Tuesday, June 18, 2013

DIY Pinwheel Tutorials

I have had a few inquiries as to how I've made my pinwheel decor for my wedding, and I decided I'd share my experiences.

When I started this process, I realized that I had not made a pinwheel since elementary school. So I had to look up how to make one. So I will help everyone who had the same problem I did. This first image is a wonderful diagram of how to make a simple pinwheel.

While a pin and a pencil eraser are a good way to make a pinwheel functional, I am here to make them a little prettier for weddings and other events. I will make note though, that none of the styles I will show are functional, just pretty. None of them spin, sadly (for all of us kids at heart). But they sure do look good!

Let me begin:

Pinwheel Boutonnieres

Katy Weaver Photography
-Felt Sheet
-Hot Glue
-broach pins

The first DIY I will go through is the pinwheel boutonniere. I made these from 3" squares of felt that I cut from the sheets you can find at any craft store. This DIY was fairly simple, as you only have to hot glue the ends into the center. I then hot-glued a button to the center, and a broach pin to the back. Done!

Pinwheel Escort Cards

Pinwheel Escort Card

Katy Weaver Photography
-Scrapbook Paper
-Kraft Paper (or any solid color paper you want to write on)
-Paper Cutter
-hot glue
-faux pearl stickers

 The escort card is very much same as the boutonniere. I used scrapbook paper cut to 3" squares, and again hot glued the tabs to the center. This time, I took the self sticking half pearls to finish off the center of the pinwheel. Lastly, I took a piece of kraft paper (about 1"x5") and glued the end to the back of the pinwheel.

Note: I will be hand writing the names and table numbers on the strips. If you want to type them, you can print out names on the paper directly, then cut out each name, leaving enough room to the left of the name to glue the paper to the back of the pinwheel.

You'll notice in the picture from our wedding, that the pinwheels have those flat filler marbles in the center. These we had to use to hold them down, since the wind kept blowing them away! You can do that too, or put some kind of weight on the back when you are making them. Even better, you could put magnets on the back, and stick them to a large sheet of metal decorated for your wedding!

Pinwheel on a Straw

Katy Weaver Photography

Katy Weaver Photography

Now for the pinwheels with a handle! This gets a little more complicated, but once you get the hang of it, they are actually pretty easy. 
-Paper cut to 6" squares
-Flat head tacks
-plastic disposable straws. I used narrow, transparent, green ones that blend in inside the wine bottle.
-hot glue

For this one, you do not need to hot glue the tabs to the center. Instead, poke the thumbtack through each tab, then through the center of the pinwheel. This holds the paper without any glue. Then, you simply, yet gently, push the remaining part of the tack into the straw, about 1/4" - 1/2" from the top of the straw. Only push it into the straw, not all the way through. You will see that the sharp end of the tack is now enclosed by the straw, not exposed. 

While the straw does a decent job of holding the tack in place, I decided to squeeze some hot glue into the top of the straw, so it could grab the end of the tack and harden around it.

Bridesmaid Pinwheel "Bouquets"

Katy Weaver Photography
I also want to include how I made the bridesmaid pinwheel "bouquets". They took a little more engineering, since the paper is much heavier in such a large size, but they weren't hard, I promise!

-A 1/4" dowel from a craft store. I bought 2, and cut each one in thirds, creating about 12" lengths
-12" scrapbook paper
-Floral or jewelry wire. Get some that is fairly thin and easy to manipulate.
-Double sided tape (you could use a tape runner, or even a glue stick)
-Hot glue
-small piece of chipboard/cardboard
-Large Button

I first cut down the dowels to 12" sections, and had Father-in-Law carefully drill a small hole in them, about 1" down from the top.
Then, pick two coordinating scrapbook papers, and glue/tape them back to back. This helps stabilize the large paper size, as well as adds a decorative element to the pinwheel. You could also pick a heavier weight paper that has a pattern on both sides. Cut like a pinwheel, and hot glue the ends to create the pinwheel shape.
Take the small piece of chipboard, and cut it to be smaller than your button. I actually found chipboard scrapbook buttons, which work perfectly. Once the chipboard is cut, poke two holes in it, to make it resemble an actual button.
Place the dowel in the back of the pinwheel, and the faux button on the front. Starting in the back, thread the floral wire through the dowel hole, poking through the center of the pinwheel, and then through one of the chipboard holes. Then, go the other way, threading it through the other chipboard hole, back through the pinwheel, and back through the hole in the dowel. Cut the wire, leaving plenty of tail on both ends. Wrap the excess around the dowel until the tail is almost gone, and if you can, poke the ends back into the dowel hole, hiding the sharp points.
Hot glue the wire into place.
You may use a duct tape to carefully hide the wire/glue, but I didn't, since the back of the pinwheels were never seen.
Hot glue your actual button over the top of the chipboard one.

Katy Weaver Photography

Done! See how easy that was? Pinwheel decor for all aspects of your wedding or event. :)

*I apologize for my lack of instructional photos.  I hope to clear up my written instructions when I can. Feel free to leave a comment to ask me any questions, I will be happy to help!

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