You don’t need to be an expert with a pastry bag to decorate a cake. Make these simple paper pinwheels using the newspaper you’re holding, and poke them into the top of your cake or cupcakes. Newsprint is the perfect lightweight paper to catch a breeze at your outdoor celebration and create some whirly magic. Pinwheels double as entertainment and favors for kids — and grown-ups — as they run through the party with outstretched arms.
This project is not for children under 3 because of small parts, and be sure to remove the pinwheel and all its parts before consuming the food it decorates.
Newspaper squares (ours were around 3 ¼”)
Skewers or skinny dowels
Map tacks and pushpins (or just pushpins)
A piece of scrap corrugated cardboard
Small cardboard circles (Optional, but they allow for better spinning — you can trace a quarter.)
Hot-glue gun (to secure map tacks or pushpins)
1. Start with a square of paper.
2. Fold in half diagonally and crease well. Open and fold the opposite side in half diagonally and do the same.
3. Open the folded paper and cut about two-thirds of the way in along each fold. You will end up with two points at every corner.
4. Rub a small circle of glue on the center point. Pull up one corner point and press down onto the glue, overlapping the center point. Rub a little more glue over the center. Repeat with the point after the adjacent one and press it down onto the glue. Repeat for every other point, for a total of four times
5. Pin the pinwheel onto the piece of scrap corrugated cardboard with the pushpin. (The hole made by the pushpin is larger than the map tack you will use to pin it to the dowel, which will allow it to spin.) Let dry for about 15 minutes.
6. Make a hole in the dowel or skewer about ¾” down from its top end. If the dowel splits when you make the hole, you can first soak it in water for an hour. Or, you can use the dowel even if it splits and tape the top closed.
7. Use the pushpin to make a hole in the cardboard circle (if you are using them). Push the map tack (or pushpin) through the hole in the front of the pinwheel, then through the cardboard circle, then into the pre-made hole. Add a dot of hot glue to the back to secure the map tack or pushpin to the skewer and cover the pointy tip.
8. A completed pinwheel looks like this.