Okay, so this is one of those posts I had lined up that never made it onto the blog last year for some reason. And I usually try to showcase fresh trends, so first I thought I would let it go, because pinwheels have been around for a little while now (things move fast in Blogland). But then I thought, you know what, I still LOVE pinwheels. They make me happy. They remind me of when I was a little girl and we used to visit my Grandpa in Umdloti. You could find them at the local shop next to the plastic buckets and spades and the little fishing nets. They’re beyond whimsical, and they sum up everything I love about long, lazy summer days. I haven’t had enough of them, not by a longshot.
Besides, this is one trend that I haven’t seen much of in real South African weddings. Considering how many of us are getting married on the beach, it made me wonder if perhaps they just haven’t had their day with us yet. So I’m making a pitch for pinwheels. After all, hey’re easy to DIY, and you can make them out of gorgeous (vintagey?) scrapbook paper that compliments your wedding colours or go for something more classical like book pages or sheet music. They’re adorable escort cards and can also be added to cake or cupcake toppers or drink stirrers. And you know they’ll make your guests smile, however you use them.
You could even use pinwheels to line your aisle – go as big as you like for maximum effect. Or give each of your guests one to hold up in the breeze (even better, alternate with little flags or ribbon wands) after the ceremony. And you know how South African guys never want to wear a flower on their lapel? Pinwheels are a great alternative. You could even have your bridesmaids carry them instead of or as well as flowers (sounds weird, but how cute do they look in these pictures? And you’d save a bunch on flowers that don’t get used past the ceremony anyway).
Even if you don’t use them in your wedding, pinwheels would make adorable props for an engagement shoot. Or a bridal shower. Or… well, you get the picture. They’re cute, whatever you do with them.
Want to know how? It’s so easy to make these, even I could do it. (The following instructions are adapted from Martha Stewart – you can find the original tutorial here.)
A thin dowel or skewer, cut to the desired length and painted
Two coordinating sheets of origami or lightweight paper
Spray mount glue
1 Cut a square of paper from each sheet in the size you’d like your pinwheel to be. Spray glue the two squares together.
2 Fold the sheets in half diagonally, and then in half again. Unfold.
3 Cut along each crease two thirds of the way to the square’s centre, dividing each corner into two points.
4 Bring every other point to the centre so that the points overlap. Holding them in place, poke a pushpin through the centre and keeping points in place remove pin.
5 Insert a map pin into the hole (the hole will be slightly larger from the pushpin, which allows the pinwheel to spin).
6 Thread a small bead onto the pin behind the wheel and poke pin into dowel one and a half centimetres from the top. (Soak dowel in water to avoid splitting if necessary.)