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These pinwheel decorations are a lot of fun to make, and are a nice (and longer lasting) alternative to flowers. They would make lovely wedding table decorations as well! Our kids love to make these, and they are a cheery activity for a rainy day. Here in the UK today we experienced a torrential downpour - so our nine- and eleven-year-olds decided to make some and document them so that other people could learn to make them too!

You will need:

  • Squares of patterned paper. The bigger the square, the bigger the finished pinwheel. Double-sided paper is good if you have some. If not, you can have a plain white side, or do as our kids did and make your own by gluing two sheets together.
  • Glue, if you need
  • Pins - the ones with little glass pearls at the end are perfect if you have them
  • Sheets of plain white copy paper, for the stems
  • Washi tape or regular sticky tape

Equipment:

  • Scissors
  • Pliers

If you are a child, you will also need an adult to supervise you and help with the tricky bits!

Step 1: Prepare Your Paper

You can use double-sided patterned paper, if you have any. Since we didn't, and the kids didn't want part of the pinwheels to be plain white, they glued two sheets together using a regular glue stick. They paid special attention to the edges and the diagonals, since this is where raw edges that could come apart are (or will be).

Step 2: Cut the Fins

Next, you need to cut the paper to create pinwheel fins. Mark two diagonal lines, corner to corner, across your paper. Then cut halfway up each line with a pair of scissors.

Step 3: Mark the Holes

Use a pin to pierce a hole in the centre of the paper (where the two lines cross) and one each of the corners, to the right of the cut line.

You can make the hole to the very left of the cut line each time instead - if you do your pinwheel will point in the other direction! Just make sure the hole is to the same side each time so that it goes together properly :-)

Step 4: Form the Pinwheels

Now, fold the corners with the holes in up to the centre, and push the pin through each one in turn. The corners without holes stay where they are. Once you have pushed the pin through all of the holes, push it through the hole in the centre and bend the pin back 90 degrees with a pair of pliers. Once you have bent the pin, everything should hold in place, but be careful not to accidentally prick yourself!

Step 5: Roll the Stem

Now we need to create a stem for our pinwheel to fix to. Take a sheet of white copy paper and roll diagonally from one corner as tightly as possible. Keep rolling, as tightly as you can to create a strong, solid straw. If you don't roll tightly enough, the stems will be too wide and will not be strong enough to support the pinwheel. Kids may need adult assistance to create a tight enough stem. Keep rolling until you get all the way to the other end of the paper. Secure with glue and allow to dry for a few minutes.

Step 6: Finish the Pinwheel

Once the stem has dried, you can finish the pinwheel. Trim the loose ends of the stems as these will be weak, then trim shorter if required. Complete the pinwheels by pinning the windmill into the stem. Either pin it so that the pin is in the centre of the stem and glue into place, or push it all the way through and wrap well with sticky tape or washi tape. Either way, ensure that the point of the pin is not accessible - although this is designed as a decoration and not a toy, it looks enough like a toy that it needs to be made safe to avoid any mishaps!

I love pinwheels because they are so cute and childish (in a good way!) very well done.

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