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DIY Wedding Pinwheels

My first crafting blog post!  I want to share how I went about creating these whimsical and colorful over-sized pinwheels that we used to outline the aisle for our wedding ceremony.

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Awww…our awesome ceremony location.  Minimal decorations needed.

 

pinwheels

Here are some of our large pinwheels up close.  Each one was different.

Making these are easy. But getting them to actually spin was a bit tricky for me.  I played around with a few designs, but found the best way to get the pinwheel to freely spin…was using a wine cork.  Follow along…

Here’s what you need:

  • Paper! Cardstock weight works best, not too thin, not to thick.  Whatever paper you use, has to be cut into a perfect square (or already come that way)
  • Spray craft glue
  • Pencil with eraser
  • Ruler
  • Exacto knife
  • 1/8” hole punch
  • Brad nails (not actual brads, but the little small, thin nails).  It needs to have a bit of head to it.
  • Buttons (with holes just big enough for the nail base to go through, but not the head)
    • Each pinwheel needs two buttons
  • 1/4” dowel (the thickness depends on how large your plan to make your pinwheel – the bigger the pinwheel, the thicker the dowel).
    • In terms of height, the dowel we used was at least 3ft tall – since we wanted them to stick high out of the ground
  • Wine cork with a hole drilled in the bottom just enough for the dowel to fit nice and snug in there.
  • Optional: Hot glue gun and decorative item to hide the button (I found these cute silver heart brads at Michaels.  I just snapped off the brad part)

Here’s what you do with all this stuff:

1. I used 12 x 12 craft paper.  For each pinwheel, I chose two complimentary colors and some even had Hawaii-theme designs.

2. Glue the two pieces of paper together – so that each side shows the color/design you want.  This is where the spray craft glue is critical. It’s a bit messy and sticky, so do this in a well-ventilated area, but also where you have space to lay things out.

3. Using a ruler, find the exact center and mark it.  Eventually you’ll need to poke a hole through the center.  (I used a small thin brad nail, as it needed to be strong enough to go through two sheets of paper)

4. As you’d typically construct a pinwheel – at each corner, you need to cut a straight line about 1/2 way from the corner to the center.  I marked each endpoint, and then used a ruler and Exacto knife to make a perfect and straight line.  (Some templates have you cut down nearly to the center.  Just figure out what works best for your pinwheel).

5. Using a 1/8” hole punch, I punched a hole in each corner.  Make sure to place the hole on the same flap side (because each corner is cut and now has two flaps).  (The asterisks you see in above diagram).

6. Now this is where it gets tricky.  Take your nail and “thread” it through a button.  Fold over your flaps so the holes meet in the center hole.  Take the nail (with the button) and insert that into the hole.  You should have a full pin wheel and the nail is helping you hold it together)

7. Now take another button and slide it over the nail on the opposite side.  (You should have a button on both sides now)

8. Take your pinwheel (that you are still holding) and the wine cork.  Push very hard the nail into the wine cork.  Have it go as deep as possible.  This is why you need a shorter nail, otherwise it’ll just pierce through to the other side.

9. You can now insert the dowel into the end of the cork where you’ve previously drilled a hole.

10. You should now have a fully assembled pinwheel!  AND You should be able to hold it and spin it.  The button nearest the wine cork, gives the pinwheel just enough space so that it will spin without hitting the dowel.  (If you didn’t have the button or some other spacer, the pinwheel wouldn’t spin very easily.  Now, if you could care less about that…then you can just hot glue the pinwheel directly to the dowel).

11. To hide the button on the front, I took a small silver heart and glued it on the button.

There you go!

We also did paper pinwheels instead of flowers for our reception room.  These did NOT spin.  We kept these much simpler.  Three colors, but not double-sided.  Three different sizes.  And each glued to a small dowel).

We did use the silver heart brads to keep the pinwheel flaps together.

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Since we were going for a whimsical feel – we used mason jars filled with beach sand and arranged three pinwheels per jar.  It was so cute!

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