Toy Compass


Recently, I had need for a toy compass to aid me in some of my schooling. I knew that I would need it throughout the school year so I decided to make one that would at least last the semester. The end result of my piddling around is this lovely toy compass. You can share it with your children, use it as a geography teaching tool, or any number of things.

What You’ll Need:

  • Paper print out of a compass face and of a compass needle (you can print them out from this post)
  • Cardboard
  • Crystal clear tape
  • A glue stick and liquid glue
  • Some thread (sewing thread works well)
  • A tack
  • A sewing needle
  • Scissors

The Process:

First, you will need the paper print outs of the compass and needle (you can always just go online and find images of compasses and print out your compass face from there as well if you are looking for a less cartoon style design). comp

Using scissors, cut out the compass face and the needle.SAMSUNG CSC

Lay the compass face on the card board and trace a square around it.



Now cut out the squares.


Next, using a pencil, trace a circle around the compass on one of the cardboard squares. Then cut out the circular shape. I put the compass face down so that no pencil marks would get on it as I traced the circle.


Carefully cut out the first circle with scissors (please do not cut yourself). Once you’ve cut out the first cardboard circle use it to trace circles on the rest of the card board squares you have cut out. This is easier than tracing a circle around a thin piece of paper.


After you have cut out all the circles begin gluing them together.


Try to line up the edges as neatly as possible that way your compass looks tidy.


Using a glue stick (that way the paper doesn’t get damp and crinkly) cover the entire back surface of the paper compass face in glue and affix it to the cardboard circles.



Locate the little paper needle of your compass and use tape to laminate and strengthen it.


I pulled a strip of tape and laid the needle on top of the sticky side.


Then I took another strip of tape and laid that over the top of the needle sticky sides together.


Then use scissors to cut it out leaving a small edge for the tape to remain sticking together.


The end product should look something like that! After you have completed those steps you are ready for the final gauntlet of compass making. Locate the center-most point on the compass and use a push pin (a tack) to stab a hole through the layers of cardboard. You may need to stab from both sides and also the needle. (Pro-tip: stab through the needle first then stab through the other layers separately)




This ensures that the whole goes all the way through the layers of cardboard. Next thread a sewing needle and thread a bead onto it. (Pro-tip: I used heavy duty thread) Now sew the needle onto the compass using the bead as the “spinner.”


I went up through the bottom (the side without the compass face).


Then I threaded the compass’s needle on and added the bead.


Then I went back through the needle’s hole (but not the bead’s hole). As well as the hole of the compass face and back through to the back of the compass.


I pulled it taught and tied the two strings in a bunch of knots so that they couldn’t be pulled through the hole and onto the other side, thus affixing the needle to the compass face successfully. The needle is free to spin.



Next I used a large piece of tape to affix the loose threads to the back of the compass. This concludes our toy compass tutorial.

Glamour shots…



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