Tuesday, July 2, 2013

DIY Pinwheels

Hello, again!

Today, for the second part of DIY Week, we're going to make pinwheels! If you're anything like me, as a child you marveled at that amazing shape and 9 times outta 10, a lot of sparkles. I also had competitions with myself to see how fast I could blow it. Well today's pinwheels don't have sparkles, but they are grown up enough to make a cheap and easy focal wall.

This craft is straight out of my childhood, but I need to give some credit to my job. Every now and then, I feel like my title should be Resident Installation Artist because I get to spend my days doing cool, nostalgic projects like making pinwheels. That little gig inspired me to bust out some pinwheels on my own time.

To get started, you'll need a few basic craft supplies:

  • Paper - I used scrapbook pages and a small paper pad.
  • Straight edge - if you're cheap like me, the 5 gallon paint stirrer from Lowe's is the perfect size and free.
  • Brads - I got a cute assortment with aged silver, copper, brass, and pewter for $3 at Michaels. I didn't even use all of one color for this project.
  • Scissors or an Exacto if you're fancy
  • Pencil
  •  Hole punch - I have a 1/8" that is the perfect size for the brads.
 To start, I trimmed down the paper to a square. If you're using scrapbook paper, you just need to trim off whatever label was on the page.

Once you're square, flip over your paper and bust out your straight edge and your pencil.

Now take your straight edge and draw a line from corner to opposite corner. Repeat so you end up with a X.  Then you'll want to draw a cross (see images below) to demarcate how far to cut. You'll want to draw both the X and the cross as lightly as possible, or you'll be able to see it on the finished product. Because I love you, I drew one darker so you can see what it should look like (still hard to see, sorry).

Caution: if you have cats, they love every piece of this project. Have a distraction technique ready, or you might end up with this sight.

The corners of the square (at the center of the cross) should intersect the X. Now take your scissors and follow the X from a corner, to where that square intersects the X. Do not cut all the way to the center of the X (unless you were looking for a tutorial on how to get four identical triangles, in which case cut to the center of the X. You're done).

Then you'll want to punch a hole in the very center of your page, where the X intersects. 

A standard hole punch can only reach 2" so I stuck a brad in the middle and spun it around to create the center hole. I hope you tried (and failed) to make your hole punch reach the center of your paper. I did too.

Then you'll take your hole punch (for real this time) and punch one hole in each corner so that it looks like this.

You only want to hole punch on one side of the cut because you will only be folding in one corner. The other corner will be the end pointing out.

Similarly, you should have four triangles (formed by that original X) and only one of the corners of each triangle should be hole punched, and it needs to be the same corner. All of mine are punch at the bottom right corner. If you rotate the paper, it will always be the right corner.

Then, round out the corner around the hole punch. This just makes it look cleaner when it's at the center of your pinwheel.

It should look like this once you've rounded out all four corner.

 Now it's time to start pinning your pinwheel. Take your brad and put it through the first hole.

Then, working clockwise, feed the brad through each consecutive hole punch.

Once the brad has been fed through all four corners, push the brad through the center hole and open the brad's wings. (Does anyone know what the wings of a brad are actually called? I'd love to know)

Now turn it over and, voila, you have a pinwheel.

And repeat until you have as many as you like. There's a really easy addition to make these into functional, child-ready pinwheels. If you'd like that info, just ask.

I warned you, cats love pinwheels.

Then, arrange in any fashion you like.

I put ours in the negative space left above our TV, between the bookcase and the lamp (have I told you how badly I want overhead lights?!).

Allow me to explain the weird blue TV screen: I like to rock out to late 90s pop while I'm crafting. That's my BSB Pandora station. It really helps, I swear.

In case anyone's wondering what paper I used, it's all scrapbook paper from Michaels for $0.59 a sheet. The smaller paper pad ("Indie Chic") was $5.99 for 24 sheets. Here's the names:

And there you have it: pinwheels!

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