Guest Post: DIY Pinwheels by Kelly

March 21, 2011

Hey all! I am so stoked to have our FIRST DIY here at 508!! These pin­wheels TOTALLY made the photo shoot for No. 11.…and my lovely friend Kelly is here {from Kel­lan Stu­dios} to share how to make this awe­some­ness hap­pen! Do you remem­ber these guys that posed with No. 11? Sweeeet!

No. 11

Take it away Kelly!
Let me start out this post with a few disclaimers.

A-I am not the first to make these, nor is this the only way
B-I craft like I cook and sew…..very lit­tle mea­sur­ing or precision….just a “go with the gut and wing it” kinda girl.
C-This is not rocket science.

Step 1: Gather Tools– (Truly the pen and the straight edge mea­surer are just for looks for me. I have no inten­tion of using them but if you are anal about measurements…..USE THEM!) I have selec­tive analness… my pil­lows always have to be straight on the couch…..cutting craft­ing paper in half…I just wing it! HAHA….good start to my tuto­r­ial right?

Large Pinwheel Tutorial

Step 2: Gather Sup­plies– BIG HUGE IMPORTANT DETAIL….when mak­ing the OVERSIZED 12 inch diam­e­ter pin­wheels you need TWO sheets of the 12 inch scrap­book paper. Buy dupli­cates or scrap­book pack­ets that have mul­ti­ples. A pack­age of 12 inch long dow­els. A spool of twine. Over­sized but­tons. These hap­pen to be ones I pressed and cut from poly­mere clay…but any kind will do. (Yes be impressed by me for a moment) I don’t iron my shirts, but I make my own but­tons. I don’t get me either!

Large Pinwheel Tutorial

Step 3: Cut Strips and Fold Accor­dion Style– I rec­om­mend lin­ing the pat­terns up on your two sheets of paper and fold­ing or “mea­sur­ing” them in half and cut in the same direc­tion so your pat­tern con­tin­ues end to end to end to end for 48 inches! Stack all 4 strips on top of each other and fold in either a 1/4, 1/2 or 1 inch bend. If you are mak­ing mul­ti­ple pin­wheels it looks really cool vary­ing the fold width. (**Note…have glue gun plugged in so it is ready to roll shortly)

Large Pinwheel Tutorial

Step 4: Sta­ple or use per­ma­nent adhe­sive squares. (Use a dis­crete amount of sta­ples). Sta­ple all the way around until you make a full cir­cle. The accor­dion will stand upright like a lamp­shade. This is where it gets very tricky to lay the paper design side down. You need to “man­han­dle” it and show it whose boss. I kid you not. That thing will spring up in your face and cause great frustration.

Large Pinwheel Tutorial

Step 5: Flat­ten Pinwheel/Insert Dowel– With one hand you need to hold it steady while you get your glue gun ready. The dowel is the KEY to the sta­bil­ity of the pin­wheel. One this large does not want to lay flat with­out the extra sup­port, espe­cially if you are using them out­side and wind is involved. You will thank me later!

Large Pinwheel Tutorial

Step 6: Glue the snot out of it– You will win no prizes for aes­thetic rea­sons on the back­side of your pinwheel….but you will have a sturdy pin­wheel in the end. If you really want to go the extra step you could cut out a 12 inch wide cir­cle and glue it flat over the back to cover up all the mish mash of adherent.

Large Pinwheel Tutorial

Step 7: Glue on But­ton– put a lot of extra glue on the cen­ter point under the but­ton as well as on the back of the but­ton and hold firmly for a good 1–2 min­utes until glue is absolutely cooled.

Large Pinwheel Tutorial

Step 8: Hang up and Enjoy– I just hole punched and added twine.

Large Pinwheel Tutorial

It is really easy to string mul­ti­ples like we did for the One Lit­tle Dove Shoot.

One Little Dove Editorial Headpiece & Fascinators

One Little Dove Editorial Headpiece & Fascinators

You can also make your large pin­wheels have babies very easily.

Large Pinwheel Tutorial

How cute are these mini’s?! Glu­ing a tooth­pick as a dowel and an addi­tional tooth­pick as a poker…they made adorable cup­cake toppers!

Chloe's 4th b-day/Special day visiting horses

There you have it! Hope that was help­ful. Be pre­pared for a lit­tle bit of a learn­ing curve so don’t waste your favorite paper on the first one!



Thank you sooooooooo much for shar­ing, Kelly! I love this one!
Now get to work peo­ple! And send pics if you try it!


DIY Pinwheels by Kelly" class="pin-it-button" count-layout="horizontal">Pin It
  • M. Mor­gan

    Gor­geous! And I have plenty of scrap­book paper! Thanks for such great directions!

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