How to Make Paper Pinwheels

Make those springtime breezes extra special with a colorful, spinning pinwheel!
Materials List

Sturdy paper such as construction paper, cardstock, or scrapbook paper (one or two patterns/colors)

Ruler

Marker, pen, or pencil (to mark lines)

Scissors

Stickpin

Pencil with an eraser (unsharpened)

Glue stick (optional, if you are making a two-sided pinwheel)

Decorative items like feathers, jewels, scraps of paper, ribbon, etc. (optional)

How to
Step 1

Start with a 6-inch by 6-inch square of paper; cut your paper to the correct measurements if necessary. You can also experiment with other sizes of paper, as long as it's a square.

Step 2

Draw a line connecting one corner diagonally to the opposite corner of the paper, crossing through the center of the paper. Draw another line connecting the two remaining corners. You'll have an X shape that crosses directly in the center of your square. Measure out 3 inches in from each corner and mark it.

Step 3

Cut along your marked lines; you'll end up with four 3-inch slits, with one in each corner. This results in four partial triangles connected in the center.

Step 4

Take one of the outside corners of a triangle and gently fold it inward to the center of your square of paper. Do not crease it; instead, it should form a gentle curve.

Step 5

Taking the same corner on your next triangle, repeat the step above and gently pull it into the center of your square. You want to use the same corner on every triangle. In our picture, you can see that the right outside corner of the triangle is the one that is pulled to the center.

Step 6

Repeat for the third triangle, pulling it toward the center on top of the previous two corners. Be sure to hold them all in place with your finger as you work.

Step 7

Repeat for the fourth triangle.

Step 8

With your stickpin (and an adult's supervision!), carefully push the pin through the center of the paper and all four of the triangles' corners. Push the pin in from the top so that the ball-end of the pin rests on top of the corners and holds them in the center of the paper.

Step 9

The sharp end of your pin should be sticking out of the back of the paper. Gently push it into the eraser end of your unsharpened pencil. Make sure it's not sticking out the other side!

Step 10

You can gently adjust the angle of your paper pinwheel in relation to the pencil by carefully pushing and repositioning the stickpin in the eraser.

Step 11

Your pinwheel is ready to spin in the breeze!

Step 12

If you want to have an extra-fancy pinwheel, you can have fun, pretty paper on both sides! Take two squares of paper the same size...

Step 13

... And glue them back-to-back with a gluestick, with the pretty sides on the outside.

Step 14

Once your papers are dry, continue with steps 2 - 11 as shown above.

Stats
Age
School-age
Tween
Teen
Craft Length
5 - 15 minutes
Difficulty
Attention, please! (a few rules to follow)
Prep Time
5 minutes or less
Recycled
Paper
Supervision
1 adult per 5 children
Variations

You can get decorative with your pinwheels! Before you cut your paper, draw on patterns and designs! Or, once your pinwheel is constructed, glue on fun decorative objects like feathers and jewels!

Variation Photos