Paper pinwheels are an easy DIY paper craft. Grouped together, they're perfect for party decor, a photo backdrop, and can be strung together in a garland.

How To Make Paper Pinwheels

Paper pinwheels are an easy DIY paper craft. Grouped together, they’re perfect for party decor, a photo backdrop, and can be strung together in a garland.

How to make paper pinwheels via

Paper pinwheels, also known as paper rosettes or paper fans, are so versatile when it comes to home and party decor. And the best part is that they’re an easy craft you can make yourself! Keep reading for a simple tutorial on how to make these paper pinwheels.

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How to make paper pinwheels:

Materials Needed:

  • Sheets of paper
    • You can use any kind you like; patterned paper, construction paper, book pages, etc.
  • Fiskars Craft Paper Trimmer
  • Stapler (or yarn)
  • Mod Podge
  • Paint brush or foam spouncer
  • Paper board (like an empty cereal box)


Step 1: Select your paper and size you want. Larger pages = larger pinwheels. Just be sure your paper is square. If you want coordinating pinwheels, large pads of scrapbooking or designer paper are a great choice. Begin by folding each piece of paper accordion-style, making each fold the same size, or at least as close as possible. You can cut away any extra paper with a paper trimmer.

Accordion-fold paper to create fans for paper pinwheels. via

Step 2: Fold each accordion-style page in half.

Fold accordion pages in half. via

Step 3: Join the two halves together. I tied mine together at the fold using yarn, but you could also staple the center folds together.

Glue fan edges together to create paper pinwheels. via

Step 4: Unfold the fanned pages, gluing the two sections together with Mod Podge. If you used yarn, trim the strands close to the knot.

Finished paper pinwheels, paper rosettes. via

That’s it! Now you have a pinwheel! If you like, you could add an embellishment to the center, maybe a button or a circle of complementary paper. If you want to turn your pinwheels into a garland, you could spell out a party message. I chose to keep mine plain.

Now, if you’re like me, at this point, you’ll try to just slap some masking tape to the backs of each pinwheel and tape them to the wall.

I’ll save you a few minutes—this method doesn’t work.

But, what does work is this… grab a sturdier piece of paper, like cardstock, or better yet, an empty cereal box. Cut small circles to fit the backs of your pinwheels, then hot glue them down. Once dry, add loops of painters tape or removable adhesive strips to the back and now you’re ready to hang them up!

Hot glue a cardboard disc to the back of each pinwheel. Then use a loop of painters tape to hang. via

My original plan was to turn the small book page pinwheels into a garland, but after I got going, a larger vision came to mind. After packing away our holiday decorations, I wanted to shake up our “usual” decor a bit. I envisioned a wall full of paper pinwheels above our mantel.

Okay, so “wall full” was a little bit of an exaggeration. Also, I may have run out of scrapbook paper. But I’m loving this look far! Who says you have to have a party or special occasion to hang up some paper pinwheels?

Paper Pinwheel Wall Collage via

I laid out my paper pinwheels in a few different patterns on the floor before hanging them on the wall. Though with the painters tape on the back, they’re pretty easy to move and re-position.

I’d love to make another batch of these for party decorations, or maybe for a holiday garland next Christmas!

21 thoughts on “How To Make Paper Pinwheels

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    1. Two Purple Couches Post author

      Thank you Darla! 12″x12″ sheets of scrapbook paper are perfect; that’s exactly what I used to create the purple and black-and-white pinwheels in this tutorial. As long as the paper is square, you can use any size you want.

      1. Sam

        When you used the 12×12 for the larger ones. How many sheets did you need to use. I tried two and it didn’t look that great. Maybe have to use 4 sheets for the bigger ones?

        1. Two Purple Couches Post author

          Hi Sam, I used two sheets of 12×12 paper for the larger ones. They worked well for me, though maybe stretched just a little tight. I’ve seen other pinwheel tutorials that use 3 or 4 sheets of paper – that may work better? Best of luck!

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