Introduction: XL Solo Cup Windmill

We created this windmill for a technology themed float, the design is inspired by a Makey Makey project.

Step 1: Step 1: Gather Materials

Large garbage can

Hand saw


1 can white spray paint

2 cans red spray paint (glossy)

White electrical tape


Cardboard tubing

aluminum foil (or whatever you would like to cover your windmill blades with)

Card stock in various shades of brown

Glue gun and sticks



Step 2: Step 2: Prepare Garbage Can

Before you paint your garbage can cut off the handles using the handsaw. This step is messy so it is suggested that you take the can outside.

Using scissors or a knife punch the holes for the roof to be attached near the bottom of the can. (I left this step till after it was painted and it damaged the paint)

Step 3: Step 3: Paint

Once you have cut off the handles and put holes in the can for the roof it is time to paint.

Start with the white paint along the top of the can, we painted the inside and the outside of the can. Even though the spray paint was quick drying we left the can sit for 24 hours.

Once your white paint is dry, carefully cover the white portion with a garbage bag and painters tape. Now it is time for the red. We did a couple coats of the red spray paint, letting the can rest in between coats. Let the paint set of 24 hours.

Step 4: Step 4: Windmill Blades

Cut cardboard into rectangles. You are going to have to size them depending on how big your can is.

Tape the edges of the rectangles together, using packing tape. Tape a square in the centre of the blades on the front and back for extra reinforcement.

Cut a hole slightly smaller than the cardboard tube in the centre of the attached blades, now push the cardboard tube through the hole.

Cover, or paint your blades.

Once you have the blades covered position the tube through the blades and hot glue around the tube.

Cut a large styrofoam ball in half and hot glue the ball on the end of the cardboard tube.

Now your windmill blades are complete!

Step 5: Step 5: Roof Construction.

Using cardboard create a "V" shape, by bending the cardboard in half. Measure the "v" on the can and adjust as necessary.

Once you are happy with the shape of the roof, cut pieces of card board to fit on the front and back of the roof, affix with tape.

Choose which side of the roof is going to be the front and tape an extra layer of cardboard on that side. Make a hole slightly smaller than the tube affixed to the blades in the centre front of the roof. Adjust the hole so that the tube fits snuggly. Tape around the end of the tube inside the roof so that it cannot slide back through.

Using the brown card stock, cut half circles and hot glue them to the roof for the shingles.

Step 6: Step 6: Final Construction

Place the roof on top of the bottom of the garbage can.

Punch holes in the front and back of the roof so that they line up with the holes previously made in the can.

From the inside of the can thread the rope through the holes in the can and card board, pull tight and tie securely.

Now enjoy your windmill!

*We used ours as a float prop so we used bungie cords and rope to affix the can to the top of a vehicle.*

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