How to Make a Windmill Using Popsicle Sticks

windmill image by blaine stiger from

Windmills are a great example of engineering that harnesses natural power to provide energy for things such as grinding mill products, pumping water or even producing electricity to use in a home. They are readily recognisable structures and a good choice for a simple model project made from wood Popsicle sticks.

Using a simple plan, sticks and glue, you can have your own working windmill in a few short hours.

Draw a sketch of the windmill and the pieces you will use. A windmill consists of a tower, a base to hold the bearing for the wheel and the wheel itself.

Build the tower base by building a square made of Popsicle sticks laying flat, with the ends overlapping and glued together to make corners. Make four of these, and stack and glue them together for a solid base.

Glue upright posts by adding a Popsicle stick to the side of each corner, making eight sticks in all. Glue two sticks between each side upright in an X shape so that every side has a cross support. Now glue a stick around the top of the sticks in an outside square, cutting them down to size if necessary to create a square collar around the outside of the uprights. Angling in, add two more uprights to each corner at this collar, continuing the tower in and upward. Add cross supports and another collar at the top of this section of the tower.

Reduce four sticks to the size of the upper collar and lay them flat across it, and glue in place. This is the upper platform. Now glue two sticks to the outside of the collar across from each other, creating two outside support posts. Glue a stick between them laying flat across the top.

Create the wheel by laying four craft sticks across each other at the centre of each stick, forming a square in the centre, with the four ends of the sticks pointing outside of the square. Glue together. Add a half a stick to each of the outside posts, creating a wider flap-type shape for the sails. Now glue four more half sticks to the inside edges of the square, reducing it down in the centre until a small hole remains. Cut a Popsicle stick vertically in half, insert it through the hole and out the back of the wheel.

Lay the post of the wheel across the support bar you built at the top of the windmill tower, and glue in place. Allow the windmill to dry.