Thursday, March 29, 2012

How To Make A Paper Pinwheel

If you read yesterday's post about my mantel banner inspired by kites, you know that there are also pinwheels on the mantel  They are made from scrapbook paper and are so easy to make.  Pinwheels are another favorite from childhood, especially if they were shiny.  I saw a poster recently that said some girls are born with glitter in their veins.  That would be me!  My motto has always been if it sparkles, it's good.

I tried to find some information about pinwheels and no one seems to know who first made or manufactured them other than they were made in the 19th century.   It's rare not to find more information about something on the web these days.  What I did find though, was there is an organization called Pinwheels for Peace and that pinwheels are also the official symbol for combating child abuse - Pinwheels for Prevention.  That is something I did not know.  There was an article from today's date that said Greenville, SC, has created many pinwheel gardens around their town to remind people to be aware of child abuse and the harm it does and to help work towards its prevention.  This is Child Abuse Prevention Month.  Now, there are two great projects that are using pinwheels as their symbol!  Pinwheels for Peace recommends writing words of peace on your pinwheels and displaying them in yards and parks.  I am all for that!  Any and everything to remind us to think peace and help prevent child abuse by using the pinwheel as  a symbol is awesome.  They are so beautiful spinning in the wind.  Every time I see one now, I will think peaceful and loving thoughts and send prayers to those who have been affected by abuse in their young lives.  I am going to have to work on some pinwheels for out of doors.  I like the idea of Pinwheels for Peace and Pinwheels for Prevention very much.  You may see pinwheels sprouting in a yard, garden or park somewhere near you soon.  We will all look at them differently now.

The pinwheels on our mantel are merely decorative, they are not attached to a stick so they can spin.  They are so easy to make.  You could use construction paper, two sided scrapbook paper, or one sided decorative paper like I used.  How cute would they be for a baby or wedding shower?  You could attach them to colorful drinking straws which would be inexpensive and display them in vases, or make small ones and put them on toothpicks to decorate cupcakes.  They can be made in any size.  I had a major idea just now to use them for napkin rings by gluing small pinwheels to a colorful ponytail holder and wrapping it around napkins for the dinner table.  There are so many creative and colorful ways to use pinwheels.  Here is how you make one.

First, you need paper cut in a square - any size square, the principle will be the same for all sizes.  Mine are cut in 6 inch squares.  I had a piece of cardboard that size that came out of some kind of package, so I used it for my template.  I traced around it on the back side of the paper so it was easier to see the lines and cut out my squares.

Next, you fold the paper corner to opposite corner forming a triangle.   Crease the paper.
Now, open the paper up and fold the other two corners together so your paper will look like this.
See how you have 4 distinct triangles?  Now, cut each fold about half way to the center.  If you feel more comfortable, mark the exact same place on each fold line before you cut.  I just eyeballed it.
Now, turn you paper over, and start by folding the  point of a triangle to the center of the paper and hot glue the point in place.
Continue around the square, folding the same edge of the triangle all the way around (right or left), bringing it to the center and gluing it down.  DO NOT CREASE THE EDGE OF THE TRIANGLE, you want it to be rounded so it would catch the wind.
Now, how easy was that?  And talk about inexpensive!!  All you need now is  a center.  You could use buttons, brads, or beads.  I used my left over 5 mm pearls that I had used on another project.  I simply hot glued them to the center.  They look adorable.
These took only a few minutes to make and were just the added touch I wanted on the mantel.  I used paper I already had, so they didn't cost me anything extra.  There is a piece of green polka dot ribbon that I had put on the mantel for color, so I randomly placed the pinwheels and some easter eggs with the ribbon and that made the finishing touch for my mantel display.  It is so fun and festive and the grandsons will love it.  Here are a few more pictures.
Now, the mantel is done and I am thinking about making a couple of big pinwheels to use in the sun room.  They would be so springy and cute.  I might even made a wreath to put on the door.  Yes, I like that idea!

I hope this tutorial will inspire you to make some cute and inexpensive decorations for spring.  Perhaps  you have a wedding in your future, or need a Bible school project.  This is certainly an easy and inexpensive project since it's basically paper.  You might try using a glue stick instead of hot glue if you are going to let children make these.  Do not let children use a hot glue gun!   A push pin or pearl head straight pin placed through the center of the pinwheel would allow you to attach it to a pencil or small dowel rod.   Just place a small bead on the pin between the pinwheel and the stick so it will spin.  Wouldn't they make cute magnets?  Just glue one on the back of the paper pin wheel and place in on your fridge.  You could use a small picture of your child or grandchild in the center.  Adorable.

Now, I have a hundred ideas running through my head.  Hope you do too.  Let's get creative  Let me know any super cute ideas you come up with for these pinwheels.  Have fun!!

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember:

Pinwheel Symbolism

pinwheels come in all shapes, colors and sizes
Did you know that the symbolic meaning of a pinwheel is “to turn one’s luck around?”  Chinese culture believes the pinwheel is an instrument to turn obstacles into opportunities and as such they are a revered symbol during Chinese New Year festitivies.
Pinwheels are found world-wide all over the globe and basically have retained their simple, recognizable shape and function from culture to culture.  Their symbolism is really quite profound representing such diverse concepts as childhood innocence, unseen energy, wish fulfillment and transformation.  In many parts of the world, pinwheels have a deep spiritual significance as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment