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Paper Pinwheels




Colorful pinwheels, made out of coordinating sheets of origami or lightweight paper, stand tall against a blue summer sky, poised to whirl at the slightest suggestion of wind.


  • Origami or lightweight paper
  • Dowel or skewer
  • Spray mount
  • Push pin
  • Map pin
  • Bead


  1. Step 1

    Cut a thin dowel or skewer to desired length (clip pointed end from skewer); paint and let dry.

  2. Step 2

    Choose two coordinating sheets of origami or lightweight paper. Cut a square from each the size you'd like your pinwheel to be (ours range from 3 to 6 inches).

  3. Step 3

    Use spray mount to glue squares together. Fold in half, diagonally, and in half again, then unfold.

  4. Step 4

    Cut along each crease two-thirds of way to square's center, dividing each corner into two points. Bring every other point to center so points overlap.

  5. Step 5

    Hold in place, poke a pushpin through center, and, keeping points in place, remove pushpin. Insert a map pin into hole formed (the pushpin hole is slightly larger than circumference of the map pin, enabling the pinwheel to spin).

  6. Step 6

    Thread a small bead onto pin behind the wheel, and poke pin into dowel 1/2 inch from top. To prevent wood from splitting, soak the dowel tip in water before inserting map pin.

Martha Stewart Living, July/August 1998



Reviews (5)

  • nana2oneboy 7 Aug, 2010

    I make these for cards without using a dowel or skewer. If I have double-sided paper on hand, I like to use that, which eliminates the use of spray glue. I use my 1/16" [filtered word] punch for the tips to make the brad go through easier. I send these cards to adults, soldiers and children. I use them to get a smile for a birthday, get well, thinking of you, etc.

  • raystar 12 May, 2010

    Good one. Step-by-step instructions would have been more useful. Nevertheless, the explanation is clear and useful. By the way, if you like pinwheels or have kids who love pinwheel, you should try out this great iPhone app:

  • brambleberry 11 Jul, 2009

    I did these out of soap and they turned out great! The video tutorial on making soap pinwheels is here:

  • tanyarenee 24 May, 2008

    My daughters wedding was at a golf club. I made the pinwheels, put photo's on the corners. Each a baby picture, their engagement picture, guest name and table assignment on the forth corner. Placed them in buckets of golf balls. Everyone loved the idea. Thanks! Tanya

  • kuii 28 Jan, 2008

    aha i had been seen this when i was a little girl.sweet memory**