Media & Techniques

Make Your Own Magnetic Color Wheel

Magnetic Color Wheel
When I started teaching, I began running into issues communicating the color wheel and color theory to my students.  Despite a variety of teaching approaches, activities, and strategies, my students still struggled. As a result, I developed this easy, magnetic and movable color wheel.  I immediately saw results, and students were communicating and demonstrating their understanding.

With this tool, students can interact with and manipulate the color wheel.  Utilizing the magnets on the backs of the circles, they can sort colors into color families, and rearrange the wheel as necessary right on the whiteboard!  It has become essential to all my lessons related to color.  Color theory is now salient, retained, and accessible for each of my students.

If you’d like to make your very own, follow the simple steps below!


What you’ll need:

–          Paint of your choice 

–          Paper or tagboard 

–          Adhesive magnetic tape

–          Small, medium and large circular templates

–          Option to laminate


What you’ll do:


  1. Trace 3 large circles, 3 medium circles, and 6 small circles onto paper or thin tagboard (Using different sizes helps drive home concepts even better!)

  3. Paint the 3 large circles with the primary colors: red, yellow, blue

  5. Mix and paint the 3 medium circles with the secondary colors: green, orange, violet

  7. Mix and paint the 6 small circles with the intermediate colors: blue-green, yellow-green, yellow-orange, red-orange, red-violet, blue-violet

  9. Let the circles dry

  11. Cut out each painted circle

  13. Laminate

  15. Attach 2-3 inch pieces of magnetic adhesive tape to the backs of the circles. (You can find it at office supply stores!)

TA-DA! You’ve made your own magnetic color wheel set!

(If you’d like, you can take this one step further and create circles in tints, shades, tones and neutrals!)




What visuals do you use to teach color? We’d love to know! 

What’s your favorite color theory teaching tool?


Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.


Alecia Eggers Kaczmarek

Alecia Eggers Kaczmarek, an elementary school art educator, is a former AOEU Writer. She is passionate about teaching and reaching students through an innovative and meaningful arts education.

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