For some reason, spring has me so excited to add bright colors and new decor outside. Every store I go to I have to wander the isles of outdoor decor and this year I am seeing these giant outdoor pinwheels everywhere. I love them, they are the perfect way to add a little color to my flower garden until all the blossoms bloom. But I knew I could make my own for way less than the $10 price tag. So I took a good look at the way they were put together and set out to create my own DIY Giant Outdoor Pinwheels.
Obviously you could make these pinwheels with paper, but they would not stand up to the weather (however, I am considering making some for inside too now). But I needed a solution to make my pinwheels work for my flower garden. I found some brightly colored plastic binder dividers on clearance at Target for $1.48. Each pack had 8 dividers (2 each of 4 colors). Perfect!
I created a template for the vanes (I have no clue what to call them so I’m going with this, if anyone knows what they are called, I am super curious to know) of the pinwheel as big as I could get it on one sheet of paper since my plastic dividers were the size of a sheet of paper.
I had previously cut out plastic binder dividers on my Silhouette when I made my Monogrammed Moss Door Hanger so I knew I could cut out my pinwheel vanes really quick. I seriously love my Silhouette and use it ALL THE TIME! It makes great Mother’s Day or Christmas gifts for the crafting addicts in your life 🙂 But you can always go the old fashion way of cutting with scissors.
For each pinwheel I cut 6 vanes. Then it was time to assemble my giant pinwheels. For some reason I originally thought I could just put all the vanes on a nail and they would make a beautiful pinwheel. I guess I was a little delusional that day! I realized I needed to glue the vanes together at the points I needed them to come together. So I grabbed some gorilla glue (I wanted them to withstand everything). But that did not set up. I let it sit for 24 hours and when I checked, it all just fell apart!
So what is a crazy DIYer going to do when a project is getting the best of them… Tile their bathroom shower! Seriously, I put the pinwheel project on hold for almost 2 weeks and put all my brain power into fighting with tiles and grout (you can read all about my grouting disaster here). After the shower was done, a new toilet was added to the master bathroom, and the kids were entertained for a weekend while the hubby was away, I decided to tackle the pinwheels again. This time I won!
When I need something to stick and fast, I always turn to my hot glue gun! It is one of the greatest crafting inventions of all time. I am a little worried the hot glue will have issues in the hot weather, so I made sure to use a high heat glue gun, hopefully that helps, only time will tell. But for now, they look awesome, and if they have issues I will keep looking for something that can hold them together like I want!
To assemble the pinwheels (once I finally found my glue solution), it only took me a few minutes. I started by laying out the 6 vanes so that they were evenly spaced, lining up the front center hole. Then I hot glued them together by putting a ring of glue around the hole and pressing the next vane on top. Continue until all 6 are glued together at the front.
Then it’s time to glue the backs together. I found it was best to place them over the top of the front center hole so that they lined up perfectly. I went around the circle and glued the backs together at the center hole just like I did the front.
Now things were starting to look right, and they were sticking together perfectly. Yeah!
So it was time to add the center support. I decided to use a nail and a straw. I know it’s weird but it worked perfectly! I used a 3 inch nail, the kind you use when framing a house. And a smoothy straw (the smaller inexpensive straws were too tight on the nail). Stick the nail through the front center hole, then feed a 2 inch piece of straw on in, then feed it through the back center hole, and finish it off with a 1/2 inch piece of straw.
Then I needed a post to attach the finished pinwheels to. I had 2 square dowels left over from other projects, one was a 1/2 inch dowel and the other was 3/8 inch, they both worked perfectly! I tried to just hammer the nail into the dowel at first, but it split. So I grabbed my drill and put a little hole into the dowel, just smaller than the nail. Then for good measure I filled it with hot glue and tapped the end of the nail into it. Make sure not to squeeze the pieces of straw or it will not spin.
And it’s all done! I did cut the bottom of the dowel at a 45 degree angle so it was easier to stick in the dirt. Then we went outside to play. The kids are in love with the new pinwheels and I’ve never seen them so excited for wind. They would see the pinwheels spinning and run screaming over to get a closer look.
And they look so great in the garden. A pop of vibrant color for spring!
If you want to make your own pinwheels, you can download the Silhouette cut file of the vanes here or the PDF here. And for more printables and downloads, sign up for my weekly newsletter and get access to my library of freebies full of printables and downloads for every occasion.
Happy spring 🙂
I’m linking up to some of my favorite Link Parties.