DIY Fabric Pinwheels

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I love those delicate paper pinwheels that have been all over the party decorating world, don’t you?  Especially this design my Heather Bailey a few years ago.

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A while back, I was introduced to a fun little product that immediately got my brain-wheels spinning.  The favorite brainstorm I wanted to try with this product, Phoomph, was to make these fabric pinwheels.  I have a couple of friends that have rocked the paper pinwheel like it’s nobody’s business so I asked for their professional help in making a fabric version of the popular icon.




Click (here) for more information on Phoomph from

We used the “Stiff” form of Phoomph to help hold the pinwheel shape, and I also figured out (a little too late) that there are multiple colors of Phoomph…make sure you pick the color you want!

The Tutorial:

We used the Heather Bailey Flower Pinwheel (Paper Toy) Pattern as was found in the Creating Keepsakes magazine (Holiday 2008)  You can find it (here).  My tutorial is very similar to hers, I just had to adjust some things to suit the fabric medium, rather than making them with paper.  Also, while Heather’s pinwheels actually do spin, the fabric ones do NOT.  I didn’t have a tiny enough eyelet that would hold as much fabric thickness as needed to be able to allow it to spin…but they sure look pretty!


-Heather Bailey’s Pattern (downloadable here)

-2 sheets of Stiff Phoomph

-2 coordinating colors of fabric.  You’ll cover both sides of the Phoomph with two sheets of the same fabric.  Make sure to have at least two 7″x7″ pieces of each fabric scheme.

-large,  decorative 1 inch button

-one 1/8″-3/16″ eyelet

-12 inch wire, 18 gauge

-one wood bead (1/2″-5/8″ diameter)

-18″ wood dowel (5/16″-3/8″ in diameter)

-spray paint (for dowel)

-DMC floss (to tie a knot in the button)

-Craft glue and Hot Glue

Helpful Tools:

-Drill with 3/32″ drill bit, eyelet tool, small scissors and wire cutters.

To Begin:
1.) Iron all pieces of fabric and, following the directions on the Phoomph, adhere the fabric to both sides of the Phoomph.  You should have two phoomph  pieces each with two of the same fabrics on either side.




2.) With a disappearing ink pen, trace the pinwheel on the Heather Bailey website.  Cut one from each piece of Phoomph, giving you 2 pieces.

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3.) Layer the two pattern pieces together and then twist them to nest or lock.


4.) Pull spokes out from the bottom pattern piece to lay on top of the top piece as shown:

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5.) Insert an eyelet into the center of both pattern pieces.


6.) Once eyelet is set, use tacky glue to hold both pieces together for stabilization, just around the eyelet.


7.) Gather and stack, one by one, each of the spokes.  With a needle and thread, stitch each spoke to the next and go back and forth several times to hold into place.  Just make sure it’s secure, see following three pictures.

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8.) Drill a small hole in your dowel, 1/2″ from the end, and then spray paint the dowel.

9.) To create the non-working spindle, bend you 18-gauge wire 90 degrees, 3/8″ from the end, like so:


10.) Feed the wire through the eyelet on the back, through the empty space and through to the front side of the spokes to rest on the front center of the spokes. (see next three pictures).

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11.) Hot Glue wire into place, and cover with your decorative button, again, using hot glue.

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12. Next, feed you bead and your dowel through the other side of the wire to back up against the back of the pinwheel.

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13.) Next, wrap your wire down and around the top part of your dowel a few inches to hold into place.  Trim wire with you wire cutters.


When done, this is what your pinwheel should look like from the side.

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…and the inner-workings of the wire inside the pinwheel…

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What a fun way to decorate for a party of a photo shoot…especially when your fabric can match the rest of the fabrics in the room!

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