How to Make Pinwheel Flowers

How to Make Pinwheel Flowers
pinwheel flowers photo
Do you remember playing with pinwheels as a kid? Well, these classic paper toys make cheerful and affordable décor too. Go through your stash of patterned paper and washi tape, round up some eyelets and thumbtacks, grab some pencils, raid your kitchen for paper cups, and let’s get started!

You will need (for one pinwheel flower):

* Patterned paper, 3x3 inches (4 x4 inches for the larger pinwheel)
* Wooden dowel, roughly 4-3/4 inches long and ¼ inch in diameter (Or one wood pencil with eraser for the larger pinwheel)
* Paper cup (8 oz)
* Washi tape or deco tape
* Thumbtack
* Eyelet
* Corrugated cardboard
* Crepe or tissue paper
* Pebbles or marbles
* Hole punch
* Eyelet setter
* Glue
* Scissors
* Pencil
* Ruler

pinwheel flower photoMeasure, mark and cut your patterned paper to the indicated size. Draw lines along both diagonals of the square, and make a mark along each of the four lines, about ¼ inch from the intersection. Cut along the lines up to the mark to separate the pinwheel blades, then punch a hole right at the intersection. Punch a hole in the left corner of each blade, and then carefully bring each corner to the center so that all the holes are aligned. Insert an eyelet through the holes and set it in place.

Cover the wooden dowel (or pencil) with washi or deco tape, trimming off the excess. With the thumbtack, make a hole near one end of the dowel so that you can easily add the pinwheel later (If you are using a pencil, you can skip this step). Take the pinwheel, insert the thumbtack through the eyelet, and then carefully pin the pinwheel to the dowel into the hole you made earlier (If you’re using a pencil, simply attach the pinwheel by pushing the thumbtack into the eraser). Make sure that the thumbtack is secure enough so it doesn’t come off, but at the same time make sure it’s not too tight that it hinders the wheel from spinning. Test the pinwheel by blowing onto it or putting in front of an electric fan, blower, or the wind itself, and adjust the tightness of the thumbtack as needed. Make “leaves” by cutting strips of tape, folding the strips in half, sticky sides together, then attaching the ends to the dowel or pencil. Trim as desired.

Create the base for the pinwheel to make it stand upright in the paper cup. Cut a strip of corrugated cardboard 1 inch wide by 36 inches long, with the short side parallel to the ridges. Curl the corrugated cardboard strips with your fingers to break the fiber and make the cardboard easier to coil. Wrap one end of the strip twice around the dowel or pencil, remove the pencil, add a bit of glue to the coil, then continue rolling the strip until it’s wide enough to fit snugly into the paper cup, about half an inch from the rim. Cut off the excess cardboard, if any, then secure the end of the coil with glue.

Decorate the paper cup with washi or deco tape, trimming off any excess tape. Put some pebbles or marbles into the cup to weight it down, making sure they don’t push back against the base. Insert the dowel or pencil into the center of the base, then push down the base inside the cup. Shred some crepe or tissue paper, and use this to cover the base.

Set your pinwheel flowers on a window sill or on your porch to catch the breeze. Enjoy!

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