Wednesday, September 8, 2010

DIY Pinwheels!

In my free time, I like to surf the web looking for unique wedding ideas to set my wedding apart from everyone else's. Everybody has been to weddings where guests shower the newly married couple in rice/birdseed/rose petals/bubbles/etc. This blog suggested handing out pinwheels and ribbon wands to guests to s pin and shower you with ribbons as you walk down the aisle. I instantly fell in love with the idea, especially because part of the joy of being on the ocean is the near constant wind. The blog happened to provide DIY instructions on making my own pinwheels, so I decided to give it a try. As with all my other projects, I had to tweak the design a little, and I should also give the disclaimer that while the pinwheels look relatively simple, they are a major pain. The first four I made took me about two hours, and I spent the better part of Labor Day making eleven more. Needless to say, I need at least thirty by this time next year, and it will probably be a while before I make the rest of them. That being said, here are the directions!

You will need:
6" squares of paper, I purchased 12" squares from a scrapbook store and cut them down into four 6" squares
Pins, the kind you use for sewing, I used 1 1/2 inch pins with pearls
A fun shaped hole punch, the original directions called for flowers, I used stars, just make sure it is little
12" dowels, 1/4" wide works well
Hot Glue Gun

What you do:
On the back of the square of paper, draw two straight lines diagonally across the paper from corner to corner, to form and X. With a pin, punch a hole in the center of the X, then punch a hole (again with the pin) in each corner directly under the line. This sounds a little confusing, so I marked with a Sharpie where each pinhole should go in the picture on the right. With your scissors, cut along each line until you are about 1" from the center.

Now take your pin, and put it through what ever shape you used your hole punch to make (star, flower, etc.) This decorates the pin a little and I'm pretty sure it helps protect against friction on the finished product, but I'm not a physics major. Now, with your beautified pin, start threading on each corner through the hole you already punched, working clockwise around the paper. when you are done, go through the center hole. By this point, you should have something that looks pinwheel-like.

Now onto the hard part. The original directions say to use the pin to poke a hole in the dowel, cover the hole with a small dot of glue, and then put the pin back in. Maybe my dowels were made from oak or something, but I had a difficult time putting the pins in. Several curse words later, my wonderful fiancĂ© offered to help by using a hammer and a small nail to make pilot holes. The next difficulty was getting the pins to stay inside said holes. After much trial and error, what I found worked best was to put the pin in a pre-done pilot hole, squeeze a good gob of hot glue over the pin and dowel, and hold everything straight until the glue set. Once the glue hardened, I could then clean things up a bit by breaking off the excess. The important part is to sort of squish the pinwheel up towards the pinhead while gluing so that the paper doesn't touch the glue, as this would make spinning rather difficult.

Once the glue was dry, I gave each one a test drive to make sure that it spun, and added it to my collection. As much of a pain in the butt as they are to make, when they are all together in the silver bucket, they look absolutely adorable, and I'm sure my guests will like the change from the norm. I plan on making ribbon wands too, so that guests have a choice, but that will have to wait until after Christmas, when ribbons go on sale. Until next time!

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