Paper Pin Wheel Poppies for Memorial Day Decorations

Memorial Day is a federal holiday observed here in the United States every last Monday of May. It honors the men and women of the American armed forced who died while in service. 

The red poppy flower has become the symbol of remembrance of those who died in service. The symbol and tradition stems from a famous World War I poem "In Flanders Fields" written in 1915 by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrea. 

Wearing and displaying poppies during Memorial Day shows respect and gratitude for the sacrifices made by the men and women of the military. 

To make this paper Pin Wheel Poppy, you'll need the following supplies: 

  • Paper - red, black and optional green
  • Craft knife
  • Ruler
  • Glue
  • Wire
  • Awl 
  • Pliers 
  • Wooden or aluminum dowel 
  • Pencil
  • Cutting mat - for all cutting and trimming

Memorial Day Poppy Pin Wheel 01

Step One: Cut down the red craft paper to a square. We used 8.5x11" paper and cut it down to 8.5x8.5" - this gave us a perfect 12" diagonal. Make two.

Memorial Day Poppy Pin Wheel 05

Step Two: Place your ruler on the diagonal, mark the center and with the craft knife, cut towards the center stopping 1/2" before it. Do this for all four corners on both squares. 

Memorial Day Poppy Pin Wheel 06

Step Three: In pencil. draw a curve on one side of each triangular section. Cut away. Repeat this for all side on both squares. 

Memorial Day Poppy Pin Wheel 08

Step Four: Using the awl, make a hole in the center of both squares, and in the corner of each triangular section - about 1/2" inward from the tip. Make the hole to fit the gage of your wire. 

Memorial Day Poppy Pin Wheel 07

Step Five: Using needle nose pliers, make a small spiral from the wire. Start about 3" in from the end of the wire. Bend the other end back towards the center of the spiral disc. The spiral should be flat and about 1/2" in diameter. 

Memorial Day Poppy Pin Wheel 09

Step Six: Starting with the corners, thread the wire through each one, overlapping, and then thread the wire through the center hole. Pull together, so that the corners are directly on top of the center. Using the pliers, bend the wire into a loop to lock the first layer into place.

Step Seven: Add the second square by threading the center hole onto the wire first and then folding back each section. Check to make sure that the sections are facing in the same direction. Once all are on the wire, pull flat and twist the wire once again so that the paper locks in place. 

Memorial Day Poppy Pin Wheel 10

Memorial Day Poppy Pin Wheel 11            Memorial Day Poppy Pin Wheel 12

Step Eight: Poppy center- cut out a 4.5" diameter spiral out of the black paper. It's ok if it's uneven. To create the center, wrap the spiral into a cone shape. Add glue every inch or so. Let dry. Then notch the edges into a fringe. 

Memorial Day Poppy Pin Wheel 13

Step Nine: Glue the black flower center to the middle of the poppy pin wheel, covering the metal spiral. Add leaves to the back and attach to a dowel. 

Have fun with this, try different shades of red and layer them for different effects.