How to Make Paper Pinwheels

Use old book pages, flash cards, scrapbook paper or even sheet music to make these sweet pinwheels that can bring a festive, playful touch to parties and holidays. They're a snap to make so you can whip up an entire bouquet of them to display in flowerpots, baskets, buckets or pitchers.  

Paper Pinwheels

Paper Pinwheels

Use old book pages, flash cards, scrapbook paper or even sheet music to make these sweet pinwheels that can bring a festive or playful touch to parties and holidays. Make an entire bouquet of them and display in flowerpots, baskets, buckets or pitchers.

Photo by: Marian Parsons

Marian Parsons

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Materials Needed

  • 5/16" dowel rod cut to 12"-14" long (one per pinwheel)
  • paper that's printed on both sides
  • silver head upholstery tacks
  • hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • white school or craft glue
  • 1/2" flat artist brush
  • glitter
  • ruler
  • scissors
  • hammer
  • paper cutter (optional)

Cut Paper

Cut pieces of paper to 4-1/2" square for small pinwheels or 6-1/2" square for large (Image 1). Use a sharp pair of scissors to cut from the diagonal on each corner about halfway to the center (Image 2). Repeat on all four corners.

Glitter Edges 

Use a small artist's brush to apply white school or craft glue to outside edges of paper (Image 1). Sprinkle glitter over wet glue until coated (Image 2). Tip: Shake excess glitter off into a container so it can be saved for later use.

Fold In Points

Preheat hot glue gun. Apply dab of hot glue to the pinwheel's front center (Image 1). Attaching one corner at a time, add a dab of glue, then fold paper into the center (Images 2 and 3). Tip: Press and hold corners in place with the end of a pen or pencil to prevent hot glue burns.

Add Extra Sparkle

Apply white school or craft glue to the newly exposed edges of pinwheel and sprinkle glitter over wet glue. Tip: Handle carefully as glue is drying.

Apply More Glitter

Apply More Glitter

Apply white school or craft glue to newly exposed edges of pinwheel and sprinkle glitter over wet glue. Tip: Handle carefully as glue is drying.

Photo by: Marian Parsons

Marian Parsons

Finishing Touches

Cut a 5/16" dowel to about 12"-14" in length. (This can be done at home with a hand saw or at a hardware store.) Press silver upholstery tack gently into dowel, about 3/4" down from the top (Image 1). Tap tack gently in with hammer, so it goes mostly through the dowel without coming out the other side (Image 2). Tip: Tap tack in slowly, being careful to not split the dowel. Remove tack from the dowel and push it through center of pinwheel, then press into dowel's pilot hole you just created (Image 3). Note: Don't push it in too far, so the pinwheels have room to spin (Image 4). These are for indoor use only, since they're made out of paper.

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