I spent ages looking for how to make durable, safe paper pinwheels that actually spun (and didn’t have bare pins poking out). In the end I mashed together the advice from about 8 tutorials online – and thought I’d make my own. Here’s what you need:
For 1 x pinwheel:
- 1 x double-sided patterned paper (6″ x 6″ works well)
- 1 x paper drinking straw
- 1 x 25mm paper fastener (brad / butterfly fastener)
- 4mm holepunch
- 4mm eyelet setter (mine has a holepunch as part of it)
- 1 x 4mm metal eyelet
- hammer (for eyelets, and for my type of holepunch)
- scissors or craft knife & mat
- pencil and eraser. A ruler / straightedge is also helpful
Step 1: Draw diagonal lines from corner to corner of your patterned paper. Erase the middle – you’re going to use scissors to cut along the pencil lines.
Step 2: Cut along the pencil lines. Then, add dots in every other corner, as below, and one dot in the centre of your paper. These are where you are going to punch your 4mm holes. Make sure your dots are at least 2mm from all edges!
My holepunch (also an eyelet setter) uses a hammer and a setting-cylinder to punch a hole through the paper. It means I don’t have to curl up my paper to get a hole in the middle of it.
Step 3: Pull the top left corner hole towards the center, and push the eyelet into the hole. Then go round in a clockwise direction, pushing the eyelet through each corner hole as you go, until you’ve done all 4. It should be looking a bit like a pinwheel now, but don’t let go or your eyelet will ping out!
Step 4: Turn the pinwheel over, and poke the eyelet through the centre hole. Use the hammer to set the eyelet. The hard part is done!
Step 5: Cut a 1cm slit in the top of your paper straw, about 2cm from the end of the straw. Push the paper fastener through the pinwheel, and into the straw, fastening it loosely at the back.
Make sure you leave a bit of extra length when you fold back the paper fastener, as you need to leave enough room for the pinwheel to spin freely.
Your pinwheel is complete! You might need to push the fins away from the straw a little, in order for it to spin freely, but it is now a functioning pinwheel. Celebrate by giving one to a friend: