Tutorial: Pinwheel Garland

by Sam

in Tutorials

Today I’ve put together a tutorial for you that I have been wanting to make all winter.  I knew though, that it wouldn’t make sense when it was so cold, and that it would be a great way to welcome spring and warmer weather ahead.
I’m sure we’ve all had fun playing with pinwheels before.  You may even have some in your garden, and when the wind blows, they spin.  I love pinwheels and thought they would make a fun garland.  They are easy to make and fun for kids too because they are so simple.  Once you learn how to do one, you can whip up dozens.

Tools:

Paper trimmer
Hole punch
Scissors
Pencil
Straight edge
Jewelry pliers

Materials:

Cardstock or patterned paper (with double sided paper both sides will show)
Ribbon or string
Brads
Tape (not pictured)
Eye pins
Beads

One sheet of 8.5″x11″ cardstock will make 4 pinwheels which are 4.25″x4.25″.  The finished pinwheel tip to tip is larger though, since they are diagonally cut.  They end up being about 6″ tip to tip, which is a perfect size for a garland.

Using your paper trimmer, cut out a square 4.25″x4.25″.  Lightly draw straight lines using a pencil on the diagonals (I’ve drawn mine a little dark so they would show up in the photo for you.)  Mark about two thirds of the way to the center of the square and cut along those lines to the marks as shown.

Punch holes in the corners of the triangles as shown.  Punch every other tip of the corners, plus the center.  I used a pencil to punch through the center as my crop-a-dile wouldn’t punch that far in.  This hole doesn’t need to be pretty since it will be hidden by the brad. Curl up the edges with the punched holes a bit so that when they are bent over they do not crease the paper.  If you are using thin paper (like patterned scrapbook paper) you may not need to do this at all.

The next step takes a bit of coordination, but this is the easiest way I have found.  Place your brad through the first hole, facing the center.  Next slip the next on, while still holding the brad.

Work your way around, slipping on each corner until all four are on the brad.

Still holding the brad and paper in place, insert it through the center hole and secure in the back by folding the brad down on both sides.

You’ve made the pinwheel, now to create the garland.  Simply punch holes on two opposite sides of the pinwheel.

Insert ribbon through two of the holes you create on two pinwheels and tie the ribbon in a knot.

To secure and hide the knot, I just tape the tail down on the back of the pinwheel. Repeat this process for as many links as it takes to create the length of garland you want.

After this step, I thought I was done with my garland.  I went to hang it from my mantle and realized that another step would need to be added.  When I hung it up, the pinwheels, weighted in the middle by the brads, wanted to point to the ceiling.  I definitely didn’t think that was as pretty as if they were pointing out into the room.  So, in order to weight them differently, I attached beads to the bottom points of each pinwheel.

Gather your materials for your bead embellishment weights.  I used some teardrop shaped beads and some small green ones as well, to use some spring colors.

Insert your beads on the eye pins and bend the remaining length of pin over.

Using your jewelry piers, create a loop at the top of the beads.

Punch a small hole (or use a pin) very close to the edge of the bottom points of your pinwheels.  Open up the loop with your pliers, slip it through the hole in the paper, and close it again.

Repeat the process of adding the beads to each pinwheel on your garland.

Even though I didn’t plan to add the beads, I really like that they add just a little to the garland that I wouldn’t otherwise have thought to add.  It still keeps the project simple, serves a purpose, and adds cuteness.

Where would you put this garland in your home?  Are you ready to welcome spring with open arms like me?  On Friday I’ll show you my mantle decorated for spring much like I did for Valentine’s Day.

Art Prints

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