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Oversized Pinwheel Tutorial~ Kelly style

posted by Kelly

Let me start out this post with a few disclaimers.

A-I am not the first to make these, nor is this the only way
B-I craft like I cook and sew…..very little measuring or precision….just a “go with the gut and wing it” kinda girl.
C-I welcome all comments on how to do this better for others to learn from
D-This is not rocket science but my tutorial may come across confusing…I’m sorry

With that said….let’s jump in!

Step 1: Gather Tools- (Truly the pen and the straight edge measurer are just for looks for me. I have no intention of using them but if you are anal about measurements…..USE THEM!) I have selective analness… my pillows always have to be straight on the couch…..cutting crafting paper in half…I just wing it! HAHA….good start to my tutorial right?

Large Pinwheel Tutorial

Step 2: Gather Supplies- BIG HUGE IMPORTANT DETAIL….when making the OVERSIZED 12 inch diameter pinwheels you need TWO sheets of the 12 inch scrapbook paper. Buy duplicates or scrapbook packets that have multiples. A package of 12 inch long dowels. A spool of twine. Oversized buttons. These happen to be ones I pressed and cut from polymere clay…but any kind will do. (Yes be impressed by me for a moment) I don’t iron my shirts, but I make my own buttons. I don’t get me either!

Large Pinwheel Tutorial

Step 3: Cut Strips and Fold Accordion Style- I recommend lining the patterns up on your two sheets of paper and folding or “measuring” them in half and cut in the same direction so your pattern continues end to end to end to end for 48 inches! Stack all 4 strips on top of each other and fold in either a 1/4, 1/2 or 1 inch bend. If you are making multiple pinwheels it looks really cool varying the fold width. (**Note…have glue gun plugged in so it is ready to roll shortly)

Large Pinwheel Tutorial

Step 4: Staple or use permanent adhesive squares. (Use a discrete amount of staples). Staple all the way around until you make a full circle. The accordion will stand upright like a lampshade. This is where it gets very tricky to lay the paper design side down. You need to “manhandle” it and show it whose boss. I kid you not. That thing will spring up in your face and cause great frustration.

Large Pinwheel Tutorial

Step 5: Flatten Pinwheel/Insert Dowel- With one hand you need to hold it steady while you get your glue gun ready. The dowel is the KEY to the stability of the pinwheel. One this large does not want to lay flat without the extra support, especially if you are using them outside and wind is involved. You will thank me later!

Large Pinwheel Tutorial

Step 6: Glue the snot out of it- You will win no prizes for aesthetic reasons on the backside of your pinwheel….but you will have a sturdy pinwheel in the end. If you really want to go the extra step you could cut out a 12 inch wide circle and glue it flat over the back to cover up all the mish mash of adherent.

Large Pinwheel Tutorial

Step 7: Glue on Button- put a lot of extra glue on the center point under the button as well as on the back of the button and hold firmly for a good 1-2 minutes until glue is absolutely cooled.

Large Pinwheel Tutorial

Step 8: Hang up and Enjoy- I just hole punched and added twine. I’ve shown you two lovely background choices for mine.

Large Pinwheel Tutorial

It is really easy to string multiples like we did for the One Little Dove Shoot.

One Little Dove Editorial Headpiece & Fascinators

One Little Dove Editorial Headpiece & Fascinators

You can also make your large pinwheels have babies very easily.

Large Pinwheel Tutorial

I ended up cutting mini strips of the same paper I used in the large pinwheels to make varying size “mini’s” for Chloe’s 4th b-day party. Gluing a toothpick as a dowel and an additional toothpick as a poker…they made adorable cupcake toppers!

Chloe's 4th b-day/Special day visiting horses

Chloe's 4th b-day/Special day visiting horses

There is also a beautiful tutorial on Style Me Pretty that you may find useful as well. Similar methods…but some varying steps.

Style Me Pretty Pinwheel Tutorial

There you have it! Hope that was helpful. I would love to see pictures if you attempt it. Be prepared for a little bit of a learning curve so don’t waste your favorite paper on the first one!


19 Responses

amanda says:

December 14, 2010 at 2:53 pm

Thanks Kelly for taking the time to do this! Can’t wait to make some!

Jessica Hedrick says:

December 14, 2010 at 3:05 pm

Thank you so much for taking the time to do this in the middle of December and being pregnant! You are my hero! Can’t wait to make these!

Sunshine Lewis says:

December 14, 2010 at 7:44 pm

Girl. You are Martha Stewart.

dikola says:

December 14, 2010 at 8:26 pm

Seriously…that is awesome!

Amanda says:

December 15, 2010 at 7:15 am

Love these! Maybe a few in our bedroom? Hmm - must look for some fun paper.
There is NO WAY I’d be able to make those mini ones - you have some serious mad skeelz!

joym says:

December 15, 2010 at 10:53 am

LOOOOOVE it! i’m going to do it right now!

Jo says:

December 23, 2010 at 11:16 am

Maxi’s made Minis!! Kelly, I seriously was going to ask you how you made these and stopped myself to wait till next time I saw you cause I thought it’d be so hard to explain. So I’m going to go ahead and assume this post is for me. haha.

Katie says:

January 11, 2011 at 9:48 pm

Kelly, thank you so much for taking the time to put this tutorial together! Your pinwheels are just darling and I am in love:) I will definitely attempt to make my own this weekend, thank you again! I think you may like some of the crafts I have done recently on my blog:
Once I “successfully” follow your tutorial, I will write a post and give you a lovely little shout out of course :) Have a great “rest of” the week!

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Julia says:

August 8, 2011 at 8:50 pm

Thank you so much for sharing! I just did these tonight and LOVE THEM!!!

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SandraA says:

May 31, 2012 at 11:01 am

Came here from CK blog. These are just beautiful. Thanks for the tutorial on making these large pinwheels. Just what I needed.

Amber says:

September 13, 2013 at 9:19 am

This is a great tutorial! A lot easier than other pin wheel DIY’s I have stumbled upon. I do have a suggestion (not really a suggestion of how to structure them but to make them a bit more girly) have you thought about cutting a rounded edge when they are folded accordion style? To make it a little more whimsy? Here’s a link to another pin wheel DIY, your technique is much easier to make (glue/staple them in a circle and push down) but this is the rounded edge I am referring to. Love the buttons!!

Stay-At-Home-Mom, Photographer & Avid Crafter

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