Make a pretty paper pinwheel

You’ve seen them EVERYWHERE. And most recently perhaps in my latest video on photo booth styling. I’ve seen them in store windows, professional photo shoots and all over the place! I’ve also seen a few tutorials for them, but this is BY FAR the easiest method.

As you may have noticed, in my video some of the pinwheels didn’t close all the way. This is because my length of paper was not at least twice my width. So, if your paper is 8″ wide, it will need to be 16″ long. The longer your paper is, the more compact your folds will stay. So if you want your pinwheel very dense, keep that in mind.

You can also scallop the edges by cutting the pinwheel on both sides when it is completely folded. Here’s a really cute example of some pinwheels in action on a dessert table for my friend Pernel’s baby shower! Vanessa (who made them) scalloped the edges and put a cute cutout in the center.

I recommend using a light weight paper. In the pinwheels above it looks like Vanessa used almost a tissue paper, and below I’m using some GORGEOUS Fifth & Hazel wrapping paper. I’d like to try making HUGE ones using butcher paper. I’ll keep you posted. But! Without further hoopla here’s the tutorial!

As always I LOVE seeing pictures of anything you make, especially things using my tutorials! Whether you email me, tweet me or send me and instagram photo (@thealisonshow) it makes me positively GIDDY.



  1. Have I told you lately…. that I love your tutorials? True story.

    I’m making a wedding backdrop wall (for a girl I don’t even know, I’m way too nice) and I’m planning on making paper pinwheels. I love the idea of using the gift wrap. It really opens it up to more patterns and sizes. So smart!

    May 8, 2012   |   Reply
    1. Thank you! I use gift wrap for lots of things when doing parties! Table runners, envelopes, covering Styrofoam when serving cake bites…I’ll stop! xo haha

      May 9, 2012   |   Reply
  2. Mindy Janachovsky

    Love your pinwheels!! I will be using these at my wedding next summer. Pink and orange. I can’t wait. And great idea on using wrapping paper. Love it!

    May 9, 2012   |   Reply
    1. that will be So pretty! Congratulations!

      May 9, 2012   |   Reply
  3. Jess

    I love these…would I be crazy if I strung some in my kitchen???

    May 9, 2012   |   Reply
    1. No way, that would be so fun! keep them up for a few months, to perk things up!

      May 9, 2012   |   Reply
  4. Alison, I love these!! Thanks for the tutorial. I will be making some for my sister’s bridal shower in a week. Thx!!

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