Giving Handmade Pinwheels a Spin

Violet can’t walk past a display of pinwheels in a store without having to pick up one (or two, or three) and blow on it, delighting when she actually gets it to spin.  I’m with Violet; pinwheels are pretty darn cool.

Ever made one yourself?  I have.

Want to know how?  It’s easy.

First, start with a square piece of paper.  I used 6-inch square double-sided scrapbook paper.

Next, from each corner, cut toward the middle without actually reaching the center of the paper.  I stopped the scissors just short of an inch from the middle.  You now have what looks like four triangles, joined together in the center.  Cut the tip off of one corner of each triangle; this is the corner that will be in the center of your pinwheel.

The next step is to get those clipped corners in the center of the pinwheel and keep them there.  I tried this a few different ways.  I had the most luck when I took my metal brad, poked it through the first corner, then gathered the next corner that would go in the center and poked the brad through it as well.  I continued poking the brad through each of the four corners, then poked it through the center of the piece of paper.

Meanwhile, I had cut a 2-inch piece off a plastic straw.  I used my paper-piercing tool to make a hole in the straw.  If you don’t have a piercing tool, you could probably just poke the brad through the straw.  If you’re having trouble, find a pin to make a guide hole in the straw first.

Poke the brad through the hole in the straw and open the tines.  I push the brad firmly onto my work surface to ensure it is open as far as it will go and is on securely.

I have a ton of wooden skewers left over from last year’s kabob-season.  I fit a skewer inside the piece of drinking straw and voila!  A pretty pinwheel.

Keep in mind that these pinwheels won’t spin.  If you want them to spin, you need to punch a round hole in all the poked-through pieces, so that the paper can easily move around the brad tines.  I was feeling lazy this afternoon and didn’t care enough to do this step.  I’m working more for aesthetics and not function right now.

I love how easy these pretty things are to make.  I made five of them at the kitchen table while Mom pushed Violet on the swing this afternoon.  Then I slaved over a hot stove for hours.

Not quite.  It was leftovers for dinner.

Looking at these pinwheels makes me want to grab a balloon and a kite and go outside into the warm Spring air.  How have you been enjoying the Spring weather?  Or are you one of the “lucky” ones who got snowed on just a few days ago?

I can’t wait to hear from you!



4 responses to “Giving Handmade Pinwheels a Spin

  1. Oooo, so pretty! I wish I was as crafty as you are! I know you will say I can be, but honestly you are much more creative than I could ever dream of! Plus I’m pretty darn lazy! 🙂

    Bring some of that warm Spring air with you to Michigan please?! It is rather brisk here!

  2. wow! That was so easy, and I have to admit that I feel just a little silly that I haven’t attempted this before! Thanks for sharing this quick how to and inspiring me to make about a hundred for scrapbook embellishments! what other tricks you got up that super-crafty sleeve of yours???

    • Yay!! I turned on my computer this morning and found your wonderful comments! Thank you! Considering that my daughter woke up on the wrong side of the bed (again), I wish you and I could sit and enjoy our coffee together.
      What else do I have up my sleeve? When I pull it out and find out for myself, I’ll let you know!

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