These DIY pinwheels start with a simple printable template that comes in three sizes. We upcycled past art projects into colorful paper pinwheels that really work!
Supplies to make paper pinwheels….
In order to make paper pinwheels the absolute basics you’ll need are paper, a pencil with an eraser, a straight pin, and scissors. Depending on what you have available and your vision for your paper pinwheel there’s plenty of ways to customize your creation!
We decided to make our pinwheels out of painted paper from past watercolor technique explorations. These DIY paint scraper painted papers would be another fun project to turn into a paper pinwheel. Really, any paper that’s full of color and texture adds a whole new element to your pinwheel craft! And I don’t know about your house but I Have stacks of special artwork that my kiddos made. Making kids artwork into something new instead of saving it in a drawer somewhere gives it new life! Even if it doesn’t last forever I love seeing things made by their little hands out and being enjoyed!
A paper pinwheel template in two sizes…
So, I made you a pinwheel template in two different sizes. If you’re not upcycling artwork or special patterned scrapbook paper this is a super easy way to get your pinwheel started. Print your template out and add any hand drawn patterns or colors before you cut! Then cut out the square shape and cut on diagonal lines from corners inward.
Using washable markers or crayons on the printed pinwheel template could be an easy and mess free craft for any age!
Get the pinwheel template here…
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Creating your own paper pinwheel shapes….
While I did create paper pinwheel template for you- you don’t necessarily need it. That’s right- you can do this on your own. Especially if you’re upcycling old artwork it may be easier just to draw the shape right onto your paper as opposed to trying to print the template and transfer the marks.
Here’s the basics of the shapes you’ll need to draw. Start with a square, any size. Lightly draw diagonal lines that intersect in the middle. Mark about one inch out from the center on each line.
Making your paper pinwheel pop…
Whether you use the provided template or you free hand the shape the next steps are the same. Cut on the diagonal lines starting at the corners. Stop before reaching the center. Poke a straight pin through on end of each of the four corners at a time. If you’re using the template I made a dot for you to follow- you’re basically making every other corner meet in the middle. Poke the straight pin through one layer at a time and then through the very center of the entire pinwheel.
Put a perler bead (super cheap plastic beads that you probably have in your junk drawer) onto the back of the pinwheel, holding tight to it all the time. (If you’re working with little artists this part may take an extra hand or two. There are a lot of parts to hold as well as a sharp pin!)
Sink the end of the pin into the eraser of a pencil. The perler bead will act as a spacer between the pinwheel itself and the stick you’ll hold on to, or the pencil. If you don’t have a perler bead you can still make a paper pinwheel. It just acts as a nice spacer!
Such pretty paper pinwheels…
I love these paper pinwheels both as a craft and as a prop or as a display. Your kiddos will have just as much fun playing with them as they had making them!
And I love using kids artwork in a fun and playful way! If you’re looking for more ways to upcycle your kiddo’s stack of artwork try this paper basket weaving with a printable template to get you started! This Matisse inspired cut paper collage is another great place to use up bits and pieces of colorful artwork!