How to Make Paper Windmills

We used to make paper windmills when I was little.  They are a great craft project for a rainy afternoon and are easy to make.

They are also a great way to decorate a party venue, or a craft that can be done at a party and can be taken home by the guests. We made paper windmills for the wedding party bags for Nicky and Nigel's wedding and printed the date of the event onto one of the sails.  To make them yourselves...


a square of paper - Mine was 12.5cm (5") x 12.5cm (5")

a nail or pin tack 

dowling, garden cane or drinking straw - I used a slender bamboo cane

a bead

pencil, ruler, scissors, hammer

1.  Take your sqare of paper and fold it in half to make a triangle and then fold that in half again.

2. Unfold the paper and refering to the diagram below cut 2/3's of the way down the diagonal fold lines towards the centre point.  

3. Working in a clockwise direction take your nail or pin tack and push it through the top corner of each sail, as in the diagram above. Carefully push the nail or pin tack through the centre. 

how to make a paper windmill or pinwheel

4. Holding the windmill tightly turn it over and put a bead onto the nail sticking out of the back.  This acts as a spacer and will help the windmill's sails turn smoothly. Then push the nail into the dowling/garden cane or whatever you are using as the windmill's stick.  Tap the nail into place with a hammer, if it goes right trough the cane I just tapped the point bending it into the stick. 

make a paper windmill or pinwheel

It's best to use paper that is different on one side to the other.  We used plain brown paper first painting a design onto the back before cutting out our squares.   You can also use the scrap booking paper that has different patterns on either side. 

For the windmill's stick I used bamboo canes from the garden, with the "help" of my Patterdale who obviously thought these were new dog chews for him. I've also tried garden canes and dowling, the garden canes often split, but the dowling works really well.

No comments

Back to Top