How to Make a Paper Pinwheel

Overview
  • Skill Level: Kid-friendly

Paper pinwheels are versatile craft that is easy enough for children can make with little supervision and lovely enough to add whimsy to any event with DIY decor. This original fidget spinner can be made with any type of paper you have available.

Paper pinwheels are a great way for budding scientists to test and explore the power of breath and air! The stronger your breath, the faster they will spin. As a parent/educator, allow these pinwheels to provide STEM support while you talk to kids about wind turbines, windmills, and renewable energy.​​

However, if you do not have children, these pinwheels are an excellent DIY project for decorating baby showers, adding a fun touch to a brunch buffet, and could even be a lovely addition to a wedding.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Ruler (optional)

Materials

  • 1 piece Square-shaped paper
  • 1 Straw
  • 1 Pushpin
  • Masking tape

Instructions

  1. Draw Lines

    Using a ruler, mark the center of your square paper with a pencil. If you do not have a ruler, eyeball the center point. Next use your ruler to draw a diagonal line from each corner of the paper, halfway to the center dot you just made.

    Tip

    If you are using printed paper where one side is white and the other has a pattern, make sure you draw the lines on the white side of the paper.

    Marking out the cuts to make a paper pinwheel
    Nady Delarosa Photography
  2. Cut Down the Lines

    Use the scissors to cut down the diagonal lines that you just marked on your paper.

    Cutting paper to make a pinwheel
    Nady Delarosa Photography
  3. Fold and Pin

    Fold every other point into the center dot and put a pushpin through the paper. This step can be tricky because the points like to escape if you are not holding them tight, so patience is key.

    Pinning paper corners in the center
    Nady Delarosa Photography
  4. Attach to Straw

    Hold the pushpin with gathered points in one hand tightly and use your other hand to push the remainder of the pin through a straw. We used paper craft straws for these pinwheels but you could also attach your pinwheel to a plastic straw or a pencil. Once your pushpin is through the straw, use a little bit of masking tape to make sure no little fingers get stuck by the pin.

    Examples of finished pinwheels
    Nady Delarosa Photography