Friday, 24 June 2011

Washing line windmill tutorial



I have a bit of a passion for windmills. Whenever I go to the seaside I make a small toy windmill purchase. I'm approaching 40 so perhaps I should have grown out of this, but they're colourful, they spin around and they remind me of the beach. Maybe it's not so odd after all.



I've had an idea for washing line windmills knocking around in my head for a while. I find hanging the washing out fairly soothing and zen-like anyway, but these seem to make a line of washing rather lovely.

Here's a tutorial so that you can make your own.



You will need:

Medium card
Scissors
Ruler
Pencil
Holepunch (I used a scissor-like one)
1mm galvanised wire (available from hardware shops or garden centres)
Wire cutters and pliers (round-nosed if you have them)
Beads (flattish ones work well, plastic or glass are equally good)
Washing line pegs*

I used plastic ones but wooden pegs would work just as well.







1. Mark and cut out a 7cm square of card. I drew some quick pencil lines on one side for some deckchair-
like stripes.



2. Turn over and draw lines between opposite corners to make a cross. Cut from each corner to about two thirds of the way towards the middle.



3. Bring two opposite corners together and fold. Repeat with the other two corners. Use the point where the folds meet to cut a hole about 8mm wide. It doesn't have to be perfectly round.







4. Turn back over and use a hole punch to make holes in each corner as shown, then bend each corner into the middle but don't make a crease, just a loose fold so that each of the corners stay near the centre.



5. Cut a piece of galvanised wire about 20cm long and make a loop at the end using pliers. Thread a bead onto the wire.



6. Poke the other end of the wire through one of the corner holes in the front of the windmill, then through each of the other corner holes in turn and finally through the hole in the 'back' of the windmill. Adjust and gently bend the 'sails' of the windmill at this point so that it spins smoothly if blown.



7. Bend the wire through 90 degrees about 4cm behind the bead. Then use your pliers and fingers to bend the wire into a roundish shape about 1.5cm in diameter as shown.



8. Thread the end of the wire around the middle of the peg and bring the wire round to form a loop as shown above. Twist the end of the wire around the central piece of wire to secure it as shown below. Snip the end off and use your pliers to really squeeze the wire that wraps wound the peg to make sure that it doesn't slide around.



9. Your windmill and its wire may need slight bending and adjustment to ensure that it spins well. When this is done peg on the line.

The proof of the windmill is in the spinning. Here they are in action. The wall behind is rather old (250 years) so please excuse the cracks in it:



Note: The lovely little vintage embroidered tablecloth was a recent and unexpected thankyou present from Steph at Curlew Country. Steph it's enjoyed and admired daily, thankyou so much.

43 comments:

Tabiboo said...

They look brilliant, like moving windmill bunting.

- I think they could be addictive.

Nina x

mynestofyarnandbuttons said...

Love your love of windmills. I agree they are so fun and a definite summer must. Thank you for the wonderful idea, it's great. The sky's the limit with color choices and paper!! Happy weekend to you, hope the summer breeze comes to your clothes line! xoRobin❤

Jenny said...

I completely agree - I love those coloured plastic windmills you get at the seaside. Though sadly I always get persuaded out of buying one ('why on earth do you need one of those???') but maybe I should make my own instead!! x

Magic Cochin said...

A genius idea! I like that the windmills don't all spin together - it's a windmill conversation piece!

Celia
x

Sue said...

Oh, how lovely. I don't think I have enough room for them on my washing line though! You are right about pegging out being soothing. It is, just wish I got the same satisfaction from ironing.

Lynn said...

BRILLIANT.

But still you taunt me with your gorgeous linens.

Rachel said...

Charming and cheering - a great thoought!

dottycookie said...

You know what? You are a clever girl and no mistake. You have given me an idea (to add to my already overfull ideas tray) ...

Love them!

greenrabbitdesigns said...

Brilliant, I love them!! :)
Vivienne x

Helen Philipps said...

What a lovely idea, Emma and a great tutorial! How lovely they look in your little video. I can't resist collecting those colourful seaside windmills too, and have got one twirling round in the veggie patch at the moment.
Helen x

kristina said...

Oooh I love pinwheels! Maybe I could attach some to the allotment shed?

K x

Thimbleanna said...

What an adorable idea Emma! I'd want to do washing all the time if I could watch the windmills spin.

Pearly Queen said...

The windmills are a novel idea, but those clothes pegs - I LOVE THEM!

Cottage Garden said...

This is a sweet idea Emma - and a tutorial that even I can follow!

I was just admiring that rather wonderful vintage tablecloth ....

Jeanne
x

Hearthandmade said...

thats a frigin genius idea!!!

Im glad I found your blog ^_^

Claire

http://www.hearthandmade.co.uk

Ali said...

I love the sound they make in your video too! I have a mad idea to decorate the shed with loads of them.

Scented Sweetpeas said...

How strange, I made some little pin-wheel hairclips last week and they look so cute on little Esme. I love your washing line versions :-)

dragonfly said...

I was thrilled to see a real windmill today in an unexpected place! And a weasel! I haven't seen either for years!

I think I might need some windmills on my line now...

Victoria said...

Thank you for your lovely comment on my crochet cushion trims. I reckon everyone loves a windmill whatever their age! We can always pretend we are buying them for the children. I am a bit jealous of the embroidered tablecloth you have there.

a simple yarn said...

Oh yes, the windmills are enchanting. The flowers cheery and bright. Jewellery so very lovely.

But I confess, living on this side of the Atlantic in a cottage that would be considered positively modern, I am enthralled with anyone living in a dwelling that is hundreds of years old! Beautiful images.

Naturally Carol said...

That is a brilliant idea! I was intrigued by the little video..how the tiny breezes waft and wane, making one turn and then another.

Menopausalmusing said...

Love these.......... such fun.

Madelief said...

Hi Emma,

Thanks for the tutorial. Your windmills look great!

Happy weekend,

Madelief

Lina said...

So simple and so much fun! Wonderful idea!

Moogsmum said...

Oh Emma - they're brilliant! I really want to make some to put on the washing line tomorrow :o)

xxx

Handmade in Israel said...

Absolutely delightful!
Can we see your collection of 40 too?

underatopazsky said...

Sorry, sort of tuned out of the tutorial from time to time admiring the lovely embroidered cloth behind!!

The Coffee Lady said...

Oh, great. Another lovely thing I'm never going to get round to doing.

julie said...

oooh Toby would love these - he too shares your passion for windmills! Thanks so much for the tutorial, J x

Lola Nova said...

Absolutely brilliant! I love these, now I just need to get my washing line put up again so I can make my own!

Tania said...

They have their own, private choreography happening! Inspired, I say!

Lola Nova said...

Hello again Love,

I hope you don't mind, I linked to your tutorial on my facebook page.
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lola-Nova/122486857836598

Curlew Country said...

Ooooh I love windmills too! What a clever idea.

So glad you like the tabelcloth - thye're so pretty aren't they. It was a lovely find in one of my treasure hunting spots. It looks right at home in the Fens.
Have smashing week.
Stephxx

Pennygj@gmail.com said...

What a jolly idea,I love it! I'm going to have a dedicated line just for windmills, bother the washing!

Charlie P said...

Very creative! I'm impressed! Will have to give it a go- there's certainly plenty of wind around when you live at the coast.
What breed of camera did you use to film the windmills? It's lovely quality.

zephyr said...

These are fabulous
i will probably hang them as indoor bunting--since we have fans going almost non-stop and i have no place for them outdoors where they won't scare off the birds (please don't ask how many feeding stations i have up--and wren houses)

Locket Pocket said...

What a fab tutorial Emma! I love windmills too. Lucy xx

NanaBeast said...

How ironic! I am, at this very moment, waiting for the paint to dry on 2 pencils that I am using to attach red, white & blue decorated windmills to. I am taking them to give to my grandsons as we celebrate the 4th of July here in the States. Now I want to make some for my drying line.

Jackie said...

I could always do the paper folding but but could never fathom the mechanics of twirling. It takes a jeweller to show the way. Thank you.

Helen said...

Love this a lot and I am a big windmill fan too !!!!

mrspao said...

What a wonderful idea!

Alice said...

these are so lovely! I love windmills too!! have you ever made them from fabric? I made some with scraps & bondaweb & put them on a fascinator for a wedding...I just thought you might like to have a look? LOVE your blog by the way!! http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-FWnLXDjGs_g/TfT-xjBbc4I/AAAAAAAAAp4/g13gkfzM3N0/s1600/R0010842.JPG

Cin said...

So genius creatively idea! I live in a country surrounded with beautifull windmills, but your idea absolutely fantastic. I love your blog.
Warmest regards from the windmills land ~ Cindy