Spinning Pinwheel Madness

We took a trip to Seattle for a few days.  "...feeling comfortable with the uncomfortable" is how our taxi driver in Seattle described Seattleites. I love that description.  Seattle was cold...wet...with snow flurrys...a possible vacation buster for warm weather people.  But watching the Seattleites out and about, seemingly oblivious to the weather, many without umbrellas, I decided to be in the moment and embrace the weather. 

Our little attitude adjustment manifested into a wonderful experience for this here island girl ::. having crazy fun when smacked with a snow ball, oohing and ahhing at a found starfish along ALKI beach while cold winds froze our faces and ears, buying hot dogs with a Japanese twist from a street stand in the rain, venturing to Pike Place Market on foot to eat at Piroshky's instead of sitting on the sofa buried under a warm blanket, taking refuge in a TOP POT to savor doughnuts along with a hot cup of cocoa, making a must visit to the Seattle Aquarium to see the so cute otters ! :: Oh yes, we had a lovely time in Seattle. 

Back from our trip, the first order of business was making 70 pinwheels!  It's for my mom's 97th birthday, an important milestone in Okinawan culture known as Kajimaya.  Kajimaya is a word for "pinwheel", signifying an elder's return to childhood. 

After hunting for a tutorial for a pinwheel that actually spins, I decided against pinwheels using pins and thumbtacks for safety sake, or methods for very pretty pinwheels but that would turn a task of making 70 pinwheels a month-long project instead of one week.  Cost was also a big factor.  So in the end, I mish mashed several tutorials into a one. 

A Spinning Pinwheel Tutorial
16" ribbon
Thick straw ( used for smoothies )
9" 18 gauge wire ( I found this in the floral section)
Wooden Bead
Flower Shaped Cutout 
2 sided cardstock, a 5" square

Draw an "X" on side of the cardstock that will be the inside of the pinwheel; creating 4 triangles
Measure 1/2" from the center and mark; repeat on all 4 lines.
Make a tiny hole in the center of the cardstock
Cut along each line, up to the 1/2" tick mark
Punch holes in the left corner of each side
To hold the pinwheel together, I used glue dots and a small stapler. Glue works too. 
Match up the holes; using glue or glue dots to hold the points together
I stapled the middle for extra security
Bend one end of the wire about 3/8". 
The wire is a bit thick so it helps to have pliers or a jewelry tool
Insert the bent end of the wire into 2 holes of the button
Insert the wire into the flower cutout (punch a hole in the center first)
Pinch wire as needed to fit through the hole in the flower cutout
 On the underside, flatten short piece of wire
Insert the wire through pinwheel
Insert wooden bead on wire
Make holes in straw
Insert wire through straw
The next step is to wrap the wire around the straw
Leave a space between bead and straw to allow room for the spinning
I used a pencil in the picture for illustration but it's easier to use your finger
Wrap the wire around the straw
Tie a bow in the back of the pinwheel to hide the wire
Run through the yard with your pinwheel

If you need a classier pinwheel :: Here's a pretty pinwheel tutorial. The pinwheel is a Heather Baily creation but I am linking another blogger's version because of her more detailed pictures. 

Image from Paige and Brooke
happy day (*^-^*)


  1. Hi Kat! I know you might be 'unplugged' and not blogging for a while ~ I can understand it. SO when you do get to reading the comments, I'm saying "Hi!" and also that I LOVE the pinwheels tutorial! They say 'springtime' to make and I love to stand them up with some flowers in pots outdoors.

    1. Hi my dear Beth .. Thanks so much for hanging out with me. I wish you well with your blogging adventure. I'm not sure what the future holds but I'm enjoying this moment with you. My hubby laughed when he saw me testing the 'spinnability' of each pinwheel..that was the best part of the project! .. Enjoy ..

  2. We, west coasters, are used to the rain. It's gets a bit dreary but in the end, it's just a little water. :D

    Pinwheels sort of remind me of daffodils, they both have a "spring" feeling to them.

    1. Hi kmyk .. And with the rain comes beautiful green landscapes in the summer months! ..

      Here, we can tell the change of season watching what's on the shelves at Walmart! Haha.

  3. Thank you for the excellent tutorial!