How To Make Colorful Garden Pinwheels For Your Yard

The sight of colorful garden pinwheels reminds me of childhood. Of those carefree times when my only thoughts were to play with my mates, to run freely through the neighboring lawns with pinwheels tightly held in my hand, to make them spin.

My mom used the pinwheels to decorate the garden or the flower pots in our balcony.

Today, I make them for my children and once they got bored to watch them spin, I also use them to decorate my garden and flower pots. More often than not, making the garden pinwheels is an activity I make with my kids. It’s both fun and educational, as I can explain the properties of the wind and the concepts behind a windmill or an aircraft engine.

And in the end, the garden pinwheels are fabulous toys that can be made of various materials. These versatile objects can then be used to decorate your terrace, garden, or even summer party table. In this guide, I want to share with you two methods I use to make colorful garden pinwheels.

How To Make Paper Garden Pinwheels

Paper garden pinwheels are not eternal but they are fun and easy to make. I usually make them when I want to involve my kids in the process. You can use any type of decorative paper to make the pinwheels. Ideal to decorate indoor flower pots or a festive environment, these colorful garden pinwheels will become the attraction of the party.

Things You’ll Need

  • Decorative paper for scrapbooking
  • A piece of colored cardboard
  • A cork or a piece of rubber
  • Popsicle sticks or straws
  • Pins
  • Paper glue
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Nail

How To Make Paper Garden Pinwheels

  • Draw a square on the back of the decorative scrapbook paper. For a medium-sized pinwheel, the square should have about 6×6 inches. Cut the square out from the sheet.
  • Draw two diagonal lines that link the opposite angles of the square. If you want to avoid drawing, you can simply fold the paper along the diagonals. Measure a distance of about half an inch from the center on both sides of each diagonal, then cut along the diagonal lines up to the marked points.
  • If you are using a cork, slice it along its length to achieve a round section. If you’re using rubber, use a stencil to cut a rubber circle.
  • With a decorative stencil of any shape you like, cut out a piece of cardboard. Puncture the cardboard figure in the center.
  • Bend the ends of the square towards the center, place the cardboard disc above the bent ends, fix it with a small quantity of paper glue and pass a small nail through them.
  • On the back of the pinwheel, place the cork section or rubber disc on the nail, then fix it to a popsicle stick or straw. Bend the end of the nail to prevent the components from falling off.

These colorful garden pinwheels are easy to make and adored by children. They will love watching them spinning in the wind, and they also make lovely party decorations.

As a side note, if you’re going to involve young kids to make these garden pinwheels, make sure they are properly supervised. The scissors and the nail are potentially dangerous and shouldn’t be left in the reach of unsupervised children.

How To Make Wooden Garden Pinwheels

Wooden garden pinwheels are suitable to decorate your yard or outdoor flower pots and resist in harsh weather for a longer time. Although making them is uncomplicated for an adult, I wouldn’t recommend involving young children in the process.

Older kids will most likely have fun creating wooden pinwheels but make sure they are supervised at all times.

These pinwheels are both decorative and functional. In windy days, they can keep insects and birds away from your flowers or plants.

For this project, I usually use plywood. I find it really easy to work with and is also a material easy to shape and transform by the older children. The plywood should have a thickness of about 1 mm.

Things You’ll Need

  • One sheet of plywood with a thickness of 1 mm
  • Cutter
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Screwdriver or thin driller
  • Nails
  • Rubber discs
  • Wood glue
  • Wood paint in any colors you like
  • Pencil
  • Ruler

How To Make Wooden Garden Pinwheels

  • Determine the size and number of blades you want your pinwheel to have. Wooden pinwheels are versatile because you can choose to make as many blades as you want. I usually make six blades and shape them as flower petals, but it’s totally up to you. Regarding the length of each blade, they should be of 2-3 inches long.
  • Using the pencil and the ruler, draw a number of straight lines equal to the number of blades you want the pinwheel to have. Using a line as midline for one blade, draw the desired shape of the blade. Repeat for all the other blades.
  • Using the cutter, cut the blades out of the plywood sheet. Also, cut out a small circle to use as the center of the pinwheel.
  • Glue each “petal” to the central circle to form a flower and let the glue dry.
  • Drill a small hole in the center of the circle and also at about 0.25 inches from one end of a popsicle stick.
  • Pass a nail through the center of the flower, through a small rubber circle, and then through the popsicle stick. Bend the end of the nail to keep the flower in place.
  • At this point, you can decorate the wooden garden pinwheel in your favorite colors. This is also an activity your children can do. In this way, you’ll be able to involve the little ones, letting them create a unique artwork to decorate the outdoors.


Making garden pinwheels is simple and rewarding. A simple activity to perform with your children and a magnificent way of decorating your garden with unique decorations.

Then, the garden pinwheels will help you know from which direction the wind is coming and will protect your plants from insects and birds. Without a doubt, this is a win-win situation.

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