Aren’t pinwheels so much fun? I couldn’t stop making these because they were so cute and I wanted to keep playing with them. This tutorial will show you how to make the patterned pinwheels you see on our tablescape. We used them as a table number and also as place cards but they can be used to line your aisle, as guest favors, or just to add an element of playfulness to any wedding or party!
All pictures featured were taken by our girl Brittany of BKM Photography.
- poster board $1.00
- tissue paper $1.00
- pencils $1.00
- pins $3.99
- foam brush
- pinwheel templates: small pinwheel, large pinwheel
Step 1 – TRACE AND CUT.
Trace your pinwheel template onto your poster board. With the template on top of the poster board, press your pencil hard onto the lines where you will cut to make an indentation into the posterboard. This will serve as your guide when it comes time to cut those lines. Also, make marks where your pins will go through (on the template, these are the circles in the corners and one in the middle). Cut out just the overall square.
Step 2 – TISSUE PAPER.
To make this pattern out of tissue paper, first I cut long strips of the paper. I took all layers of each color and cut them while they were still folded. After the long strips were cut, I trimmed those to make the tiny individual strips that would be used on the pinwheels.
Step 3 – GLUE.
Take your glue mixture and brush the shiny side of the poster board. While the glue is wet, arrange your tissue paper in a pattern you like. After the tissue paper is where you want it, brush glue on top of the paper to seal it. Set aside and allow 15-20 minutes to dry.
Step 4 – CUT AND PIERCE.
Once the glue has dried completely, use your indentation marks to cut along the 4 lines. Next, take one of your pins and pierce each hole. Since the poster board is thick, I found it easier to make the holes before folding in the corners.
Step 5 – FOLD.
Fold all your corners into the center and stick the pin through each corner and through the middle. I would like to say that I found a super secret way to make this easy but I didn’t. I basically had to do each corner one by one and string them all onto the pin and then manipulate this pin that was being pulled in 4 directions into the center hole. It’s not a huge pain, but it’s also not that easy… sorry, no pro tips here.
Step 6 – ATTACH.
Once you have managed to get the pin through all of the holes and your pinwheel has now taken shape, you can stick the pin through the eraser of your prepped pencil. Be sure to bend the pin down so you and your guests aren’t in harm’s way! (This was easier than pre-drilling a hole into a dowel and gluing the pin inside, but if you don’t want to use a pencil, that is another option.)
Step 7 – BLOW.
Play with your pretty pinwheel!
The pencils I bought from the dollar store were Spring themed but I wanted just plain white. I knew the pattern on the pencil was only a plastic cover that could be easily peeled off, so I bought the Springtime pencils and tore those covers right off! Voilà, white stems for my pretty pinwheels!
If you want to use your pinwheels as table numbers or place cards, add your writing between steps 4 and 5. This way you can determine the best placement for your letters and it’s easier to write on a flat surface.