We recently completed a new window design for Zoe Boutique in Old Town Alexandria, Va.  Our friend, and owner of Zoe Boutique, Susan, wanted  a red, white and blue window that would be appropriate for 4th of July but also have a summer theme.

So we decided pinwheels would be a fun way to incorporate those requirements.

Pinwheels are very easy to make.  However, we made some modifications as we would be hanging these and did not want a handle.  After looking at pinwheel tutorials on the internet, this is how we decided ours would look:


The front is decorated with a red, white, & blue crepe paper fan.  The back has a small cardboard circle topped with a stack of vintage buttons.  Ribbon streamers replace the handle.

We used the following supplies:

  • Red and blue card stock (we used 12″x 12″). You can use any heavy duty paper; a piece that has different colors or patterns, front and back, would make a great looking pinwheel.

  • Small crepe paper fans to go over the middle of the front of the pinwheel-

We found stapling the crepe paper fans together, spreading them open, then stapling the edges closed was the easiest way to make them.

  • Red, white and blue vintage buttons.  To give the pinwheels a little extra design, we grouped different colored buttons together to put on the back of the pinwheel.  Using a piece of wire, approximately 5 inches long (this will be used to hold the pinwheel together), we inserted it through the buttons, then twisted the wire close to the back of the buttons and cut off the end.

In addition, we also needed,

  • a wire cutting tool, and a tool to make a small loop in the wire
  • a small bead
  • ribbon (to use in place of a handle)

To construct the pinwheel-

Take the card stock and cut a slit from each corner towards the center-

Using a needle poke a hole in the center, and one hole at the end of every other leg-

To give color and dimension to the back of the pinwheel we used the vintage buttons  and a circle of card stock.

take the buttons on the wire and run it through the card stock circle-

and through the back of the pinwheel-

Flip the paper over and run the wire through the holes made in each leg-

Once each of the legs are through the wire, top it with a crepe fan and a bead.  Holding the pinwheel together, cut the wire leaving enough to make a small loop which will hold the bead tight against the pinwheel.

Here’s a closeup of the button and loop holding the pinwheel together.

As we didn’t want a stiff hard handle attached to our pinwheels we hung “sparkly” ribbon off the bottom to give them the illusion of a handle.  The window receives sunlight all day long so the ribbon reflects light and has movement.

For a little extra zing in the windows we also hung white paper lanterns and translucent balls stuffed with the colored crepe paper.


Oops.  The glass balls were very delicate – this only happened twice.

Stop by Zoe Boutique next time you are in Old Town for some great shopping and to check out her new window display.