Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Pinwheel Lei Performance Gift

This last Spring when we were all walking in to the huge gym to watch my brother graduate with his Master's Degree, my Dad noticed several tables with organizations selling flower arrangements that could be given to the graduates. He commented that if it were one of his girls graduating, he'd buy some. But, ya know, it was my brother and flowers would've been more awkward than not...

Then earlier this summer, we went to watch Keaton perform in a play that was the culmination of a summer theater camp he attended. I knew I wanted to be able to give him something when we walked out to greet the cast after it was over and came up with this fun pinwheel lei! I liked that I could drape it over his head without any hassle and that it would be something he wouldn't have to hold. Maybe by some luck, it became a keepsake reminder of the play and his experience in the camp :)

Certainly this could be made as girly cute or as masculine as you like- a really fun, unique gift for after a performance or recital or such. Plus, these are really simple to make- I whipped this one up really fast just before we walked out the door!

Start by cutting a long section of ribbon (kinda wide- I think the narrow kind might not be sturdy enough). Then hot glue the two ends together.

To make the pinwheels, I cut squares of patterned paper 4" x 4". Smaller would be fine too, just make sure you have squares to work with :) Then use scissors to clip in from the corners of your square toward the center, just not quite all the way, like here:

Now put a dab of hot glue in the center and start to bend every other corner of your square in toward the glue, like this:

This part is a touch tricky, just because you're trying not to totally bend your corners- to keep some dimension to your pinwheel. And you have to work a bit quick to keep your glue from going hard. No sweat, though- you get in a rhythm and they are fun to do! Don't they turn out cute cute?! I really love using double sided papers so they are even more colorful :)

To finish, I added a button to the centers. Really any kind of embellishment would be great- a circle of paper, a rhinestone, etc. This is just what I had.

Look at all those fun pinwheels- I love how happy they just are! With several made, you're ready to turn them into a lei.

Grab your ribbon loop and place a dab of hot glue, then set a pinwheel on top of it. Repeat a few inches up the ribbon until the whole loop is full- so easy!

One thing that I find helpful when it comes to putting pinwheels together is to make sure that they are all "turning" the same direction. I know, that's confusing. See below how I've turned in the same corner of each side when gluing in to the center?

It's the right hand corner of each side of the square that's bent in, so the pinwheels fit together nicer. If I had some with the left side bent, they'd be harder to get to look right. No big deal, just a little tip is all :)

Very last, I stacked this paper lollie on top of a pinwheel. I wanted something that actually congratulated him for his performance and this worked. I used letter stickers to say "You Did Great!" Anything goes and stacking another pinwheel of the same type would work fine too :) (I used this lollie style because I already had it made in paper that matched- serious hurrying was going on!)

And it's done! I kinda folded it carefully in half and set it on the top of my bag to take it in to the theater. It held up really well all the while...

And he seemed to really like it! He said several people complimented him on it- he was sure the only one with anything like it! hopefully it helped him to feel special in that moment :) It seemed to do the trick. I'd love to see yours if you make one for your special performer too!


For some more pinwheel goodness (let's just say I really like pinwheels...),
check out these past projects:

Pinwheel Wreath

Geometric Pinwheel Garland


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