How to Make an Aluminum Can Pinwheel

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Recycle aluminum drink cans to make these fun garden decorations. This is a page about how to make an aluminum can pinwheel.


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If 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


  1. Use your serrated knife to puncture a hole into the can, then use your scissors to cut off the top rim.
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  3. Puncture the bottom of the can, then cut it off.
  4. Cut the rectangle of aluminum into a square with 4 equal sides.
  5. Use a ruler to find the very center of the square, then mark it.
  6. Cut a line from every corner of the square to about an inch from the middle.
  7. Punch a hole into every upper left hand corner of each segment, then punch a hole right in the center.
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  9. Insert your piece of wire in from the back (the coloured side of the can).
  10. Bring down each corner that has a hole and thread the wire through.
  11. When all four corners are threaded, place the bead over them.
  12. Use your pliers to bend the end of the wire over the bead so it's secured.
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  14. Using your pliers, bend the long remaining wire piece in the back of the pinwheel downward to create a stem.
  15. Slide the drinking straw over the wire stem. It's ready to plant outside for your twirling enjoyment!
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