This is one my favorite projects.  The students love it too . . . even the boys!  I start off every semester with a variation of this same project.  I introduce five artists and a different technique with each artist.  This allows me to start the semester with a good dose of Art History and with each different technique I address the skills involved as well as how to clean up and store things properly.  I have adapted this project to papier mache, t-shirt design and many other two-dimensional projects.  For the pinwheels we started out with a 12×12″ piece of white tagboard.  We use both sides of the tag so students have to keep it nice and clean.  I take a few days introducing each artist, demonstrating the technique and giving students time to practice before apply the final to their 12×12″ square.  Our final artist is always Jackson Pollock . . . a class favorite.  We splatter paint the back of the paper taking care to keep the front paint free.  I cut and drill a wooden dowel for each student and that is painted to coordinate with their pinwheel.  We use brass paper fasteners to attach them to the dowel rod and they even spin!  The final pinwheels are displayed in bouquets throughout the building.  They are always a hit!

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February 17, 2012 - 12:55 am

Jani - What a cool idea! You know I love seeing the art projects you do with your students so please keep sharing but, I miss seeing Owen’s art posted — I think he would make a cool pinwheel of his favorite flags, pirate ship and buildings.

February 17, 2012 - 1:39 am

Barb - Those are pretty awesome!!!

February 19, 2012 - 8:19 am

Ross - Wow! These are fantastic. I love how easy they look to be to make as well. I might have to think about doing something like this with my daughter on her week off. Hope your having a great weekend!

February 19, 2012 - 12:02 pm

Shannon S - LOVE this idea! I bet your art class is a very fun place for your students!

February 19, 2012 - 11:03 pm

Dawnn - I adore this project, what a fantastic idea!

February 20, 2012 - 12:24 am

Julie - I want to be in Mrs. Speelman’s art class!

May 20, 2012 - 2:56 am

Maryellen Bridge - Hello Melissa,

Love your pinwheel project! If you have hi-res photos, we’d be interested in you putting an article together for possible publication.

Please email me if you would like to explore this further. Thanks so much, and hope to hear from you!

Maryellen Bridge
Arts & Activities Magazine

August 1, 2014 - 12:30 pm

Cherie - Can you tell me more about attaching them to doll rods. I have done these with pencils and thumb tacks. Always afraid to send them home on bus. Great idea, love the artist approach!

September 17, 2014 - 10:10 am

Miriam - Hii there!

I love the idea of the spinwheels.
What artist did you use for example?
Vincent van Gogh, Jackson Pollock and Mondriaan, but the other 2?

I Hope to hear from you..

Greetings from Holland

September 17, 2014 - 10:29 am

Melissa - Miriam- Bridget Riley (Op Art) and Georgia O’Keeffe

September 25, 2014 - 10:24 am

Liz - This is awesome! Can I ask what artists you featured and what grade is this?

February 21, 2015 - 8:32 pm

carmen gascon - I´m an Art Teacher.
We would like to share ideas and mail you some art Works.
my Spanish students are 10 and 12 years old.
We try to learn from important artists.
Conglatulations for your artworks.

April 30, 2015 - 11:17 am

Marilyn Schulz - My 5th & 4th grade art students are loving this. One of my 5th grade boys made the “handle” from a rolled piece of copier paper. Turned out very well…also saved a lot of money. Great project.

May 27, 2015 - 6:59 am

Alexandra - what grade level do you do this with? It is AWESOME!

September 15, 2015 - 2:10 pm

Sue - Very Nice and Fun!

February 14, 2017 - 5:14 pm

Heidi Ragan - Beautiful project! I would love more information on what size dowels you used

June 16, 2017 - 1:44 pm

Barbara - How thick should the papers be in order to really work as a pinwheel?

August 30, 2017 - 4:07 pm

Maureen Jasovsky - Hi. I love your project and I would like to use it for a first day of school project. Since I am not an art teacher (I teach gifted/talented students grades 6-8) I was wondering if you have a template for the pinwheel?
Thank you

November 15, 2017 - 4:15 pm

dorothea wade - do you have a lesson plan for this? I would love to work off of it for my 6-8 students as a reward project for classroom behaviors.
dotty wade

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