I made a bunch of paper windmills for a craft fair last week. I know, I used the American word pinwheel in the title of this post, but it rhymed better - sorry! I saw the dies at Make the Day Special - unfortunately out of stock at the moment but there are others on the market. When they arrived I realised the windmills were mean for cards and papercraft decorations and would not spin - a bit disappointing. Anyway not to be thwarted I decided to try and make them spin - which is what windmills are meant for aren't they!
I have to admit it was a bit fiddly but eventually I worked it out and thought I'd share. Hope this makes sense. I've numbered the steps to go with the photos above.
- I used wooden kebab sticks you can find easily in supermarkets. A hole is needed but they split easily when the awl is pushed through so a piece of tape (I used washi tape) wrapped round the top before you make the hole stops the splitting.
- I die cut the pieces from double sided scrapbooking papers. If you want to make a 'bunch' a pad of paper will ensure all the papers will look nice together.
- Arrange 6 pieces in a wheel (a pin helps keep them together) and hold them in place with finger and thumb.
- I found it best to staple the pieces together in the middle - if you don't do this you will find it very frustrating getting them to stay together for the next step. I used my Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher bought on a whim but I've found it SO useful - LOVE IT!
- I had some pearl headed florists' pins but any long pin with a head will do - there are lots of different designs on the market but a ball head is required here. You need to add something decorative for the centre of the windmill and a small bead which will enable the spinning. I had these flower shape sequiny things I thought I'd never find a use for (NEVER throw anything away!).
- Gently shape the pieces with your fingers as in the photo. This will make it easier to get the pin through all the pieces and the hole in the centre. I'm not going to kid you, its rather fiddly getting everything on the pin but practice makes perfect! Add another couple of small beads to the pin at the back.
- I've used a clothespeg to hold the windmill on the pin in the photo - otherwise it will jump off! Make sure you hold everything on and push the back and front slightly together but only a LITTLE BIT.
- Poke through the hole in your wooden stick and bend the pin down at a right angle with a pair of pliers. I thought children might want these so I cut the sharp end of the pin off with wire cutters.
- Finally wrap another piece of tape round the pin end to tape it to the stick.
Ta-da your windmill. Give it a sharp puff to make it spin. Well, I have to admit they don't spin as well as those you buy in the shops but they do and they look very pretty in a jar on the windowsill.