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Paper Wind Streamer

Create a festive decoration that's perfect for Memorial Day.




With little more than an empty oatmeal container and colored paper, you can create a festive decoration that's perfect for Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, or any patriotic occasion. For younger children, it also provides a science lesson, illustrating the wind's direction and how quickly it can change.



  • Empty oatmeal container, or similar cylindrical container
  • Blue kraft paper
  • White kraft paper
  • Star-shaped paper punch
  • Craft glue
  • Craft glue
  • Double-sided tape
  • Waxed twine
  • Red-and-white grosgrain ribbon
  • Red ribbon
  • White ribbon
  • Fine paper punch


  1. Step 1

    Remove the bottom of the container. Measure and cut the blue kraft paper to fit inside and outside the container. The paper should come right up to the top and bottom lip of the container. Lay the double-sided tape to the three edges of the paper on the wrong side, and affix it to the container's interior.

  2. Step 2

    Using the star-shaped paper punch, create stars from the white kraft paper, and glue them onto the second piece of blue paper. Lay the double-sided tape to the three edges of the paper on the opposite side, and affix to the container's exterior. With the fine paper punch, punch four holes at the north, south, east, and west points of the container's top. Thread a piece of waxed twine through one hole and its opposite hole, and tie in place. Repeat for remaining holes.

  3. Step 3

    Cut lengths of the red and white ribbon to create streamers, and glue them at the bottom edge of the container. Lay double-sided tape all the way around the top and bottom edges of the container, and adhere the red-and-white grosgrain ribbon.

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Reviews (31)

  • ltagg 23 Apr, 2013

    I will be making make them a bit more durable I will paint the cans and ruffle plastic tablecloth strips for the streamers. You can easily make rurffled streamers by cutting long strips of plastic tablecloths with scissors or a rotary cutter (easier method) and then gently pull from the center outward all along the length of the strips. This makes a very cool ruffled streamer that can withstand rain.

  • RadioShack Hastings 26 May, 2012

    These are adorable! I am going to make them for a combined Graduation and 4th of July party. I think I'll make lights out of them - punch star-shaped holes in the oatmeal boxes and string the wiring for a lamp through the box, insert a light bulb and viola! Wish me luck!

  • bruiseviolet 1 Jul, 2011

    Super cute! For a budget conscious party- we made these, only we substituted crepe paper streamers instead of ribbon. I cannot wait to hang them up on Monday for our rib-cook off 4th of July party!

  • rock63roll64 4 Jul, 2010


  • fairymaker 31 Jul, 2009

    What a great school project for the kids. I'm sure you could change it to s snowman or santa or even a pumpkin. Go Martha!!!

  • hugmehugs 28 Jun, 2008

    When did Crafters become so negative?
    Every time I read the comments on some craft site, there is always at least one person who has nothing to add except criticism.
    It's too late to make it this what!!
    Now you have a whole year to work on it.
    Probably will be a lot better because you have more time to plan and consider alternatives.

  • marv66 27 Jun, 2008

    I use painters canvas drop cloths for mine, paint with exterior paint, and use grommets to attach streamers and cylinder. I use a metal hose clamp glued (with weather-proof glue, not hot glue) inside at the top for stability. I've made several of these for different seasons and also made a bunch for end of the year teacher gifts once. I've used mine about 4 years now. They are very heavy duty.

  • Catheyhmmm 23 Jun, 2008

    Why are the instructions for "paper." I'd like to have it be weather proofeed.

  • vwpeterson 5 Jun, 2008

    When I make wind socks, I use parachute nylon from the fabric store. I sew rather than use glue, and leave "theme" ones up for the month. Then when I'm through using it, I hang it in the garage for the next year. I've made them for Valentines Day, Mardi Gras, Easter, 4th of July, Halloween, Christmas. Lots of fun to make and can be used for several years.

  • sharonmanis 28 May, 2008

    Try this with FABRIC ! ! !

  • ptait 27 May, 2008

    Thanks for mentioning about having these great ideas ahead of time. It helps make the occasion festive and less stressful making them on the fly. SD Tait

  • karenpapineau 26 May, 2008

    I am in agreement about posting these great holiday ideas early. I live in a small community where supplies are limited, but can get them sent to me in the mail/courier, but need extra time. Receiving these ideas on 'the day of', is usually too late for me to make them.

  • westiemom57 26 May, 2008

    for a really sturdy cylinder you could use cement tubes and have the lumber yard cut them for you. Ours will cut for free

  • ColoredButtons 26 May, 2008

    Insead of ribbon, use plastic tablecloth. It is waterproof and can last a long time.

  • mrwc 25 May, 2008

    Nice idea..tu...however think these holiday ideas should be shown 1 week before holiday (perhpas put in our "save" place for 4th of July and Labor Day!!) so we can gear up.. I agree with the .previous day comment from someone else.on this aspect of timliness..

  • Misso 25 May, 2008

    I think it would be cute to use fabric to cover, but before that cut out "windows" then put a small string of lights inside to illuminate... you could use them again if you decide to invest in the ribbon, just make sure to pack it away carefully. You can also use poster board to make the cylinder or the plastic embroidery stuff -- then it's waterproof.

  • origamidoll 25 May, 2008

    For a one-time party, use crepe paper streamers instead of ribbon. For thinner streamers, cut the roll in half lengthwise before unfurling it.

    Or buy the really cheap 'curling' or other ribbon sold in large quantities at discount craft stores. If you need to add some weight to it, tie beads to the loose ends.

    For longer, just keep it out of the rain!

  • SUSANGAY 25 May, 2008

    I have done this project many times with children, using blue construction paper rolled into a cylindor and crepe paper streamers...they aren't as sturdy, but the effect is similar and less expensive...although I love the look and feel of ribbon. A wonderful Patriotic project.

  • Anna_Marie 25 May, 2008

    How much ribbon? From the picture it looks like the streamers are about 3 oatmeal boxes long (27" ?) and there looks to be about 12 -14 streamers of EACH color - red and white. I'll let you do the math :0 )

  • Anna_Marie 25 May, 2008

    and add them and the ribbon streamers to the fabric before slipping it over the pop bottle cylinder. Would weather that way

  • Anna_Marie 25 May, 2008

    I think recycling a 2-litre pop bottle and using a fabric sleeve to cover it would be good. You could cut the stars out of felt

  • wduke2 25 May, 2008

    I would use fabric instead of paper to cover the box. Ribbon is expensive, especially as much as you would need for these. I would want to use over and over. Anyway, to be green, we should use things over. We also get rain a little too often to use paper.

  • seahorse73 25 May, 2008

    I agree, love the idea, but too late for Memorial Day.

  • yankeecook 25 May, 2008

    But, we still have the 4th of July and Labor Day to think on.

  • yankeecook 25 May, 2008

    I just find this a little late to start buying and emptying oatmeal boxes. Crafts for Holidays should be scheduled at least a couple of weeks in advance, don't you think? They would really have made my front yard an eye-catcher if I had the info before hand. Great Idea.

  • margaret70403 25 May, 2008

    How about using some kind of fabric instead of the paper. Then you could use them over and over!!!!

  • ColorfulZebra 25 May, 2008

    That would be adorable! Attach a set of patio lights and you can enjoy them day and night.

    To make them waterproof you could cut plastic bottles (pop bottles, shampoo bottles...) as the container.

  • Anna_Marie 25 May, 2008

    WOW! These are really beautiful! I think if I spent that much $ on purchasing the ribbon, I would try to laminate the paper for the top so it would stay clean and could be used for more than 1 year. I wonder if some of the less expensive craft ribbons would work....they might not have the weight needed to make it hang nicely. This is really pretty!

  • neveraneatnik 25 May, 2008

    Any idea how much ribbon is required?

  • lilysnana55 23 May, 2008

    You could make mini ones from paper towel or toilet tissue tubes.

  • lilysnana55 23 May, 2008

    You could make mini ones from paper towel or toilet tissue tubes.