How to make a wind spinner out of a soda can

Written by erin griffith
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Wind spinners, or pinwheels, are fun, easy lawn decorations that you can make out of soda cans. They're kitschy and advertise loyalty to your favourite brand of carbonated beverage. Naturally you can use a beer can here, too. There are varieties that can be made with plastic bottles of any size as well, but the original, classic style of recycled, or "upcycled" wind spinners is with an aluminium can. Add a funky twist to your front yard with a variety of wind spinners.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Scissors
  • Flathead nail
  • Washer (optional)
  • Hammer
  • Pliers
  • Soda can
  • Wooden stake

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  1. 1

    Clean the can. Rinse it out with water and let it dry upside down on a dish rack.

  2. 2

    Jab your scissors carefully into the top of the soda can just below the rib. Cut the top off, being very careful not to cut yourself on the sharp edge. Maintain a straight cut so that the edge is smooth.

  3. 3

    Mark the eight striped vertical cuts you'll be making. Make a tiny perpendicular snip into the can. Make another snip directly across the can from your first snip. Then make a snip halfway between your two snips on one side, and repeat by making another snip directly across from that one. You should have four cuts evenly apart from each other. Imagine they would form a cross if connected. Make the remaining four snips by making a cut exactly halfway between each existing cut. Go around clockwise to keep track of your cuts.

  4. 4

    Extend your snips into vertical cuts all the way down to the bottom of the can.

  5. 5

    Bend the strips down, away from the can's bottom, and create a crease where the strips meet the bottom. This creates the blade.

  6. 6

    Make a very small cut with your scissors along the fold you just made on one of the blades. Cut only 1/8 inch. Repeat on each blade, cutting from the same direction each time.

  7. 7

    Twist each blade with pliers so that the cut side of the fold is pulled forward. Twist each blade the same direction.

  8. 8

    Poke the nail through the centre of the bottom of the can to create a hole. Nail the wind spinner to the wooden stake and hammer it into the ground. If you're worried your nail won't hold the spinner on, use a washer that fits the nail head to make it more secure.

Tips and warnings

  • You can attach multiple spinners to your wooden stakes, and for added flair, paint the stakes a colour to match the can's colours.
  • Be careful not to cut your fingers on the sharp edges of the cut can. Wear gloves if you are worried about this.
  • The cans are quite delicate and may lose blades in heavy wind.

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