Skip to Content

DIY Giant Outdoor Pinwheels

Share the fun!

Decorate your garden with DIY giant outdoor pinwheels you can make yourself!

For some reason, spring has me so excited to add bright colors and new decor outside. Every store I go to I have to wander the isles of outdoor decor and this year I am seeing these giant outdoor pinwheels everywhere.  

I love them, they are the perfect way to add a little color to my flower garden until all the blossoms bloom. But I knew I could make my own DIY giant outdoor pinwheels for way less than the $20 price tag.

So I took a good look at the way they were put together and set out to create my own DIY Giant Outdoor Pinwheels.

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

pinterest image of finished diy outdoor pinwheels shown in the outdoor garden area.

Weatherproof Pinwheels

Obviously you could make these pinwheels with paper, but they would not stand up to the weather (however, I am considering making some for inside too now).

But I needed a solution to make my pinwheels work for my flower garden. I found some brightly colored plastic binder dividers on clearance at Target for $1.48.

Each pack had 8 dividers (2 each of 4 colors). Perfect!

close up of finished pinwheel in purple and pink colors

I created a template for the vanes (I have no clue what to call them so I’m going with this, if anyone knows what they are called, I am super curious to know) of the pinwheel as big as I could get it on one sheet of paper since my plastic dividers were the size of a sheet of paper.

close up of finished pinwheels in garden. set of two pinwheels one in yellow and blue and one in pink and purple

I had previously cut out plastic binder dividers on my Silhouette so I knew I could cut out my pinwheel vanes really quick.

I seriously love my Silhouette Cameo and use it ALL THE TIME! It makes great Mother’s Day or Christmas gifts for the crafting addicts in your life 🙂 But you can always go the old fashion way of cutting with scissors.

close up of yellow and blue pinwheel

For each pinwheel I cut 6 vanes. Then it was time to assemble my giant pinwheels. For some reason I originally thought I could just put all the vanes on a nail and they would make a beautiful pinwheel.

I guess I was a little delusional that day! I realized I needed to glue the vanes together at the points I needed them to come together. So I grabbed some gorilla glue (I wanted them to withstand everything).

But that did not set up. I let it sit for 24 hours and when I checked, it all just fell apart!

pink and purple pinwheel in garden in front of green plant

So what is a crazy DIY’er going to do when a project is getting the best of them… take a break!

Seriously, I put the pinwheel project on hold for almost 2 weeks while working on some DIY projects for my other website.

After my mental break, I decided to tackle the pinwheels again… This time I won!

set of two pinwheels in the garden in front of planter and green plant.

When I need something to stick and fast, I always turn to my hot glue gun! It is one of the greatest crafting inventions of all time. I am a little worried the hot glue will have issues in the hot weather, so I made sure to use a high heat glue gun, hopefully that helps, only time will tell.

But for now, they look awesome, and if they have issues I will keep looking for something that can hold them together like I want!

close up of pink and purple pinwheel and yellow and blue pinwheel in the garden.

How to Make Giant Outdoor Pinwheels

Supplies:

  • Pinwheel vanes template
    • I am sharing the cut files for the giant outdoor pinwheels in my subscriber library. Click here to subscribe to my newsletter and gain access to all the freebies. If you already have your password, click here to download them. 
  • Colored plastic binder dividers
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • 3″  Nails
  • Smoothie Straws
  • Square Dowels
  • Optional: Electronic cutting machine like a Silhouette Cameo or Cricut Maker

To assemble the pinwheels (once I finally found my glue solution), it only took me a few minutes. I started by laying out the 6 vanes so that they were evenly spaced, lining up the front center hole.

Then I hot glued them together by putting a ring of glue around the hole and pressing the next vane on top. Continue until all 6 are glued together at the front.

pinwheel template in pink and purple

Then it’s time to glue the backs together. I found it was best to place them over the top of the front center hole so that they lined up perfectly. I went around the circle and glued the backs together at the center hole just like I did the front.

pink and purple individual pinwheels being put together with ladies hand glueing the pinwheel

Now things were starting to look right, and they were sticking together perfectly. Yeah!

in process photo of 6 pinwheels being put together in pink and purple colors

So it was time to add the center support. I decided to use a nail and a straw. I know it’s weird but it worked perfectly! I used a 3 inch nail, the kind you use when framing a house.

And a smoothy straw (the smaller inexpensive straws were too tight on the nail). Stick the nail through the front center hole, then feed a 2 inch piece of straw on in, then feed it through the back center hole, and finish it off with a 1/2 inch piece of straw.

in process photo of pinwheel being put together with nail and dowel in pink and purple

Then I needed a post to attach the finished pinwheels to. I had 2 square dowels left over from other projects, one was a 1/2 inch dowel and the other was 3/8 inch, they both worked perfectly! I tried to just hammer the nail into the dowel at first, but it split.

So I grabbed my drill and put a little hole into the dowel, just smaller than the nail. Then for good measure I filled it with hot glue and tapped the end of the nail into it. Make sure not to squeeze the pieces of straw or it will not spin.

dowel being placed in back of pink and purple pinwheel to put it together

And it’s all done! I did cut the bottom of the dowel at a 45 degree angle so it was easier to stick in the dirt. Then we went outside to play. The kids are in love with the new pinwheels and I’ve never seen them so excited for wind.

They would see the pinwheels spinning and run screaming over to get a closer look.

little girl in pink shirt and jean skirt playing with completed pink and purple pinwheel
set of two completed pinwheels in the garden one is pink and purple and one is yellow and blue

And they look so great in the garden. A pop of vibrant color for spring!

close up of pink and purple pinwheel
Two DIY giant outdoor pinwheels, one with pink and purple vanes and the other with blue and green, stuck in a flower garden.

How to Make Giant Outdoor Pinwheels

Yield: 2 pinwheels
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: $5

Learn how to make these adorable DIY giant outdoor pinwheels that you can make quickly and easily!

Materials

  • Colored plastic binder dividers
  • Template for the vanes (included in post)
  • 3"  Nails
  • Smoothie Straws
  • Square Dowels

Tools

  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Drill
  • Optional: Electronic cutting machine like a Silhouette Cameo or Cricut Maker

Instructions

    1. Cut out plastic binder dividers on the Silhouette using the included template.
    2. For each pinwheel I cut 6 vanes.  
    3. Use a high heat glue gun to assemble the pinwheels together.
    4. Lay out the 6 vanes so that they are evenly spaced, lining up the front center hole.
    5. Hot glue them together by putting a ring of glue around the hole and pressing the next vane on top. Continue until all 6 are glued together at the front.
    6. Then it’s time to glue the backs together. I found it was best to place them over the top of the front center hole so that they lined up perfectly. I went around the circle and glued the backs together at the center hole just like I did the front.
    7. Add the center support using a nail and a straw. 
    8. Stick the nail through the front center hole, then feed a 2 inch piece of straw on in, then feed it through the back center hole, and finish it off with a 1/2 inch piece of straw.  
    9. Attach the finished pinwheels to the 2 square dowels, one measures 1/2 inch and the other was 3/8 inch.

Happy spring 🙂

Share the fun!

Colorful April digital wallpaper on the screen of an iMac computer on a desk.
Previous
Free Digital Wallpaper for April
Close up of the free digital wallpaper for May on the screen on a smartphone.
Next
Free Digital Wallpaper for May

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to Instructions