How to build a small water wheel

How to build a small water wheel. How to make a water wheel with cups, jars and plates. How to make a water wheel for a pond.

You might be wondering what the heck a “water wheel” is. The name is a little misleading — it’s not really a water wheel and it won’t power anything. Basically, the water wheel is a spinning disk made from plastic cups that your fish swim around on. The cups are held together by tubing. The tubing is tied to a vacuum operated by your aquarium pump under gravel substrate (in case you were wondering it won’t work in a fish tank), which simply sucks the cups forward and spins the disk.

How to build a small water wheel


1. A piece of cardboard, about 5 inches by 7 inches.

2. 2 paper cups.

3. 2 rubber bands about 10-12 inches long.

4. Duct tape or Super Glue.

5. 2 pens that can write on the cardboard (I used Sharpies).

6. A ruler and pencil or pen for drawing straight lines and making measurements on the cardboard sheet.

7. Optional: A camera and tripod to take pictures of your project as you build it so you can follow along with these instructions later!

How to Make a Water Wheel With Cups

A simple water wheel is a great project for kids. It can be made with readily available materials and is a good introduction to the principles of physics.

What You Need

2 cups, 1 sheet of paper, scissors and tape

Step 1: Cut the Paper Into Circles

Cut out two identical circles from your piece of paper. The circles should be about an inch (2.5 cm) in diameter. You can use any size, but this size works well because it’s easy to cut with scissors and fits nicely on top of a cup.

Building a Waterwheel that Pumps During a Drought | Back to the Land

Step 2: Tape One Circle onto Each Cup

Tape one circle onto each cup so that it covers about half of the bottom circumference of the cup. Use enough tape to secure it tightly against the insides of both cups but not so much that you make them difficult to turn over when you’re finished. If you have too much tape on one side, just remove some before moving on to step 3.

You can make a simple water wheel with just a few supplies and in less than an hour. The basic design consists of a wheel, a cup and some string attached to the top of the cup. As the water flows over the cup, it spins the wheel. The water then exits through one or more holes drilled in the sides of your wheel.

The materials needed for this project are inexpensive:

A large plastic cup from a fast food restaurant or grocery store (1)

A small plastic bowl (1)

Shoelaces or other strong cord about 6 inches long (3)

A drill with bits for drilling holes in plastic

You’ll also need scissors and masking tape.

Here’s how to make a waterwheel. You can use this project to teach kids about simple machines, physics, and how to recycle old materials.

The supplies you’ll need include:

A plastic cup (the larger the better)

A thin dowel or piece of PVC pipe (the longer the better)

A ruler or yardstick

Construction adhesive such as E6000

1/4-inch dowels or wooden skewers for axles

How to make a water wheel for a pond

This is an easy project that kids will enjoy. The water wheel is made from plastic cups and string, and it runs on the current from the hose.


Plastic cups (any size)

String or wire


Step 1: Prepare the cup by cutting off the bottom of one cup with a knife so it sits flat on the table. Cut off the top of another cup so it only has one hole in the middle of it. You can also use two cups without holes if you prefer.

Step 2: Tie one end of your string around one cup and then tie a knot in the other end of your string so it doesn’t slip off when you pull on it. Next, tie one end of your string around another cup and then tie a knot in the other end of your string so it doesn’t slip off when you pull on it. Your goal is to have two separate strings attached to two separate cups but not tied together yet.

Step 3: Hold both strings at once and place them over your thumb as shown below (this makes them easier to work with). Then pull both strings down at once until they reach their

How to make a water wheel for a pond:

1.Make a hole in the center of the round object and put it on the top of your container, then drill holes around it to attach the string that will hold the wheel.

2.Use cup hooks or screws to attach the cups on each side of the wheel.

3.Attach a long piece of string or rope through each hole so that it connects all four cups together.

4.Tie one end of your string to an edge of your container, then trace out how much space you want between each cup and cut it off at that length with scissors.

5.Test out your water wheel by pouring water into your container and making sure all four cups fill up before attaching any weights to them!

You can make a water wheel for your pond or fish tank with just a few items that you probably already have around the house.

Water wheels are easy to make and provide hours of entertainment for children and adults alike. The water wheel provides a gentle current to help keep the water clean in your pond or aquarium, but it also makes an attractive addition to the backyard landscape.

You can make this project out of plastic cups and straws, or use materials that won’t be harmful to the fish if they get sucked into the wheel.

To build your own water wheel, you’ll need:

Plastic cups (about 100)

Straws (about 50)

Rubber bands (about 20)

How to Make a Water Wheel

You will need:

2 cups (1 pint) of water

1 tablespoon of honey or corn syrup

A small saucer, plate or other flat surface that will float on the water and turn easily. A paper plate is ideal. You can also use an upturned plastic cup, but it must be large enough to fit over the end of the stick.

A long, thin stick or branch that is at least 4 inches long and less than 1/2-inch in diameter. A straight twig from any tree will work as well.

A rubber band or piece of string, stringing needle or cork for holding the saucer in place on the end of the stick.

Step 1: The base

Building a Waterwheel that Pumps During a Drought | Back to the Land

1. Cut four pieces of wood that are about 12 inches long and one piece that is 24 inches long. The exact length of these can vary depending on the size of your wheel. You can use any type of wood but be sure it’s strong enough to hold up your wheel.

2. Drill a hole through each corner of the 24 inch piece (the base) and screw in a wood screw on each side. These screws will be used to attach the other pieces of wood to this base later on in the steps.

3. Cut another piece of wood that is 12 inches long and drill a hole through each corner of it as well as one near the middle (see photo). This will be used to attach the bucket later on in this instructable so make sure you leave enough room for that!

4. Cut a third piece of wood that is 18 inches long and drill a hole at the center point on both sides (see photo). You’ll need this step later on when attaching your bucket back onto your wheel after making it spin!

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