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Pinwheel Tutorial

I posted these last week and was asked by several for a tutorial. I aim to please, so here it is! This tutorial is really from Mini Mustard Seed aka “Mini” aka Charlene. She’s my babysitter/nanny and helps me out with my business during busy seasons. She’s super crafty, so she makes most of my glitter letters and helped out a ton with the Christmas ornaments last year.  She brought a paper folding book home from the library one day and we both immediately spotted the pinwheel.  Sheet music…glitter…let’s mustardize these pinwheels.

We’ve since made some out of vintage division flash cards, scrapbook paper and a vintage “Dick & Jane” book.

(The Dick & Jane book ones are so cute, because of the soft colors.)


Here’s how to make your own…

Supply list:

  • 5/16″ dowel rod
  • paper
  • scissors
  • paper cutter (optional)
  • Elmer’s glue
  • 1/2″ artist brush
  • hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • glitter
  • silver head upholstery tacks
  • hammer

If you’re using scrapbook paper, you can simply cut it into quarters using scissors or a paper cutter.  If you’re cutting a piece of paper to size, Mini cuts them to 4 1/2″ square for small pinwheels or 6 1/2″ square for large.  It looks best to use a piece of paper with something printed on both sides.


Use a sharp pair of scissors and cut from the diagonal on each corner about halfway to the center.   Repeat on all four corners.


Use a small artist’s brush to apply Elmer’s glue to the edges of the paper.


Sprinkle the wet glue with glitter.  I use an equal mix of 70 and 90 grit silver German glass glitter, but you can use any glitter you want.  Shake off excess glitter.

Apply a dab of hot glue in the center of the front side of the pinwheel.

Fold over one corner and stick it into the hot glue.  Apply another dab of glue and press down the second corner.  Repeat with all four corners.



Hold the corners in with your finger or the end of a pen or pencil to save your finger prints.  I know we’re all familiar with the joys of glue gun burns.


Now apply Elmer’s glue to the exposed edges of the pinwheel and cover with glitter.



Cut a 5/16″ dowel to about 12″ – 14″ in length.  (You can do this at the home store if you don’t have a saw at home.)  Press a silver upholstery tack gently into dowel, about 3/4″ from the top.


Tap the tack gently in with a hammer, so it goes mostly through the dowel without coming out the other side.  Take your time on this step, so you don’t split the dowel.

Remove the tack from the dowel and push it through center of the pinwheel, then press into the hole you made in the dowel.



Don’t push it in too far, so the pinwheels have room to spin.   Obviously, these are indoor only pinwheels, since they’re made out of paper.



These are so fun for spring/summer parties.  You could also make a “bouquet” of them or simply “plant” one in a pot of moss.



Enjoy making them!

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  1. YAYYYY I am so glad you posted a tutorial for this !!!
    I am going to make these for my girls baby shower !!

  2. This is so adorable. I want to make some!!!!

  3. Super cute, what a great use for flashcards!

  4. I love this! So vintage looking!

  5. Love it! Thank you!!

  6. Thasnks for the great turtorial. I love this!!

  7. These are super adorable! Here’s a trick I’ve learned from working with old paper like sheet music. If you coat both sides with matte Mod Podge, it makes the end product so much stronger! You can do it before or after making your project and you don’t see it because it is matte. Now, I want to make some pinwheels!

  8. Such a fun twist on a classic. Looks lovely. Pin!

  9. Those are very cute! Just love your shop wish I was closer so I could visit

  10. Monica says:

    Thank you so much for the step by step…I will have to do this with Halloween paper…..a fan of your site!!

  11. Thank you so much for this tutorial. I love it …
    Anne (from France)

  12. Very cute, thanks for showing us the how-to. So much fun! :)

  13. How fun and easy! We’ve made these before but never as beautiful!

  14. Judie Lindley says:

    Definately want to make some of these. Sooo cute!

  15. Linden Townhouse says:

    So cute! I love the Dick and Jane one. My Grandma used to make us pinwheels. She used a sturdy sewing pin to attach them to a straight clothespin, and we ran around her backyard with them.

  16. These are adorable! Thanks.

  17. Nancy says:

    Love this idea. I am going to try my hand at these, especially for the summer.

  18. Jewel says:

    Thank you for the tutorial. These are soooooo adorable!

  19. So sweet! Thanks for sharing how to make them.

  20. Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. says:

    The pinwheels from the Dick & Jane book are so adorable! I was already planning to make pinwheels from scrapbook paper, now I need to go search for some children’s books!

  21. Thanks so much for sharing how to make these! I hope to make some for some summer decor! Fun fun!!!

  22. This is just a sweet flashback to childhood. It’s a little bit magical, I love it.
    Really love it…

  23. a suggestion for not splitting the dowels…..when I made some pinwheels for my daughter’s 1st birthday party I soaked the ends of the dowels in a cup of water first. the tack should go in pretty easily because the wood spftens up. I suggest leaving the tack in for a bit so the hole doesn’t close back up when it starts to dry out a bit. then you can proceed as normal!

  24. also….a dab (i’m talking the tiniest bit) of hot glue/craft glue/super glue/etc in the hole before you stick the tack in the final time helps ensure that the tack won’t pop out or spin around/get loose on you!

  25. these are just precious!! love!

  26. Thank you, thank you, this will be so much fun to do with the grandkids.

  27. I love this idea. Really cute DIY. Thanks for sharing :)

  28. I just knew you had to be a scrapbooker! Only a scrapbookers have paper cutters like that! Am I right?
    I love these!!! I am hosting a Wedding shower this summer and this will be the perfect touch. The bride will love it.

    • Miss Mustard Seed says:

      That’s so funny. I actually don’t scrapbook, but I have all of the tools, so I look like one.

  29. These are so sweet! I have a few vintage books that could be used for these!! Thx so much for the tutorial! Love your blog as you are very inspirational in what you do!!

  30. They are adorable,….thanks for the tutorial!!

  31. Shannon A says:

    LOVE them! Thanks for the tutorial. :)

    Do you remember the name of the name of the paper folding book you gals got from the library? TIA! ~Shannon :)

  32. Thanks Marian for posting this tutorial. I made these when I was a kid – but I had forgotten how! There are gorgeous.


  33. very very sweet,Thank You for the Tut….we all appreciate. I think I will make some with Mothers day in mind. I think sweet to give to a mom,to rekindle her memories of simply times. On each wheel,print of a word with meaning to mom, I love you mom….one example again thank you for the inspirations

  34. Ellen says:

    I have been making these for a while now but your tutorial is great. Thanks so much.

  35. Cindy says:

    I love this tutorial!! They will be perfect for a project I’m making for my wonderful MIL’s birthday party next month. Thanks so much :)

  36. bella says:

    Thank you soooo much for the tutorial! I asked late last week, and was so happy to see you had posted it this week. I was wondering what you sell yours for in your shop? So i know what i am saving to make them myself? :) Such a cute idea and I can’t wait to make them. I am going to run out today and get the supplies, and I have 100’s of old children’s books downstairs!!
    Sounds like a fun evening…..Chic flick, cup of tea, lil’ chocolate and make these wonderful pinwheels! Thank you!!!

  37. Thanks for sharing. I have an idea on how to use them for the 13th birthday party for a friend’s daughter :)

  38. bella says:

    Made these last night…..used the suggestion to add drop of hot glue into nail hole, and it works! Messy but fun to make….. and adorable! Thank you Miss Mustard Seed

  39. Tonya Mannes says:

    Thank you so much for this awesome idea!! I made one tonight and it turned out so cute! I used scrap book paper and because I didn’t want the white side to show, I used one of the kid’s glue sticks and stuck two pieces together! I can’t wait to show them off to my friends!!

  40. I had fun making two pinwheels and posted them with a link back to your tutorial to spread the fun. Thank you so much for sharing. I want about a hundred more of them but am waiting to get some beautiful glitter like you used.

  41. I love, love, love this! I have always wanted to know how to make a pinwheel and you explained it so well! Thank you!

  42. Great tutorial! I’ve just started a blog called Five Seventeen Repurposing and would like to add you to my blog list, if I may. Please let me know. Thanks!

  43. Wow! These lovely pin wheels are SENSATIONAL !!! So creative and such a a beautiful finished product.. The use of children’s book pages makes such a splash of color and whimsy. Thanks very much for the inspiration!

  44. I saw this on pinterest and just loved the idea for making vintage looking pinwheels for craft shows I do so that kids have something they can buy. They are inexpensive and bring in a little additional cash for the larger items I have that take awhile to sell. I came up with 2 suggestions for the project that seemed to work for me. First, in saving time, I bought glitter glue instead of mixing glitter and Elmer’s glue. It was faster and I was able to apply it more evenly. Second, I purchased some fancy upholstery tacks, so when hammering them in, use a bit of cloth or felt between the hammer and tack so as not to scratch the tack’s surface. I also really liked the suggestion by another poster to Modge Podge the paper first. This makes it sturdier and easier to work with as far as gluing the corners to the innermost part of the pinwheel. These are amazing!


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