Friday, January 25, 2013

Pin Wheel Tutorial

When my oldest was really little, she hated laying still on the changing table.  I had a small shelf above her changing station and decided one day to make a pinwheel and tie it above her head for a distraction.  I saw a really cute tutorial in a Martha Stewart "Baby" Magazine.  The tutorial showed how to make a mobile of pin wheels.  So cute!  I made the pin wheels but tied it above her head and when ever she got restless I'd just give it a spin and she was enthralled.  It was the best!

So when I brought my little guys to the dentist for their first appointment, it came to me that it might work there too.  Babies are alway a little unsure of new people.  Especially ones in a lab coat that want to look in their mouths.  Our dentist sat the baby on my lap facing me.  Then they laid him back on my legs so he was looking up at the ceiling.  The dentist would sit in a chair across from us and be in the perfect position to look in the kids mouth and "count" their teeth.

I made a few pinwheels for the office to use.  They can hold it above the kids face to distract them while they are being examined.  I kept with the woodland theme of the office.

Here is a tutorial on how I made these.  They aren't really hard but they take a little practice to get the hang of them.

Materials: Ruler, Pencil, Paper Piercer and Foam Pad, Clothes Pin, Needle, String, Three Wooden Beads (Two Large, One Small), Paper, Paper Cutter.
 Cut a square piece of paper.  I used 4" piece.  Draw two diagonal lines from corner to corner.  This will help you find the center point.
 Make a small dot at the 2" point  from each corner.  This is where you will cut up to.

Pierce the center (where your two lines intersect).  Then flip it over to the backside (not the clouds on my piece of paper) and pierce the left corner of each of the four sides of your square.  You flip it over so the direction of the pierce will be the same as the direction you will string it on your needle.  This will make your paper less likely to rip when you push your needle through.  
Thread your needle.  Thinner the string the easier it will be.

Put the small bead on your string.
 Tie the string in a knot.

Cut off the excess string.
String one corner from the underside.  
Thread all four corners starting with the underside (not the clouds).

 After all four, put your needle down the center on the topside (clouds).

 Pull all the way through until the wooden bead is tight on the center of your pin wheel.  You may need to shape the paper a little to get it to bend correctly.

The paper will resist being pulled tight.  You want to get it as tight as you can in the next steps.  Otherwise it will be too loose when you finish making  the knot on the back of the pin wheel. 
String one of the bigger wood beads onto the string.  
Loop the string around and put the needle back through the bead the same direction as the first time you put it in the bead.  Pull the bead tight to the back of the pin wheel before you tighten the string around the bead.  Once you tighten it around the bead it will hold in place enough for you to make a knot in your thread.  

 Once you have the bead where you want it, make another knot.

Decide how much string you want at the top, thread the other large bead and knot it.

 Cut off the extra string.
Take your clothes pin and measure the top face.  Cut out paper to fit on to it.
 Glue the paper on top.

 Let dry and you are done.

You can clip it to things or tie it on.  The clothes pin makes it easy to hold. 
 Here are some others I made for the dental office.  They use them with their infant patients and it works wonders to distract the babies from crying.
 I also made some as baby room decor for a friend.  I made hers with metal brads as the center.  Cute but a little harder to make sure they didn't rip through the corners of the paper.

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