Let’s make DIY pinwheels, but not just any paper pinwheels, let’s make giant pinwheels! This pinwheel craft is one of the best summer crafting ideas for kids of all ages. Use our printable pinwheel template with some simple supplies like colored paper, pin and pencil, to make the most amazing homemade pinwheel. This pinwheel craft is fun for home or the classroom.

How to make a pinwheel - giant diy paper pinwheels - three spinning paper pinwheels on wooden dowels shown on white background - Kids Activities Blog
Let’s make paper pinwheels!

How to Make a Pinwheel

Summer wouldn’t be summer without colorful pinwheels spinning in the breeze. We’ve started making Giant Color Popping Paper Pinwheels, ready to plant in the flower beds as soon as the sunshine decides to visit and stay awhile! Making pinwheels are a surprisingly easy summer craft for kids that has room for creativity and variation.

Related: How to Make Paper Mache Crafts with Easy Paper Mache Recipe

Print Our Paper Pinwheel Template

Reduce or enlarge the template for a variety of pinwheel sizes, palm size or giant…. you decide. If you prefer to receive your pinwheel template via email, click the green button:

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Supplies Needed to Make Paper Pinwheel Craft

supplied needed to make giant diy paper pinwheels - cutting mat, exacto knife, contrasting colorful paper sheets and printed pdf version of our paper pinwheel template
This is what you will need to make a pinwheel!

Directions for DIY Pinwheel

Video Tutorial: How to Make Paper Pinwheels

Step 1

step 1 and step 2 - giant diy paper pinwheels - pictured are paper glued together with ruler and knife and dotted guide lines for cutting
Let’s start with our colorful contrasting paper glued together!

First glue your contrast paper onto your craft paper, and with a scissors or craft knife use the cutting template to cut out your pinwheel square.

Step 2

Cut diagonal lines in from each corner as shown (don’t worry the guidelines for the length of line are on the template).

Step 3

step 3 - giant diy paper pinwheels - hole punch pinwheel corners and then place one in the center
Grab your hole punch!

Next punch every second corner, as shown, and another hole in the centre of the pinwheel.

Step 4

step 4 - giant diy paper pinwheels - fold the edges of your pinwheel
Time to fold the triangles of your paper pinwheel!

And then start folding in the corners.

Step 5

step 5 - giant diy paper pinwheels - pinwheel triangles foleded up
Look how pretty our contrasting colors look when folded into a pinwheel.

I put a drop of glue under each corner to hold the corners together while we worked on the handle – Miss7 didn’t have the patience to stay holding!

Step 6

step 6 - giant diy paper pinwheels - make sure all the punched holes line up
All your punched holes should line up in the center of the paper pinwheel.

Make sure the holes are all lined up.

Make Pinwheel Spinning Mechanism

The next important part of your paper pinwheel is the spinning mechanism. We are showing you two different way to make a pinwheel spinner so you can choose what would work best with the size pinwheel you are making.

Small Pinwheel Spinner

For small pinsheel spinner mechanism - you will need a pencil, eraser and straight pin with end and needle nose pliars
This is what you will need to make a small pinwheel spinner

For small palm size pinwheels it’s super easy – just bend a pin and stick it in to the top of a pencil eraser!! so cool!

How to Make a Giant Pinwheel Spinner

supplies needed to make a giant diy paper pinwheel spinner - reaser section, exacto knife, wooden dowel, straight pin with beaded end and needle nose pliars
This is what you will need to make a big pinwheel spinner

For the giant ones I used a wooden rod, eraser, pin and button.

Step 1

step 1 - make a giant diy paper pinwheel spinner - dig out the eraser with a craft knife so dowel can fit in and grab your straight pin
This is the first step of making a pinwheel spinner element.

And it’s as easy as this – chop a cube off the eraser, dig out a little hole in the eraser and push in the stick.

Step 2

step 2 - giant diy paper pinwheel spinner - thread the straight pin through a button and then through the paper pinwheel holes.
The buttons keep the pinwheel from spinning off the spinner.

Thread the pin through the pinwheel holes, I used a button in front for two reasons, one because it was a cute one, and two the button would prevent the pin head making it’s way back through the holes.

Step 3

step 3 - giant diy paper pinwheel spinner - what the back of the paper pinwheel looks like when complete
This is the the back of your giant paper pinwheel will look like when complete.

When the pin feeds back through the holes it simply continues through the eraser cube and depending on how long the pin is you might need to bend it back through the eraser to protect little hands from any pointy bits!

Yield: 1

Make a Pinwheel Out of Paper

how to make a pinwheel out of paper

Kids can learn how to make a pinwheel with these simple pictured steps. Younger kids will need some help and use scissors. Older kids and adults will find this pinwheel craft a creative outlet that is a lot of fun! Let's make paper pinwheels!

Active Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Difficulty Medium
Estimated Cost $1


  • Multiple sheets of colored paper: wrapping paper, scrapbook paper, construction paper
  • Small pinwheels: pencil with eraser & stick pin with beaded end
  • Giant pinwheels: wooden rod, eraser, pin & button
  • Printed pinwheel template pdf on paper size of your choice – see article pdf file and download for free


  • Glue
  • Ruler
  • Exacto knife
  • Cutting pad
  • Hole punch
  • Needle nose pliers


  1. Start by gluing two pieces of contrasting color or pattered paper back to back and allowing to dry.
  2. Cut your colorful paper into a square and follow the pinwheel template to create a diagonal cut on each corner.
  3. Using a hole punch, punch corner holes as shown on template and one hole in the center.
  4. Fold up the corners of each triangle so that the hole matches the hole in the center and glue in place while finishing the craft with the holes lined up.
  5. Make a Pinwheel spinning mechanism (if you want to make a small mechanism, please refer to article for instructions) to make a large pinwheel spinner, you will need wooden dowel, eraser, pin, button and needle nose pliers.
  6. Chop a cube off the eraser and dig out a little hole in the eraser with a craft knife that allows the dowel to be inserted inside.
  7. Thread the straight pin through a button and then the holes lined up of the paper pinwheel.
  8. Push the pin through the eraser to secure in place and bend back any sharp edges remaining with your pliers.

Another Paper Craft: Make paper dolls

Craft Variation Ideas for DIY Paper Pinwheel Craft

The essence of these color popping pinwheels is the strong color contrast. We glued colorful craft paper on contrasting wrapping paper. Here are some other DIY pinwheel options to consider:

  • Invite your kids to paint, stamp, draw on the craft paper to add a gorgeous individual art patterns to each pinwheel.
  • Layer rows of washi tape or duct tape on the craft paper to add your contrast side.

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How big did you make your DIY pinwheels?

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  1. This is a great craft for kids! I love that it’s easy to do and can be customized to fit your child’s interests.