How to build small windmills for gardens

Written by jophiel aurora
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How to build small windmills for gardens
Real windmills serve as the inspiration for garden models. (windmill image by Terry Reimink from

Gardens filled with a variety of flowers and foliage can spruce up the landscape of any home, commercial building and recreational area. Along with plants, trees and shrubs, gardens can be decorated with stones, fountains, pottery and whimsical miniature windmills. You can buy a garden windmill online or at a garden centre, or you can build this 5-foot version for much less.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 1 block of treated wood (4-by-4-feet-by-2-inch)
  • 1 strip of treated wood (3-by-3-feet-by-1-inch)
  • 1 L bracket
  • 2 treated wood panels (4-by-7-feet)
  • 4 strips of treated wood (5-feet long)
  • Skill saw
  • 1-inch hole bit
  • Drill
  • Craft paper
  • 4 straight metal brackets (2-inch)
  • 1 sheet of treated wood (3-by-4-by-¼-inch)
  • Screwdriver
  • Screws
  • Wood sealer
  • 3-by-¾-inch diameter bolt with nut
  • Safety glasses
  • Tape measure
  • Craft paper, ruler and pencil

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  1. 1

    Prepare your work area. Lay out all of your materials. Put on your safety glasses to protect your eyes when using the skill saw.

  2. 2

    Assemble the legs of the windmill. Place the L bracket against the centre of the 4-by-4-by-2 piece of wood with a screw and screwdriver or drill. Drill a 1-inch hole in the centre of the 3-by-3-by-1 piece of wood. Attach the 3-by-3-by-1 piece to the other end of the L bracket with screws.

  3. 3

    Attach a 5-feet long strip of wood loosely at each corner of your 4-by-4-by-2 piece of wood from step one. Sit the frame with four 5-feet legs upright with the 4-by-4-by-2 piece on top. Adjust the legs to form the shape of a cone. Use your tape measure to make sure each leg is equal distance apart across the bottom of the cone, about 3 to 4 feet. Finish securing the legs to the 4-by-4-by-2 piece on top by tightening the screws with a screwdriver.

  4. 4

    Assemble the base of the windmill. Connect the two 4-by-7 panels to the 5-feet frame. Start by cutting the two panels to fit each side of the cone frame using your skill saw. Attach each of the pieces of panels to a side of the 5-feet frame and 4-by-4-by-2 piece of wood. The base is completed.

  5. 5

    Make the template for the garden windmill blades. Use craft paper, a ruler and pencil to sketch two blades shaped like a triangle that are 18 inches long and 6 inches wide on two sides. Use the template to cut four triangle-shaped blades from the 3-by-4-by-¼ piece of wood.

  6. 6

    Assemble the blades. Drill a 1-inch hole in each of the blades near the end of the tip of the blade. Place two blades side by side; connect them with one 2-inch metal bracket. Attach the other two blades, creating a circle. Put the bolt inside the hole in the blades and through the hole in the 3-by-3-by-1 piece of wood at the top of the base. Secure the blades with a nut and bolt.

  7. 7

    Spread a little wood sealer inside of cracks between the wood pieces. After the sealer dries, paint, stain or decorate the windmill.

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