How to Make an Aluminum Can Pinwheel


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February 28, 2018

Aluminum Can Pinwheel - pinwheel in the gardenIf I'm not taking my aluminum cans to the recyclers, I'm making things with them. These pinwheels are easy to make and a delight to watch spin in the wind. There are certain spots in our garden where squirrels wreak havoc, so we place them there to keep them at bay with the bright reflections. Please wear heavy duty gloves when cutting and shaping aluminum cans.


Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 1 pinwheel


  • 1 aluminum can
  • 1 serrated knife
  • scissors
  • ruler
  • marker
  • hole punching tool
  • piece of wire or straightened paperclip
  • medium-sized bead
  • wire cutter
  • pliers
  • drinking straw
Aluminum Can Pinwheel - supplies


  1. Use your serrated knife to puncture a hole into the can, then use your scissors to cut off the top rim.
  2. Aluminum Can Pinwheel - punch a hole near the top of the can with the scissors and then remove the top
  3. Puncture the bottom of the can, then cut it off.
  4. Aluminum Can Pinwheel - puncture the bottom of the can and cut it off
  5. Cut the rectangle of aluminum into a square with 4 equal sides.
  6. Aluminum Can Pinwheel - cut the can into a square

  7. Use a ruler to find the very center of the square, then mark it.
  8. Aluminum Can Pinwheel - use a ruler to find the center of the square and mark it
  9. Cut a line from every corner of the square to about an inch from the middle.
  10. Aluminum Can Pinwheel - cut a line from each corner to within an inch of the center
  11. Punch a hole into every upper left hand corner of each segment, then punch a hole right in the center.
  12. Aluminum Can Pinwheel - punch a hole in the upper left corner of each section and punch a hole in the center of the square
  13. Insert your piece of wire in from the back (the coloured side of the can).
  14. Aluminum Can Pinwheel - insert wire from the back

  15. Bring down each corner that has a hole and thread the wire through.
  16. Aluminum Can Pinwheel - bring down each corner with the hole and thread the wire through
  17. When all four corners are threaded, place the bead over them.
  18. Aluminum Can Pinwheel - when all four corners are threaded place the bead on the wire
  19. Use your pliers to bend the end of the wire over the bead so it's secured.
  20. Aluminum Can Pinwheel - use pliers to bend and secure the wire over the bead
  21. Using your pliers, bend the long remaining wire piece in the back of the pinwheel downward to create a stem.
  22. Aluminum Can Pinwheel - bend the long piece of wire on the back of the can down to create a stem

  23. Slide the drinking straw over the wire stem. It's ready to plant outside for your twirling enjoyment!
  24. Aluminum Can Pinwheel - slide a straw over the wire and place in the garden
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