June 14, 2012

Summer Paper Fun: DIY Pinwheels

This weekend, Dream Bashes has its biggest party to date...a summer backyard party for about 100 guests!!! When I was asked to do the decorating for this party, the first thing my mind seemed to go to was pinwheels.  Pinwheels seemed to say summer in a pretty, understated way...and luckily they can be  DIYed really easily as well...so I knew they were going to be part of the tablescape (I actually became so obsessed with them that I included them in my summer mantle as well).
Now, there are tons of tutorials out there for making your own paper pinwheels, so I assure you that I only share mine because it is actually different than those that are already out there.  I will go out on a limb and say that mine is probably a little easier and definitely way less time-consuming than the others...mainly because I was too lazy to follow some of the steps that others had suggested.  But honestly, I think my result is just as good, so here's my tutorial.

You'll need:

  • scrapbook paper
  • 12 inch wood dowel rods
  • flat head thumbtacks
  • scissors

1.  Take a piece of scrapbook paper and fold it into fourths.  Cut out 1 of the 4 squares.  If your scrapbook paper is double-sided, you're good to go.  If not, repeat the same process with another piece of scrapbook paper.
2.  If you used two pieces, place them back to back so the pattern side of each is facing out.  (Other tutorials will tell you to glue them together...I don't think it's necessary).
3.  Starting at the corner, cut a diagonal line into the center, stopping with about an inch to go to the center.  (Other guides will tell you to mark the center and then measure out your lines...again, I don't think it's necessary...just eyeball it).

4.  Use a flat head thumbtack to start a hole in a wood dowel.  Don't worry about pushing it all the way through yet...just enough so it will grip later.
5.  Take the same thumbtack and start folding in your pinwheel corners.  It doesn't matter which corner you start with, but just make sure you use the same one on each triangle.  As you fold it up, punch the thumbtack through.  By the end, all four will be folded up on one side and held together by the thumbtack. (And finally, other tutorials will tell you to pre-mark the holes on each corner and in center...again, I say not necessary)
6.  Once a corner of each triangle is up, take the thumbtack and press it through the center of the pinwheel.
7.  Now comes the tricky party...put the dowel down on a hard surface (trust me...I currently have a lovely band-aid on my finger to prove that this is necessary) with your already started hole facing up.  Press the thumbtack down until it snaps into the dowel...some of these require more effort than others.  
And now you have a pinwheel...
Stay tuned next week to see how I used these guys at the party.  

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