and a ruler or measuring tape. You need scissors if you're using velcro that needs cutting to size.
The first step is to center the lazy susan plate on the base panel for the bead spinner. The base should be right-side up. You can do this mathematically or just by moving the plate around until all the edges of the base sticking out are the same size.
Now, just mark the position of the plate by drawing around it with the pencil. Double check your measurements.
Repeat the centering and marking steps with the decoupage panel that will be the top of your bead spinner. But this time centre and mark on the BOTTOM of the panel (ie. set the panel upside down while you centre and mark)
Stick the velcro pads in the corners of one side of the lazy susan plate, making sure they don't interfere with the spinning part. Then stick the opposite side of the velcro pad in the corners of the base where you marked the plate position.
Line up the lazy susan plate and the base of your spinner, so that the velcro pads meet and press them together tightly.
Apply your velcro pads to the other side of the lazy susan plate and the bottom side of the top panel of the bead spinner.
Line up the velcro on the lazy susan and the bead spinner top, and press together tightly.
Next, you need to centre the bowl on the bead spinner. This is a very important step. If you don't centre the bowl properly, you'll have a wiggle every time you spin your beads. The spinner will still work if you're off a little, but I promise you, a wiggle will irritate you every time you use the bead spinner.
Mark the position of the centred bowl on the spinner base. I make it a heavy mark, so that it remains visible. It makes it a lot easier to centre the bowls when I'm switching from one to another.
Apply velcro pads to the marked area of your bead spinner top and to the bottom of your bowl. I use a cross pattern because it's easy to stick the pads down so they align correctly.
Line up the velcro pads and press the bowl onto the spinner. You're done! Pour beads into the bowl and start spinning.
Need help with using the spinner? There's a short movie clip and some tips on how to use the spinner here