DIY: How to Make Accordion Pinwheels

by Monique on September 25, 2013

There are so many ways decorate a venue with accordion pinwheels and, as it turns out, they’re super easy to make.

DIY Accordion Pinwheels for cake table backdrop

I love the vintage-look accordion pinwheels at Kelly and Lee’s wedding. I didn’t have any old books I wanted to tear up but I did have my Mr’s study notes.  Of course you could use pretty scrapping booking paper or colourful cardboard, but I love recycling so I stained the note paper with tea to give it that vintage look.

At first my Mr said, “It’s a pity my terrible handwriting is all over them,” but one evening, after I tacked pinwheels to a door in our apartment, my Mr said, “It’s kinda cool that they have a little bit of me in them.” Suddenly I liked the pinwheels even more… yes, I’m a sap like that.

Tack them to a wall or string them up from a tree branch or the roof rafters, there are so many ways to use accordion pinwheels to decorate a wedding or party venue. And since I wanted to make my new recipe for an apple and cinnamon cake*, I set up a mini cake table with an accordion pinwheel backdrop to show how you could use them to add texture and interest to a boring white wall.

If you would like to make your own accordion pinwheels, here’s a DIY tutorial for you…

The Materials

• Two sheets of A4 sized paper per pinwheel
• Stapler
• A glue stick
• Scissors

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Step 1: Stain It

If you’re recycling old note paper and want to give it a vintage look, stain it with tea like I did. Simply make tea (sans the milk and sugar) in bowl or mug. While the tea is cooling off, layout the pages on a plastic bag. Once cooled, use a paint brush or drag the tea bags across the pages to stain them.

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Step 2: Fold It

Do remember making paper fans as a child? Yes, it’s time to fold a piece of paper this way and then that in an accordion pattern.

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Step 3: Cut It

If you want to shape the edges, cut them. I roughly rounded the edges off, cutting one side of a gathered page first, folding it over so and following the rounded shape as I cut along the opposite side.

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Step 4: Staple It

Take two of your folder pages, fold them in half and line up the middle line of each section. Stacking them on top of each other, place the folded pages over a soft eraser and using an open stapler, staple once in the middle to join the two pages. Essentially you are stapling into the eraser so you’ll need to gently pull it free and bend the ends of the open staple down.

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Step 5: Glue It

Now you should have is a four point star or flower of sorts. Simply glue all the ends together and you’ll have a complete accordion pinwheel.

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Step 6: Display It

Once you’re done, use Prestik or use tape to tack the pinwheels to a wall or canvas to make a darling backdrop for a photo booth or cake table.

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I hope you could follow my instructions but, if you would like to see how it’s done I found this awesome video tutorial by Chic Technique. Her method is a little different from mine but you get the idea.

Happy DIY-ing darlings!

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*The apple and cinnamon cake is one I came up with after a few experiments in the kitchen. I don’t know how it happened but, overnight I went from the girl who didn’t like spending time in the kitchen to someone who makes up cake recipes. I’m thinking about blogging the cake recipe, would you like it?

{Photography} Monique Warner

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