Wind Spinner




A wind spinner is really easy to make from soda bottles, and they look great hanging from a branch of a tree in your yard. They easily catch the wind and they can get spinning pretty fast. Make several in different colors and create a mobile of them hanging from one tree. They are a delight to watch!

Step 1: Materials

An empty plastic two-liter pop bottle

Colored electrical tape, or labeling tape


Flexible tape measure

Pen or pencil

Exacto knife

Paper clip

Ball bearing swivel (used for fishing, and can be found by the fishing accessories in any discount store)

String for hanging

Step 2: Step 1

Begin your pop bottle wind spinner by rinsing it out well, and removing all the labels, as best as you can.

Step 3: Step 2

Run lengths of colored electrical tape around the middle of the pop bottle, as shown. This will also help cover any of the label that still might be stuck on.

Step 4: Step 3

Measure along the top tape strip with a flexible measuring tape. Use a pen or pencil to measure off 3/4 inch sections.

Step 5: Step 4

Using an exacto knife, cut a vertical strip down the length of the pop bottle at each 3/4 inch mark. Begin at the top of the tape strip, or about at the point where the pop bottle is straight and not curved from the top. Extend the cut all the way to about 2 inches above the bottom. You may find it is hard to keep the cut lines straight. Take your time and do the best you can. If some are curved cuts, you will hardly notice in the final result.

Step 6: Step 5

Next, squish down the pop bottle. This will make the strips flare out. When they do, pinch each strip in the middle to create a fold.

Step 7: Step 6

The next step is to angle the strips by making folds at the top and bottom, so the wind can catch them. To do this, begin at the top. Make a 45 degree fold to the right at the very top of each strip.

Step 8: Step 7

Now, at the bottom of each strip, make a 45 degree fold to the left.

Step 9: Step 8

You can also add other details to the wind spinner. Here I cut little triangles out of the tape and decorated the top and bottom of the pop bottle.

Step 10: Step 9

Now you are ready to make the top for your pop bottle wind spinner. Make a hole in the top of the pop bottle cap. The easiest way to do this is by heating the end of an untwisted paper clip, then melting quickly through the plastic (be careful, plastic fumes are not good for you). Or, you can use a drill to make the hole. Another method is to pound a nail into the top of the cap to form the hole.

Unfold a paper clip (I used a white paper clip). Thread the wire of the paper clip through the end of the ball bearing swivel. Then, twist the wire together once or twice to form a loop.

Step 11: Step 10

Push the wire ends of the paper clip through the top hole of the bottle cap. Fan out the wire ends inside the cap to anchor into place.

Step 12: Step 11

Screw on the pop bottle cap, add a string for hanging, and you are ready to hang your wind spinner!

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16 Discussions


1 year ago

I saw something similar on a cross country trip. Someone had a whole garden of spinners with more complex designs. The bottle was sectioned in half and the angled cuts went in one direction on top and the opposite direction on the bottom. The designer gave their bottles a waistline in the middle. At least it seemed that the angle cuts were opposite, I was viewing it from a car.


3 years ago on Introduction

I love learning new ways to upcycle! Thanks for the easy-to-follow instructions! I noticed someone's comment was asking if you could put led lights on it so it could be seen at night. That's a cool idea. I think led lights would be somewhat complicated, but I do have an alternative solution.

Glo-Away Glow in the dark gel paint works great! You can get it at Walmart in the craft section. I'm anxious to try this. Great job! :)


4 years ago on Step 11

Thanks for the great instructable, this is very useful to me!


5 years ago on Step 9

What a great and clever project! If you spiral the colored tape down the bottle before slitting, when it spins, the colors should "spiral" like an old barber pole.


8 years ago on Introduction

I love this, am going to work on a few for the yard this weekend. My dad would love one for his camper awning!
Wonder if there is a way to put some random LED lights on the fins so when its spinning at night you can see it? Anyone have any idea?


8 years ago on Introduction

This is such a wonderful idea! I'm getting started right away on making these for my niece and nephew. :]


10 years ago on Introduction

This is a green 2 litre lemonade bottle with slits cut nearly all the way to the lid.


10 years ago on Introduction

Hi there Ninya

What a fun and creative way to use old bottles. I made one of your wind spinners, but I made the angles on the fins a bit different to catch more of the wind. My diagram shows your method on the left and mine on the right. I also pinched all the creases with pliers rather than my fingers. I guess that's why it's got a squashed look like a UFO. I have just put a few marks on it with fluro highlighters, but when I get some pretty colored markers like in Crystal Stranger's Plastic Bottle "Stained Glass" Candleholder Instructable I will go for that effect.

There is no wind at the moment, but if the spinner gets pushed around by the wind instead of spinning, I could put a weight in the bottom or put the whole thing on a vertical axle.

Thanks very much for this Instructable. My yard is going to be a prettier place.

1 reply

Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

Don't know if I did anything wrong but Instructables is only showing my pix small. You can see them bigger if you left click on them or middle click to see them in a new tab.


10 years ago on Introduction

What a fun project using a recycled object. The colors make me happy.


10 years ago on Introduction

Now that is really clever! I would like to see it in action.


Love it! The colored tape is a real simple and not messy way to make it look cool, and I like the idea of applying it before cutting- I'll have to make one of these!


10 years ago on Introduction

Adding the coloured tape, makes it look extra nice. Well done!