Build Your Own
The Wheel <<
|Cutting Out the...
|Making the Parts
Start with a round lid (4" - 6") the ones from a coffee can are ideal, but you could
also cut a disc from almost any plastic container. If you have a small or weak fan,
then it's better to use a smaller wheel since it will take less wind to operate.
Draw lines to help you cut out the windmill flaps more evenly. At least 4 blades
works well but 8 blades usually works even better. The lines should not go all the
way to the center of the wheel OR all the way to the outer edge. After the first line,
mark the next line on the opposite side of the wheel, rather than proceeding in a
clockwise fashion. This will create more uniformity and allow for better functioning.
Cut out each flap with a razor knife or sharp scissors. The outer edge of each
windmill blade should be cut about halfway to the edge of the next blade.
Bend over the cutout flaps for each blade. A 45 degree angle is roughly ideal, but
a fair amount of variation will still work fine, especially with stronger fans. Over
time it may be helpful to occasionally bend the flaps again for optimal
performance. Pressing a hard object along the creases can help to make the
"bend" more permanent.
You may also want to trim the corners of each blade as an added safety feature.
With soft plastic wheels, this is generally not an issue. However, depending on
what material you choose, the age group present, and if you're using a
particularly strong fan, then you might want to do this small, extra safety step.
|Wind Powered Bubble
Machines can help you
add fun to birthday
graduation & school
parties...or any occasion.
Draw more attention to
yard sales, fund raisers,
openings & events.
...or just for fun.
Add bubbles to your
decorations for any party
theme - at a fraction of
the price for electric
If you're looking for
birthday party game
ideas, everyone could
make their own simple
Try making several &
give as party favors...
Mark a location to help
guests find your home.
Add a few drops of
citronella oil to help
deter mosquitoes, etc.
|Note: If you plan on letting kids make their own versions, then you may
want to do this part for them. Another option is to make a windmill or
propeller that is separate from the wheel with the bubble rings. Two of the
pictures (above right) show a card stock windmill (and two metal versions
with similar patterns). This style is easier to cutout since it allows you to
cut through the outer edge - even with rounded & fairly dull scissors.
Want to see some pictures of variations? Click here
Since the windmill part is not submerged on those styles, then you can
cut that part from many materials ... even from paper! It wont last as long,
but it's safer to make for younger kids. Use a heaver paper or cardboard
if available and coat with paint, glue, or tape to improve durability
somewhat. A pinwheel design will work better with thinner paper. Of
course, almost any kind of plastic (from disposable containers, etc.)
works great and may allow the most options.
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