Activity Category:

Activity Equipment:


  • Paper
  • Push Pin
  • Pencil







Butterfly 1

Butterfly 2

Step 1

Make a pair of squares.

Start out by cutting two identical squares from paper or cardstock. If you are keen on using templates, you can choose two from any of our pinwheel templates and print them out on Letter or A4 size paper or card stock.

Decorate the squares.

You can leave the squares plain or draw some patterns or designs on them.

Step 2

Cut out the squares.

Cut out both paper squares.

Step 3

Glue the squares together.

Glue the undecorated sides of the squares together. Remember to apply glue not just along the edges, but on the entire back area of the squares. Let the glue dry.

Step 4

Cut four slits.

Cut along the four diagonal dotted lines.

If you’re not using templates, cut four diagonal lines starting from the corners going up halfway to the center of the square.

Step 5

Bring one tip to the center.

After making the four slits, you will have 8 tips on your square—these are labeled with numbers on the photo.

Take one of the tips (Tip #1) and bring it to the center of the square without creasing the paper. You can glue the tip in place or just hold it with your hand as you do the next steps.

Step 6

Bring the next tip to the center.

Take Tip #3 and bring it to the center of the square. You can glue it in place or just hold it with your hand.

Step 7

Bring the remaining tips to the center.

Next, bring Tip #5 and then Tip #7 to the center. Either glue them in place or hold them with your hand.

Step 8

Insert a push pin.

Insert a push pin at the center. If you did not glue the ends of the tips in the previous steps, the push pin should hold all four tips together. Wiggle the push pin around to make the hole a bit larger.

Step 9

Attach the pinwheel to a pencil.

Attach the pinwheel to a pencil by pushing the pin into the pencil’s eraser. Don’t push on too tight to allow the pinwheel to spin more freely.

As an option, you can put a bead or small button between the pinwheel and the eraser. This helps the pinwheel rotate better and prevents the pin’s point from going through the other side of the eraser.

Step 10

Enjoy your pinwheel.

Finally, try blowing at the edges of the pinwheel to make it spin. Loosen the pin a bit if the blades do not rotate well. Enjoy!


Use origami paper.

Use origami paper so that both sides of the paper have prints or color in it. This way you only need one paper square instead of the two that we recommended in the tutorial above.

Furthermore, you can recycle old calendars, magazine pages, greeting cards, thick gift wrap paper or other types of patterned paper to make a colorful pinwheel.

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