Making a model of a windmill

Updated February 21, 2017

Making a model of a windmill for your garden or backyard is a simple craft project you can complete with materials from your local home improvement or craft supply store. The design and style of your windmill model should fit the location where you'll ultimately place it in your garden or backyard. Small windmills scaled to fit your flower gardens or medium-sized models that stand alone in your yard add a touch of whimsy and character to your home and landscape. Painted wooden bases with copper blades that twirl and single poles with three wooden blades are both indicative of the different models of windmills you can make at home.


Creating a triangular wooden base for your windmill model is more complicated than a single white pole model made from PVC pipe, but the wooden base gives you more decorative options. Three sheets of ½-inch-thick treated plywood cut into triangles, a large bolt with a nut and wood screws are the primary components of a windmill model with a wooden base. You'll also need a small treated wood post and copper or other metal sheeting for the vane section of your windmill, along with waterproof adhesive. You could make the vane from wood if you like, but the metal gives your model additional texture.

For the PVC type of windmill, you'll need pipe long enough to match the height of your windmill. You can make the vanes for the PVC pole model from any thin plastic substance that is lightweight and cuts easily, or use metal sheeting. You'll also need a bolt, to attach the vane to the pole, and cement to secure the pole in the ground.


Cut the three treated plywood sheets into identical triangles and secure them together with wood screws to form a three-dimensional triangle. Cut a 2-by-2 inch treated wood post to a length of 8 inches. Attach the post to the top of the triangle you just made from the treated plywood. Cut five equal triangles from the metal sheeting for your vanes. Stack the metal triangles on top of each other and drill an opening large enough to fit the bolt through. Separate the metal triangles and form them into a circle with the tips overlapping and the holes for the bolt matching up on each one. Glue the tips of the triangles together with waterproof adhesive. Attach the vane of your windmill model to the treated wood post with the bolt and secure it with a nut. Paint the base of your model windmill as you please.

To make a windmill from PVC pipe, cut a piece of pipe the length of the desired height of your windmill. Drill a hole all the way through the top of the pipe, 1 inch below the top end. Make your windmill vane with sheet metal, as previously described, and bolt it to the PVC pipe through the hole at the top. Dig a hole, stand the PVC windmill in the hole and brace it with string and wooden stakes. Fill the hole with cement to secure your windmill. Let the cement dry and remove the stakes.

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About the Author

Katherine Kally is a freelance writer specializing in eco-friendly home-improvement projects, practical craft ideas and cost-effective decorating solutions. Kally's work has been featured on sites across the Web. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of South Carolina and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.