March '03 - Daffodil Windmills...



These little windmills are easy to make and will give great pleasure. For a small child, you will have to do the cutting out and folding, but a ten year old can make the whole thing from scratch in 15 minutes. Daffodil Windmills


To make 2 you will need:


  • A4 sheet of yellow card, cut in half and squared off
  • Some orange or darker yellow card
  • 2 x 4" (10cm) wire
  • 2 beads, preferably yellow or orange, or small tubes of pasta
  • 2 pieces of thick card, about 1 cm wide, cut to about 8" (20cm) long, coloured green (I covered ours with green tape for added strength)
  • a hole punch
  • scissors
  • pliers - needle-nosed work best
  • hole reinforcing rings (optional, but they'll last a lot better)

Mark the centre of the yellow square and make a hole there; pop a reinforcer over this. Cut from about 1 cm right of each corner down towards the central hole, stopping about half an inch (1cm) away. Punch a hole in each corner, and one in one end of the green stick. Cut a 2" (5cm) circle of orange card, with crinkly edges (I used pinking shears), make a hole in the centre and pop a reinforcing ring over it. Also cut a smaller disk with smooth edges, about 1" (3cm), to act as a washer, and make a hole in the centre of this too.

Pleat the larger orange disk with a few folds so that it becomes vaguely conical... Pleated disk
Bead threaded Thread a bead onto the middle of a piece of wire and bend in half, trying to keep the wire as straight as possible. Thread the beaded wire through the hole in the pleated disk.
Bend the corners of the "sails" down into the centre, one after the other, aligning the holes, then thread the wire through this too. Add the washer at the back, then the stick. Sails
wires Pull the wire through a little so that the windmill retains its shape, leaving enough so that the sails will spin if you blow on them. Bend the wires at 90 to the stick and 180 to each other, like a paper-fastener. Curl the edges round tightly so they are not sharp. You may need to adjust the wire a few times until the windmill spins satisfactorily.

You can vary the pattern to make other flowers or indeed straight windmills - let them colour the "sails" in before you assemble it. To make a rose, just use pink or red card and trim the tops of the "sails" round; you could use several central disks. Try making them from acetate and colouring the sails in a pattern with OHP pens (carefully, if it's permanent ink!) - these look quite stunning whirling away in your garden. You can cut open a 2-litre fizzy drinks bottle and trim to a square for a really tough, ecologically-sound windmill, and use a garden cane for the stalk.

With a rose

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