Skip to Content

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may receive a commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using my link. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

DIY Giant Outdoor Pinwheels

Decorate your garden with DIY giant outdoor pinwheels you can make yourself!

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 DIY giant outdoor pinwheels 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.

pinterest image of finished diy outdoor pinwheels shown in the outdoor garden area.

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!

close up of finished pinwheel in purple and pink colors

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.

close up of finished pinwheels in garden. set of two pinwheels one in yellow and blue and one in pink and purple

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.

close up of yellow and blue pinwheel

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!

pink and purple pinwheel in garden in front of green plant

So what is a crazy DIY’er 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!

set of two pinwheels in the garden in front of planter and green plant.

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!

close up of pink and purple pinwheel and yellow and blue pinwheel in the garden.

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.

pinwheel template in pink and purple

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.

pink and purple individual pinwheels being put together with ladies hand glueing the pinwheel

Now things were starting to look right, and they were sticking together perfectly. Yeah!

in process photo of 6 pinwheels being put together in pink and purple colors

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.

in process photo of pinwheel being put together with nail and dowel in pink and purple

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.

dowel being placed in back of pink and purple pinwheel to put it together

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.

little girl in pink shirt and jean skirt playing with completed pink and purple pinwheel

set of two completed pinwheels in the garden one is pink and purple and one is yellow and blue

And they look so great in the garden. A pop of vibrant color for spring!

close up of pink and purple pinwheel

I am sharing the cut files for the giant outdoor pinwheels in my subscriber library. Click here to subscribe to my newsletter and gain access to all the freebies. If you already have your password, click here to download them. 

How fun are they pinwheels? These DIY Giant Outdoor pinwheels are made from plastic so they can withstand the weather. Perfect outdoor decor for your flower garden. | Housefulofhandmade.com

DIY Giant Outdoor Pinwheels

Yield: 2 DIY Giant Outdoor Pinwheels
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: $5
Learn how to make these adorable DIY giant outdoor pinwheels that you can make quickly and easily!

Materials

  • Colored plastic binder dividers
  • Template for the vanes (included in post)
  • 3"  Nails
  • Smoothie Straws
  • Square Dowels

Tools

  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Drill
  • Silhouette

Instructions

    1. Cut out plastic binder dividers on the Silhouette using the included template.
    2. For each pinwheel I cut 6 vanes.  
    3. Use a high heat glue gun to assemble the pinwheels together.
    4. Lay out the 6 vanes so that they are evenly spaced, lining up the front center hole.
    5. Hot glue 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Add the center support using a nail and a straw. 
    8. 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.  
    9. Attach the finished pinwheels to the 2 square dowels, one measures 1/2 inch and the other was 3/8 inch.

Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Happy spring 🙂

-Kati with picture of blog author Kati

Master Bathroom Remodel: What I Learned about Tiling
← Previous
Double Chocolate Nutella Cookies
Next →

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Kris Bear

Tuesday 19th of May 2020

Did anyone try making them with plastic folders instead? I have an abundance of them and figured that they would work.

So cute!

Kati

Monday 22nd of June 2020

I haven't tried them, but I would love to hear how they work if you do!

Laurie

Thursday 9th of April 2020

I'm not able to find the template for the pinwheels. I can find the article, but can't find anything but the article in the Subscriber Library. Sorry to be such a pain, but can you point me to it?? I REALLY need some giant pinwheels in my life right now! :)

Kati

Monday 20th of April 2020

Hi Laurie, the link to the PDF and SVG files are right under the picture in the library. When you click the link, it will download a .ZIP file to your computer or phone. You will need to have a program to unzip it (they are free, or included on your device). Look for the download in your downloads folder to unzip it! And I agree, everyone needs some pinwheels in their life, especially right now!

Monica

Wednesday 8th of May 2019

I cannot find the template :(

Kati

Wednesday 15th of May 2019

The template is in the subscriber library. Once you subscribe, you will get the link and password. If you forgot, I include it at the bottom of each week's newsletter.

Angel

Wednesday 16th of January 2019

Hi. I would like to make some of these giant pinwheels for our garden. But I cannot find the free printable pattern on the subscriber library. Please help. I really want to make a lot of this and I want to make sure I have the exact vane patter. :-)

Kati

Saturday 19th of January 2019

Thanks for letting me know Angel! I made some changes and some of the files accidentally got deleted. I put the pinwheel ones back in there so you ware good to go!

Beth

Friday 20th of April 2018

Hi, first of all, thank you for this tutorial. I made these and I have a great solution for the problems you were these pinwheels. NUTS AND BOLTS!! to replace the nail and gluing. It works like a charm. The screw even helps hold on the binder plastic. I made these for my daughter's school. They were so easy. Thank you again!!!

Kati

Saturday 21st of April 2018

OMG That is so brilliant! I need to make some more for our garden since they were destroyed in a crazy windstorm. Going to try the nut and bolt idea!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.