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How to Make a Decorative Windmill

Add tons of farmhouse charm to your decor with this inexpensive decorative windmill.

Have you been eyeing the beautiful rustic windmill decor you’ve seen around? But with price tags in the $100s and up, it’s really hard to fit that into a small budget. Guess what? I figured out how to make one for around $10!

Yep, this beautiful decorative windmill was made at a fraction of the cost and I’m so excited to show you how.

Faux metal decorative windmill hanging on an old window.

Going into fall, I want to update our living room to be a bit more cozy. For the summer we decorated it to look like a tropical retreat, but now I am ready for more farmhouse elements.

Saying goodbye to the pineapples and palm leaves can only be okay when it is replaced with windmills and pumpkins!

Old window and decorative windmill above a navy blue sofa.

After spending way too much time looking at windmills online, I seriously considered buying one. But even if I have the money, my heart hurts thinking about spending so much money on one piece of decor.

I like to have options. Lots of options! So when I want to switch things up on a whim, I can. Then I decided to figure out how to make my own decorative windmill instead!

Close up of the faux metal blades of the decorative windmill.

I went looking for ideas for metal rings, praying they would be in my budget, and was so excited to find a 19″ metal floral ring! Perfect for a large rustic windmill! After bringing it home, the vision unfolded.

Even better than this extremely awesome price tag for my DIY windmill decor, was how fun and easy it was to make in just an afternoon.

Farmhouse living room with navy blue tufted sofa and decorative windmill hanging on an old window.

How to Make a Decorative Windmill

Supplies:

  • Windmill blades template
    • I am sharing the template for the blades for free with my subscribers until 9/17/2018. Click here to subscribe and gain access to the freebies. If you already have your password, click here to download them.
  • 19″ metal floral ring
  • 4″ metal ring
  • Coverstock
  • Variety of metal look spray paints
    • I used a combination of hammered metal in Weathered Steel, Dark Bronze and Metallic Gold.
  • 19″ x 3/4″ x 1/4″ piece of wood
    • If you do not have scraps of wood to use, you can buy a small dowel for a dollar or two.
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Tape

Cut out 12 windmill blades out of coverstock paper. You could use cardstock, but it won’t be as strong.

Cut windmill blades out of coverstock paper to make an easy decorative windmill.

Roll the blades along the edge of a table to give them a little curve. Make sure you are curving them all so the slits are all on the same side.

Roll the paper windmill blades over the edge of a table to give it a curve

Spray paint the fan blades. I started with a base layer of Weathered Steel on both sides.

Spray painting paper fan blades with hammered metal spray paint in a spray shelter.

Then I added a spotty layer of Dark Bronze to the fronts. Next I added a few swipes of Metallic Gold. The gold seemed very stark, so I added a bit more Dark Bronze on top again to make it look more rusty.

And it only took about 20 minutes to paint the windmill fan blades.

Showing the different layers of spray paint on the windmill blades to create a rustic decorative windmill.

While the blades are drying, fire up the hot glue gun. Use the pieces of wood to secure the rings together so the center ring is centered nicely. I didn’t do this, I tried to adjust and add the wood at the end.

But I would highly recommend doing it first.

After they are dry, start threading the blades onto your rings. Open the slits and place the rings so they are in the cut out holes. Use a small piece of tape on the back to close the slit back up when you are done.

Threading the paper decorative windmill blades on the metal rings.

Position the blades where you want them, then secure with a dollop of hot glue on the back of the blade around the ring. Make sure to secure the top and the bottom.

Glue the blades of the decorative windmill onto the metal ring.

To hang your beautiful new windmill decor, tie a piece of string to the back of the ring on the outside of the wood piece. This will prevent it from sliding.

I also used a little hot glue to secure the end of the string to the back of the wood so it doesn’t accidentally stick out while hanging so nicely on the wall or mantel.

Tie string to the ring of the decorative windmill to hang it.

Then all that is left is to decide where to hang your new decorative windmill.

Handmade decorative windmill decor, painted to look like rustic metal.

Large decorative windmill hanging on a vintage window with shutters.

How to Make a Decorative Windmill

Yield: 1 Windmill
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Active Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: $10
Add tons of farmhouse charm to your decor with this inexpensive decorative windmill tutorial.

Materials

  • Windmill blades template
  • 19″ metal floral ring
  • Coverstock
  • Variety of metal look spray paints
  • 19″ x 3/4″ x 1/4″ piece of wood

Tools

  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Tape

Instructions

    1. Cut out 12 windmill blades out of coverstock paper. You could use cardstock, but it won’t be as strong.
    2. Roll the blades along the edge of a table to give them a little curve. Make sure you are curving them all so the slits are all on the same side.
    3. Spray paint the fan blades. I started with a base layer of Weathered Steel on both sides.
    4. Then I added a spotty layer of Dark Bronze to the fronts. Next I added a few swipes of Metallic Gold. The gold seemed very stark, so I added a bit more Dark Bronze on top again to make it look more rusty.
    5. While the blades are drying, fire up the hot glue gun. Use the pieces of wood to secure the rings together so the center ring is centered nicely.
    6. After they are dry, start threading the blades onto your rings. Open the slits and place the rings so they are in the cut out holes. Use a small piece of tape on the back to close the slit back up when you are done.
    7. Position the blades where you want them, then secure with a dollop of hot glue on the back of the blade around the ring. Make sure to secure the top and the bottom.
    8. To hang your beautiful new windmill decor, tie a piece of string to the back of the ring on the outside of the wood piece.

Did you make this project?

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

Now to finish the rest of the fall decor!

-Kati with picture of blog author Kati

 

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Ada

Sunday 10th of January 2021

I've made a half wind mail for my daughter,came out great! I'm Really interested in your Shutters! Can you share how you made them,they're awesome! Thanks! Ada

Kati

Tuesday 19th of January 2021

A half windmill would be so pretty! I have a tutorial for the shutters here: Easy to Build Shutter Decor.

Audrey Johnson

Wednesday 12th of August 2020

Where do you find Coverstock and what weight? Audrey

Kati

Thursday 13th of August 2020

I bought mine at Michaels arts and crafts store. But you can also find it online here: https://amzn.to/3akfOYj (affiliate link). Make sure it is over 100lb, I prefer a thicker 110-120lb.

Margaret Cook

Thursday 19th of September 2019

This is right up my alley! I totally agree with you about the price of windmills in the the stores or online! Your pattern for the windmill blades has a date of several years ago as the expiration date. Is that still true or can I still receive them? You are so creative to figure this out-I hope there are more “farmhouse “ ideas in the works! Thanks,

Kati

Friday 20th of September 2019

It is still available in the subscriber library! Enjoy crafting it.

Carolyn Dupre

Thursday 6th of September 2018

Thank you.

Carolyn Dupre

Thursday 6th of September 2018

For the project "How to Make a Decorative Windmill" how do I judge the size and angles of the windmill blades? Maybe a free pattern.

Kati

Thursday 6th of September 2018

Well I guess that is what happens when I am too tired to write posts. There is a template in the subscriber library. I just forgot to say it in the post!

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