How to Build a Model Dutch Windmill

Updated February 21, 2017

Windmills are an integral part of life in Holland as a country with a lot of land under sea level. Historically the Dutch used windmills to pump water away from the land to allow for farming and to grind corn after it has been harvested. Later, mills were used to power sawmills and paper mills. The landscape in Holland today is still dotted with windmills that have been preserved and in some cases are still in use.

Draw a polygon on the card stock measuring 4 ½ inches on the top, 6 inches on the bottom and 10 inches on the other two sides. Cut out this template. Disassemble the large cardboard box so it is a flat piece of cardboard. Lay the template on the box and trace six identical shapes. These will be the sides for the windmill.

Trace a hexagon with 6-inch sides on the cardboard. Cut out this hexagon. This will be the platform for the top of the windmill.

Draw an X on the cardboard with each arm of the X measuring 8 inches long and 1 inch wide. Measure 1 inch from the centre of the X and draw a square around the centre of the X. This will be the pivot point for the arms. Cut out as one piece both the arms of the X and the square in the centre.

Assemble the body of the windmill. Place one cardboard side next to another with the short side on top and tape in place from the inside of the windmill. The tape should run vertically along the seam from top to bottom. The sides should lean in slightly so they are together all the way along the seam. Repeat the process with the other wall sections to create a hexagon tower. Set upright to verify that the tower sits flat. Trim as needed so the tower stands flat. Lay the hexagon platform on top and glue in place.

Turn the small cardboard box over so the closed bottom is facing up. Measure 4 inches down from the bottom of the box and draw a straight line horizontally on each side. Cut along the line. Measure a half inch down from the closed end of the box and mark with a small X on one side of the box. Repeat on the opposite side.

Poke a hole through both X's with the scissors. Enlarge the hole so the straw can be easily inserted and turned. Draw an X across the small square at the centre of the large X. Poke a hole through the centre and enlarge enough for the straw to fit snugly.

Cut four rectangles from the second sheet of card-stock. Each rectangle should be 6 inches long and 1 ½ inches wide. Measure across the short side of the rectangle and mark each half inch to divide the rectangle into thirds. Center the first rectangle along its middle third over one of the arms of the large X. The rectangle should be positioned at the end of the arm away from the centre. Glue in place. Repeat for the other 3 rectangles and arms.

Insert the straw through the centre of the arms and glue in place. Insert the other side of the straw through the two holes in the small box on the top of the windmill. Do not glue in place or the windmill will not turn. Push the straw through far enough for several inches to be visible on the back of the windmill. Insert the empty end of the straw into the rubber stopper to balance the weight of the arms of the windmill. Glue the rubber stopper in place. Adjust the straw to allow the arms to turn freely. Paint the windmill.


The windmill can be painted before or after construction. Many Dutch windmills have a white base and a single colour for accents. Add doors and windows with brown paint.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 sheets, white card stock, 8.5 inches by 11 inches
  • Large cardboard box
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Glue
  • Small cardboard box
  • Straw
  • Rubber stopper from eyedropper
  • White paint
  • Coloured paint
  • Brown paint
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About the Author

Based in Minneapolis, Dawn Marcotte has been writing for more than 10 years. Her recent writing has turned to nonfiction and includes articles on home and garden, education, crafts and automotive subjects. She currently has several eBooks published and available online. Marcotte has a Bachelor of Science in elementary education from the University of Iowa.