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Posted by on Jun 1, 2010 in Cardmaking 201, Tutorial | 24 comments

Tutorial – Patriotic Pinwheel

Has everyone recovered from the blog hop? I don’t know about you, but I’m still going back through the posts to get another look at the tutorials and techniques. Some visitors to my post said they would like instructions on how to make the pinwheel from my hop card. The red and white stripes ended up reminding me of a folded flag, which was nice for Memorial Day.

For this card I cut strips of red and white cardstock, but what I really like about this technique is it’s a great way to use the strips of scrap paper that are trimmed off when making other cards. (click the photos to enlarge.)
To make the pinwheel, you need a 2-3/4″ square of cardstock (this won’t actually show; you will end up covering it completely. For the center of the pinwheel you need a 3/4″ square of paper or cardstock, and then you’ll need several strips of paper or cardstock 1/4″ wide. It’s hard to measure exactly how much is used to make the wheel, but it’s in the neighborhood of thirty inches total. I start by folding the large square in half in both directions to find the center. It’s hard to see in the photo, so I drew lines with a pen.

Line the points of the small square with the fold lines to place it in the center and glue it in place. Glue one strip of paper next to the square so that the end of the strip is even with the edge of the square. I like to go ahead and do the first strip in each direction because each strip will be a guide for placing the strips on the side next to it.

Using the long strip as a guide, continue gluing additional strips so they are placed tightly against each other and the end of each strip is lined up with the edge of the small square. In the photo on the left, all the strips are continuing off the edge of the larger square. In the photo on the right I have flipped it over to show how they continue off past the edge. Just trim those strips evenly with the edge of the large cardstock square. Then repeat the process on the other three sides of the pinwheel.

Place a brad or button in the center of the small square, and your pinwheel is ready to attach to a card front. On all my sample cards, the pinwheels are attached to a 4″x5-1/4″ piece of solid cardstock and then adhered to the front of an A2 sized card.

On these cards I’ve used strips of leftover designer paper. Notice the difference in the patterns. In the card on the left, I intentionally used the same paper in the same order on all four sides. In the card on the right, I’ve just used random strips in any order. Both look like quilt squares, one with more of an ordered design than the other.

If you missed my blog hop post this weekend and would like to give us feedback about the Tuesday Tutorials, please follow this link to answer the questions. Everyone who answers the questions is entered into a drawing for blog candy. If you try today’s technique, please leave a link in comments so we can see what you have created. Some of you have suggested a Mr. Linky for the Tuesday Tutorials, and I will add one to future tutorials as soon as I learn how!


  1. Great tutorial…thanks for sharing…I'll have to give this a try some time!

  2. These pinwheel cards are so pleasing to the eye, and I thank you for sharing the way you created them! It looks simple enough, why didn't I think of that? *slapping forehead*

  3. So pretty! Great tutorial! I knew there was a reason never to throw away a scrap- LOL!

  4. Thank you for the tutorial and the examples of how various papers can be used.

  5. Thank you! What a fun idea for making some super cute cards!

  6. What a great idea! This is a fantastic way to use up all those scraps we all have!

  7. Thanks for the tutorial…Can't wait to try it!

  8. Love these cards, I need to copy them 🙂

  9. This is the tutorial I wanted to try first. Thank you so much for making it available! These are so beautiful!

  10. Great tutorial. Thanks for sharing this technique. I'm going to have to try it.

  11. These are really cool. I have so many scraps I can use for these.

  12. Excellent!

  13. I love this tutorial. I can using it for cards and for layouts!

  14. I had no idea there were separate strips of paper.
    I excited to see how my projects come out using your idea.

  15. Always need to know what to do with those little pieces of scraps instead of just saving them forever. Great tutorial! Thanks so much for sharing.

  16. This makes wonderful focal images! Thanks for sharing!

  17. This is a great tutorial! I made a pinwheel for my great-nephew's birthday card that you can see here… Birthday Card

  18. Great tutorial! I have lots of leftover strips. Thanks for sharing.

  19. Oh my gosh…THANK YOU so much for the tutorial…I have made 3 of these tonight! They are SO easy! I haven't made them into cards yet but I think I might become known as the pinwheel lady because I LOVE the look of these! Thank you again for sharing.

  20. Thanks for the tutorial! I really like the quilted look.

  21. This design reminds me of a log cabin quilt square. It can be soft in patterned pastels and a flower accent or bold in bright patterns and whimsical accent. I can see a lot of these pinwheels in my future. Thanks!

  22. I love the way you can get all kinds of looks from this one idea. Thank you for sharing.

  23. I just “Wrangled” my scraps but didn’t want to throw all the little pieces away like I should. I made two really cute cards this way, but now I really must say goodbye to my teeny tiny pieces. They have reproduced all over my scrap room! I feel better that some of them were used though.


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