Ideas for Adding Pinwheels to Your Scrapbook Layouts

Ideas for Scrapbooking with PinwheelsPinwheels are simple to make and customize, and our team has ideas for making them a great addition to your scrapbook layouts.

Pinwheels are simple curled-paper toys attached to a stick with a pin-axle so that when blown on — or carried running — they spin. The pinwheel motif represents playfulness, which makes it a great toy or party decoration.

Use both dimensional pinwheels and quilted pinwheel patterns on your scrapbook pages, choosing the colors and patterned papers that support your story. Our creative team has a many ideas and how-tos to get you adding pinwheels to your own projects.

Christy Strickler says, “This page scrapbooks my son showing our kitten around the house.”

“I made my pinwheels using a punch and scrap cardstock. After punching the pinwheel shape from white cardstock. I covered each side with a different type of tape. I folded the pinwheel shape and placed a jewel in the center.” 

Hello: I will Share my World with You by Christy Strickler |Supplies Cardstock: Colorbok; Letters, Paper Tape, Stamp,Stencil: Jenni Bowlin; Tags: Elle’s Studio; Punch: Fiskars; Embossing Powder: Ranger; Stickers: American Crafts; Modeling Paste: Liquitex; Other: Sequins.cellophane bag, Jewels

Ashley Horton says, “We purchased a Butterfly Garden, and the kids were able to watch the caterpillars go through the phases of becoming a butterfly.  Their favorite part is releasing the butterflies once they emerge from the chrysalis and I’ve scrapbooked those photos here.”

“Pinwheel embellishments add a fun and whimsical feel to this page.  I fussy-cut three pinwheels from Elle’s Studio patterned paper then added a punched circle and sequin to the center of each.  I placed the pinwheels in a visual triangle that moves through the photos.” 

Bye, Bye Butterfly by Ashley Horton | Supplies: Patterned Paper, Polaroid Frame, Vellum & Tags: Elle’s Studio; Wood Veneers & Sequins: Studio Calico; Color Shine: Heidi Swapp: Roller Stamps: American Crafts; Ink: CTMH; Flair Button: The Paper Bakery; Fonts: Abadi MT Condensed Extra Bold & Pacifico

Audrey Tan says, “This page is of my two little boys on a visit to Straford Upon Avon. It was a sunny day and the weather was brilliant.”

“I used pinwheels here to symbolize childhood and the boundless energy of my boys on this trip. The spinning represents the unseen energy that causes movement and animation, just like the energy of children. They stop and start again with undying energy.”

Embrace Adventure by Audrey Tan | Supplies:
Anna Aspnes: ArtPlay Palette Go See, Go See WordArt No1, Antiquated Frames, Painted Flutterbys No1, Doily Edge Overlays No1; Julianna Kniepp: Beautiful Day
Mellybird Designs: Asian Summer; Traci Reed: Summer Of Fun; Sara Gleason: Bucket List; Font: Amanda’s Script.

Lise Mariann Alsli says, “My daughter told me when she was 4 years old (with a very serious look), ‘Mum, we have to take care of the nature. If we throw garbage in, the nature will become sick. And if the nature becomes sick, it has to go to the hospital, and then we will have nowhere to live!’ Such sweet, innocent and smart thinking from a little girl.”

“This photo was taken by a professional photographer and doesn’t have any story to go with it, so I added pinwheels and created a setting for the conversation between us. My daughter loved looking at herself in dreamy fantasy landscape. The pinwheels from the Dear Lizzy product line. They looked like sweet, eco-friendly, wind mills to me, so they had to be used in my fantasy landscape. Many pre-made embellishments can become something completely different if we look at them from a different angle.” 

Nature friendly by Lise Mariann Alsli | Supplies: Paper: Pink Paislee, Crate Paper, Panduro, Echo Park, Basic Grey, 3ndy papers; Pinwheels: Dear Lizzy; Inks: Letraset Aqua markers, Color Box cats eye, brown pen; Alphabets: American Crafts thickers; Other: Paper scraps, journaling spot, some of my daughters stickers (fish, dragonflies and bees)

Kiki Kougioumtzi says, “This layout is about the joy found in everyday’s little things: a new haircut and a new pair of flip flops, in particular. It was my daughter’s idea for us to have the same haircut and flip flops, and when I agreed she was thrilled.”

“For me pinwheels represent happiness, and are, thus, a good fit for a  page about joy found in the little things. I made my own pinwheels from patterned paper and arranged them in a flowing diagonal across the page, as others would arrange flowers.”

“To make paper pinwheels, I cut squares from patterned paper, then cut on their diagonals almost to the middle. I bent every other triangle to the middle and pierced a hole and attached with a brad. I didn’t like the pointy edges so I cut them with scissors to be rounded. 

Happy little things by Kiki Kougioumtzi|Supplies:Patterned paper:American Crafts,Echo Park;Stickers:My Mind’s Eye,Basic Grey;Alphas:Echo Park;Other:Making Merories brads.

Amy Kingsford says, “I began this page about my son’s positive influence on me, intending to make a wreath around my photo entirely of pinwheels. It turned out to be a bit too much, so, instead, I used three coordinating pinwheels to form a visual triangle.  Then, inspired by this layout by April Foster, I mixed them with patterned circles and stacked circular embellishments. The pinwheels were perfect for adding to the carefree feeling to the page, and they contributed to its realistic-looking dimension.”

My Anchor by Amy Kingsford | Supplies: Gennifer Bursett: Anchored Papers and Elements.

Marie-Pierre Capistran says, “This page came together when the mom of my daughter’s classmate told me that my daughter stook out in their school’s show. She said that Arielle was shining in her yellow dress.  Arielle loves to wear dresses, and this yellow one was an instant favorite.”

I didn’t have a good photo of Arielle at her show, so to showcase the dress, I used another photo. I emphasized that my daughter is shining in THAT dress by adding my own gigantic hand-made, yellow-and-white pinwheel. I also attached a yellow ruffled ribbon that looks like her dress to the pinwheel stick.  

Check out Marie-Pierre’s Pinterest board of Pinwheel Inspiration

You shine by Marie-Pierre Capistran | Supplies: Patterned paper: Kaiser Craft, My Minds Eye, Stampin’Up!; Cardstock: Stampin’Up!, Washi Paper: We are Memory Keeper; Brad: We are Memory Keeper; Dies: Papertrey ink; Other: vellum paper, yellow patterned paper, yellow ribbon, silver thread, wooden stick, date stamp, sheet of white foam.

Michelle Hernandez says, “Just as I was deliberating whether to move from Brooklyn to Salt Lake City, I saw these stickers on a fire department call post in front of my building. My kiddo jumped into the shot at the last minute, making it the perfect comment on our situation. It was like the streets were telling me that the decision to move was the right one. I miss my original home terribly but this new life is much easier and better for my family overall.”

“I made the pinwheels from vellum. They are the main focus but don’t clash or steal too much attention from the fab background paper. Now I wish I had filled the whole page with tiny pinwheels. I threw in neon yellow wood veneer details to give the page pop.” 

Hello SLC by Michelle Hernandez | Supplies: Patterned Paper: GCD Studios; Map: GCD Studios; Numbers: Pink Paislee; Veneer: Basic Grey; Flair: A Flair for Buttons.

Terry Billman says, “This page is about my granddaughter being a ham in front of the camera–which results in adorable photos. I started with a subtle, tone-on-tone burst background. Over that I layered an 8″ square blocked out with a pinwheel design. How-tos for making these designs follow.  I particularly liked the monochromatic color scheme of the papers with the photo of Brenna, but the layout was lacking punch, so I added pink embellishments to repeat (and emphasize) the pink in her dress.”

How to make a burst background with Photoshop

  1. Start with a 12″ square canvas.
  2. Add evenly-spaced 1/2″ wide strips (use the rectangle tool) across the canvas.  
  3. Merge all of the layers with strips/rectangles into one layer.
  4. With the merged layer targeted: >Filter >Distort >Polar coordinates. Make sure you have “rectangular to polar” checked.

How to make a quilted pinwheel pattern with Photoshop.

  1. Open a 4″ square canvas. 
  2. Use the rectangle tool to draw a square that fills the canvas
  3. Select the  Delete Anchor Point Tool (housed with the Pen Tool). Click on one corner of the square. That corner disappears and your shape has 3 angles — it’s a right-angle triangle.
  4. Copy the layer with the first triangle (CTRL + J). Change its color and Rotate it 180 degrees. Drag it to fill the open triangular area in the top left of your square canvas.
  5. If Rulers are not turned on, turn them on (CTRL + R). Drag out guidelines to horizontal and vertical centers.
  6. Target the layer with the newest (2nd) triangle. Use the Selection tool. Hold down SHIFT (to constrain proportions) and drag the top right corner of this triangle to horizontal center. You’ll have a much smaller right-angle triangle.
  7. Copy this new (2nd) triangle layer. Target the copy (3rd) triangle and rotate 90 degrees counterclockwise. Change its color and position it to set abutting and above triangle #2.
  8. Copy the new (3rd) triangle layer. Target the copy (4th) triangle and rotate it 45 degrees counterclockwise. Drag it up to the unfilled triangular area. Size (hold SHIFT while dragging to constrain proportions) it to fill the area. Change its color.
  9. Put all of these triangles into a Group.
  10. Open an 8″ square canvas. Drag the triangle group to the new canvas. Replicate the group 3 times and drag a grouping to each of the 4 quadrants of the canvas. Clip papers to your triangles.

Little Ham Brenna created by Terry Billman| Supplies: Katie Pertiet: Textured Cardstock Orchard, Chevron Cardstock Orchard, Berks Lane, Doily Edgers 2, Scatterings No. 4, Bead Scatterings, Little Hearts, Heart Pebbles 3; Anna Aspnes: Magic Sparkles No. 7, Foto Wallets, Art Play Palette Infatuated, Art Play Palette Friends, Art Play Palette Smooch, Art Play Palette Embrace Life, Multi Media Flowers 2, Stitched by Anna Border 1; Michelle Martin: Janine

Katie Scott says, “We fell in love with an orphaned baby duckling who we helped to grow up. It was hard but right to set her free.”

“I used a square punch to cut 2 squares out of various patterned papers.  I then cut each of the two squares into triangles to re-create the pinwheel effect that I saw on a quilt on Etsy called “Pinwheels on Parade” Pinwheels can not only represent childhood and fun, but they can also represent the ideas of fragility, transformation, and ‘turning one’s luck around.’  I could have used the trendy feather motif on this page but I liked highlighting the concept of transformation since we watched this duckling grow from a helpless fuzzball to a fully grown flying duck. And, too, I thought the pinwheel arms looked like wings.”

If You Love Some Ducky… by Katie Scott | Supplies: Bella Blvd. washi tape; Echo Park and American Crafts letter stickers; Lily Bee patterned papers.

Ronnie Crowley says, “The layout doesn’t have a particular story. It’s just a fun picture of my daughter taken at school. My daughter’s friends share photo photos of her on Facebook, and sometimes I ‘steal’ them to scrapbook. I loved this one because she is a fairly serious student, and I enjoyed seeing her acting silly for once.”

“I looked for pinwheel inspiration on Pinterest, where I saw many quilted pinwheel designs. I decided to make my own quilt square for this page’s background–with the center of my pinwheel being a framed picture. I made my own template in Photoshop using a series of squares and triangles. I added a border to make my ‘quilt square’ pop off the page. I also looked at toy pinwheels and got the idea to use a photo frame with a scalloped edge to make it look like the flower in the center of the wheel.”

Silly Bee by Ronnie Crowley |Supplies ForeverJoy : Be; Studio Basic : Addiction Date Stuff; Lindsay Jane : Sea Breeze

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