How to Make Paper Pinwheels for Cards

How to make pinwheels from paper as card and craft embellishments

Pinwheel paper flower designs to put on cards and are easy and fun to create and they make up some fabulous folded paper designs which are ideal for festive Holiday crafting.

These can be made by older children and adults with the aid of pre-made templates to trace around. The finished pieces are quite three dimensional and can look great on your handmade greeting card projects and make really stunning looking gift toppers too that look like they took ages to make.

You will need a pinwheel template which you can purchase online or possibly in your local craft store. Here's how to make the fun paper wheels. I liked green and gold for the festive Christmas look but you can use any color combinations.

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What You Need to Make Paper Pinwheel Embellishments for Cards

A Pinwheel Template: Hot Off the Press have one or look for a printable online
Double sided paper or follow my tips to make your own
Pencil, scissors and/or craft knife
Glue dots and embellishments

Paper Pinwheel Tutorial

The templates I have bought are made out of a sturdy plastic that you can draw around and mine come in 3 different sizes to mix and match.

I tend to use just the larger two sizes because I find the smallest one a little bit fiddly to cut out, but it is there for me to use if I happen to have that extra bit of patience available. 

Plastic templates to make paper pinwheels

Step 1: The blurb on the back of my pinwheel template packet recommended using paper which is double sided. This means a paper which has a different color and/or pattern on both sides such as red on one side and green on the other. This type of paper will give you the prettiest and most striking results when you make your designs.

If you don't happen to have any double-sided paper, you can easily make your own. Simply stick two different sheets of paper back to back with a glue stick like a Pritt stick.

I backed a dark green paper with a metallic gold and also a polka dot pattern for a festive Holiday look. The tip here is to use fairly thin papers if you need to stick them together because thick papers become very difficult to fold and bend.

Trace around the template onto the paper

Step 2: Once you have your double sided papers sorted, it is time to start tracing around your templates. You need to use one larger template and one smaller one to make each pinwheel piece. Or you could use more than two different sized templates for a very three dimensional effect.

I drew around the largest template on to the gold colored paper and around the medium template on to the green polka dot paper. You only need two pieces drawn and cut from the templates to make a gorgeous looking finished design and they don't take that long to make.

Paper pieces cut and ready to fold

Step 3: Cut around your designs. The easiest way to cut these out, because they can be a little fiddly, is to cut around the outside edges first so you end up roughly with a square shape. Then cut into the inside edges down one line at a time. You may find this part easier with either a pair of very small and sharp scissors or a craft knife.

Folding one section of paper down to the middle

Step 4: It doesn't really matter which way you start to fold but the inside or interior part of the completed pinwheel design will be the color that is facing you when your paper is placed down onto your work surface.

Pull down one of the long tabs or flaps down into the middle of the design and stick it with a small piece of double-sided tape or, even easier, an adhesive glue dot. A wet glue struggles to hold the folds in place quickly so I find glue dots so much easier since they stick right away.

First layer of the pattern

Step 5: Pull the rest of the long tabs, one by one, into the middle of the pinwheel flower and secure with a glue dot to fix each one in place. This makes the basic shape of your design. Repeat this process for your smaller size of wheel.

Green and gold looks festive or try other colors to suit

Step 6: Layer up the smaller folded pin wheel piece on top of the larger one using tape or a large glue dot to fix in place. You can then decorate the middles with other flowers, brads, flat-backed gems or charms as pretty embellishments.

These are very pretty and make great little decorations as well which you could add some string to and hang up on the Christmas tree. Let me know if you make some.

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