patterned pinwheels {tutorial}

How about a cute summery project?


This one is not totally original, but I love the mix of patterns and think these pinwheels make a delightful centerpiece for a summer party.

Want to make some?

Here’s what you’ll need:


:: patterned paper {see the printable collection below}

:: strips of solid paper

:: pencils with erasers

:: thumbtacks

:: scissors, tiny hole punch, glue dots

STEP ONE: cover each pencil


Cut a strip of paper to about 1/2 inch x 15 inches. Use a glue dot to hold top in place and begin wrapping around the pencil, securing with a glue dot at the end.


STEP TWO: select two pieces of paper for pinwheel and cut to desired size

two papers

The finished size of your pinwheel is determined by the size of the square {I cut mine 6 x 6}

STEP THREE: glue papers back to back

back to back

two sided

STEP FOUR: fold diagonally


and again

fold again

STEP FIVE: hole punch each corner

hole punch

I used a hole punch with a teensy hole {1/16″}

STEP SIX: cut along folded line, leaving 1/2″ at center

cut diagonal


STEP SEVEN: poke thumbtack through hole in each corner


through center

and poke through back


STEP EIGHT: attach to pencil


Press the thumbtack into eraser of the pencil.

And you’ll have this:


Any scrapbook paper will work {although very heavyweight paper doesn’t hold well}. I love using a combination of prints and colors … you can go with a color scheme {say, red, white & blue for the 4th of July} or a specific pattern {like gingham for an outdoor picnic in the park}. I created a collection of patterns, printed them onto regular text-weight printer paper and they turned out great.

The entire printable paper collection is now available in the shop


pattern paper

Or you can get them all.



{each pdf is 8.5 x 11 and will be delivered to your email once your purchase has been completed. Make sure you check the email address used in your paypal purchase. Don’t forget to save the files to your computer so that you can print as often as you need}

Enjoy your weekend!

25 Responses to patterned pinwheels {tutorial}

  1. Karrianne June 27, 2011 at 11:52 am #

    Cute Pinwheels! I’ll be making some of these soon, thanks for sharing!

  2. Tammy H June 25, 2011 at 11:50 pm #

    I just made one of the pinwheels and used an eyelet in the center so it will spin easily if the kids want to blow on them :) An eyelet will also make it easy to string up a bunch to hang if I wanted too as well. Thanks for the cute idea!

  3. Tammy H June 25, 2011 at 11:12 pm #

    Just bought the paper collection this afternoon – love it! If you add the other colors people requested above, please let me know too :)

  4. Anji June 25, 2011 at 5:43 pm #

    Making pinwheels has been on my to do list for a few weeks. Seeing how cute your pinwheels turned out was the motivation I needed. Thanks! Pinwheels = smiles :)

  5. Diane @ Longaberger Lifestyle June 24, 2011 at 6:16 pm #

    I’ve had my eye on pinwheels recently. Your tut is terrific. I can’t wait to try my hand at a whole fistful now!! Thanks Emily….you’re the best!

  6. Alex June 24, 2011 at 5:20 pm #

    So cute and SO summer! I’m thinking “Red, White, and Blue spin wheels” will be PERFECT for the upcoming holiday!

  7. KellyB June 24, 2011 at 3:54 pm #

    You make life just a little bit happier every day :) Love it!

  8. Angela June 24, 2011 at 2:51 pm #

    I love the paper collection…and I am also wondering can you add navy????

  9. Katie June 24, 2011 at 2:48 pm #

    Thanks so much for the paper download! What type of paper do recommend printing it on?

  10. Christy June 24, 2011 at 2:33 pm #

    LOVE! LOVE! LOVE! I just ordered the entire collection. I can’t wait to begin this project.

  11. erin June 24, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

    i just love how you style your pictures. you have such a great eye for color.

    love the tutorial! going to check out your paper collections!

  12. Alima June 24, 2011 at 10:33 am #

    So fun! Love your patterned paper! I will definitely be buying that! Now you just need to start desiging fabric because I would love some fabric in the chevron, gate, awning and tile patterns!!

  13. Lemonade Makin Mama June 24, 2011 at 9:28 am #

    Oh that IS the cutest summery project! I might need to make some of those for July 4th.


  14. Tiffany June 24, 2011 at 9:22 am #

    Love this! Perfect for 4th of July and my son’s birthday! Thanks!!

  15. Lynda June 24, 2011 at 8:55 am #

    Love your patterned paper collection. Adorable as always!

  16. ashley June 24, 2011 at 8:48 am #

    I love the idea of printing out your own designs. Please check out my little girls first birthday full of pinwheels and tissue pom poms! http://www.evelynkatedesigns.com/2011/03/blast-from-past.html

    I ended up using double sided card stock and even made her invitations to match the theme.

  17. Emily June 24, 2011 at 8:47 am #

    Thank you so much for this tutorial and paper download. Both are beautiful. And I know I’ll use them time and time again. My boys will love making these this summer, and I plan to decorate the garden with them.

  18. Melissa June 24, 2011 at 8:40 am #

    I LOVE this, thank you! I’ve been wanting to learn how to make them!

  19. Kim June 24, 2011 at 8:26 am #

    L.O.V.E. it – thank you!!!

  20. Kerstin @ The Real Housewives of Idaho June 24, 2011 at 8:17 am #

    I love this. I want the entire collection! Is there any way you could add coral and/or navy? I would love to use it in my kids’ room that I am redoing in those colors.

  21. Jadie June 24, 2011 at 8:03 am #

    These are super cute! Thanks for sharing your knowledge!! I can’t wait to start.

  22. 1 Funky Woman June 24, 2011 at 5:19 am #

    I’ve always wanted to know how to do those, how fun! Love all those papers too!

  23. Ashley June 24, 2011 at 5:05 am #

    So cute and easy! I’m pinning this for my baby’s birthday in the fall!

  24. melissa June 24, 2011 at 4:33 am #

    super cute. love the pinwheels they are so whimsical! i want to make some for 4th of july…i’d better get to it huh?


  1. 7 Summer arts and crafts for kids – 101 Craft Ideas and Tutorials - January 15, 2018

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