How to Make Paper Pinwheels for Cards and Scrapbooking

Pinwheel paper flower designs make lovely embellishments that you can use to put on cards and in your scrapbooks. With a template, they are easy and fun to create and make fabulous folded paper designs which are ideal for fun paper crafts.

Older children and adults can learn how to make paper pinwheels for cards and scrapbooking with the aid of pre-made templates to trace around. The finished pieces are slightly three dimensional. They look great on your handmade greeting cards and other projects.

You will need a basic pinwheel template which you can purchase online and possibly in your local craft store. Here's how to make these fun paper pinwheels. I used green and gold for a more festive Christmas look but you can use any color combinations.

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How to Make Paper Pinwheels for Cards and Scrapbooking

How to Make Paper Pinwheels for Cards and Scrapbooking Tutorial Instructions

Image Credit: photo belongs to the author.

What You Need to Make Paper Pinwheel Embellishments for Cards

A Pinwheel Template or Use We R Memory Keepers Pinwheel Punch board

Double sided paper or follow my tips to make your own

Pencil, scissors and/or craft knife

Glue dots and embellishments

Paper Pinwheel Craft Tutorial Instructions

The templates I have bought are made out of a sturdy plastic that you can draw around and mine come in 3 different sizes to mix and match.

You may find printable templates for pinwheels online or, alternatively, use the We R Memory Keepers Pinwheel Punchboard instead to cut your pinwheel shapes.

I tend to use just the larger two sizes because I find the smallest one a little bit fiddly to cut out, but it is there for me to use if I happen to have that extra bit of patience available.

Step 1: Your Pinwheel Papers

Craft pinwheel template to make paper flowers embellishments for cards and scrapbooks

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The blurb on the back of my pinwheel template packet recommended using paper which is double sided. This means a paper which has a different color and/or pattern on both sides such as red on one side and green on the other.

This type of double-sided paper will give you the prettiest and most striking results when you make your designs. You can of course use any paper you want including scrapbook paper.

If you don't happen to have any double-sided paper, you can easily make your own. Simply stick two different sheets of paper back to back with a glue stick like a Pritt stick.

I backed a dark green paper with a metallic gold and also a polka dot pattern for a festive Holiday look. The tip here is to use fairly thin papers if you need to stick them together because thick papers become very difficult to fold and bend.

Step 2: Making the Pinwheel Shapes

Drawing around your plastic pinwheel template onto the papers

Image Credit: photo belongs to the author.

Once you have your double sided papers sorted, it is time to start tracing around your pinwheel templates. Alternatively, you can print a pinwheel pattern on top of your paper or use the pinwheel punchboard to cut the shapes out for you.

You need to use one larger template and one smaller one to make each pinwheel piece. Alternatively, you could use more than two different sized templates for a very three dimensional effect.

I drew around the largest template on to the gold colored paper and around the medium template on to the green polka dot paper.

You only need two pieces drawn and cut from the templates to make a gorgeous looking finished pinwheel design and they don't take that long to make.

Step 3: Cutting Out Your Pinwheel Shapes

Pinwheel paper shapes in gold and green cut out ready for folding

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If you have a pinwheel punchboard, this cuts the shapes out for you which is really handy if you don't like cutting out. Otherwise, you need to cut by hand.

The easiest way to cut these out, because they can be a little fiddly, is to cut around the outside edges first so you end up roughly with a square shape.

Then cut into the inside edges down one line at a time. You may find this part easier with either a pair of very small and sharp scissors such as decoupage scissors or a craft knife.

Step 4: Start to Fold Your Paper Pinwheels

Starting to fold the pin wheel paper flower down paper craft instructions tutorial

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It doesn't really matter which way you start to fold but the inside or interior part of the completed pinwheel design will be the color that is facing you when your paper is placed down onto your work surface.

Pull down one of the long tabs or flaps down into the middle of the design and stick it with a small piece of double-sided tape or, even easier, an adhesive glue dot.

A wet glue struggles to hold the folds in place quickly so I find glue dots so much easier since they stick right away.

Step 5: Finish Folding the Pinwheels

Making a pinwheel paper flower design first layer

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Pull the rest of the long tabs, one by one, into the middle of the pinwheel flower and secure with a glue dot to fix each one in place.

This makes the basic shape of your design. Repeat this process for your smaller size of wheel.

Step 6: Layer Your Paper Pinwheels Up

Completed paper pinwheel flowers craft tutorial to follow along with photos how to make paper pinwheels for cards scrapbooks crafts diy

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Layer up the smaller folded pin wheel piece on top of the larger one using tape or a large glue dot to fix in place.

You can then decorate the middles with other flowers, brads, flat-backed gems or charms as pretty embellishments.

These are very pretty and make great little decorations as well which you could add some string to and hang up on the Christmas tree. They make wonderful birthday decorations as well as being great for cards and scrapbooks. Let me know if you make some.

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Articles are accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.