After a quick and easy Halloween decoration that makes a big impact? These awesome paper wheels are a treat and not too tricky to make at all. Use the Halloween-themed patterns and templates for extra festive punch! Just follow the step-by-step instructions to make a bunch of them in different sizes and with a variety of black and orange patterns. Then arrange them on the wall for a gorgeous decoration.
1. Cut and Fold the Paper
First, make a paper wheel using A4 heavyweight construction paper. Lay the paper on the working surface in a landscape position. Now, mark 1cm (0.4 in) increments along the longer side of the paper. Create two lines of marks – one along the top of the paper and one along the bottom.
Now use an awl or thick needle to gently join the first two marks. Take care not to overdo it as you don’t want to cut the paper – just mark a guide for folding. If you are using thin wrapping paper, this in not the best method as it will probably ruin the paper. Make some guides using a pencil instead.
Continue with the next two marks until the whole paper is marked. These guide marks will help you fold accurately and easily later on.
Once all the folding guides are in place, make some more marks in the other direction. Divide the shorter side of the paper in to three equal parts. Draw two horizontal lines joining the marks and divide the paper in to three horizontal zones that are each 7cm wide.
Place the paper on the cutting mat. Following the lines and using the cutter, cut the A4 paper in to three strips each of 7cm by 29.7cm (2.8in x 11.7in).
Following the guides, start folding or pleating the paper accordion-style.
Each time you fold, crease well. Use a bone folder or the back of a metal spoon for perfectly sharp folds.
When you finish folding, the paper will look like this.
Repeat the folding process for all three strips.
Place the three strips one next to the other with the clean side of the paper facing upwards. In order to make one continuous strip, the strips need to have one fold overlapping. For this reason, you need to trim the last end of the strips.
2. Glue the Paper
Heat the hot glue gun. Apply some glue on the left end of the second strip.
Place the first strip over the second, accurately but quickly. They should overlap perfectly. When in place, press gently with your fingers. If you’re using a thin paper, be careful not to burn yourself with the hot glue.
The joint should look like this, with the glued strips forming a continuous zig-zag. Glue the second strip onto the third one, in the same way.
Now that all three strips are glued together forming a continuous strip, hold the accordion strip up, so that it forms a tube.
Glue the last two ends to close the circle. It’s almost ready now.
3. Make the Wheel
Place some baking paper on the working surface and place the accordion tube over it.
Using both hands, bring the upper edge of the tube down towards the center.
And gently press down flat.
Now, push it towards the center.
Apply a lot of hot glue in the center of the wheel.
Keep pressing inwards till the wheel is set.
Once set, gently remove the baking paper.
4. Add a Circle to the Center of the Wheel
Print out the downloadable template in color. It is designed for A4 paper and the various designs will fit different wheel sizes.
Select the design that contrasts with your wheel color and carefully cut it out.
Apply some hot glue to the back of the circle. If you’ve left the hot glue gun on, be carefully not to burn your fingers.
Place the circle quickly on the center of the wheel. Not only will it give your paper wheel a Halloween theme, but it will also cover the central hole and give the wheel more stability.
5. Add the Twine
Place an eraser on to your working surface and place the wheel on top of it. Press an awl or thick needle through the top of the wheel to create a small hole.
Cut a piece of thread to the desired length, depending on where you want to hang your wheel.
Thread the wheel.
Make a knot.
Well done – your first Halloween wheel is complete.
6. Make Different Sized Wheels
Now that you know how to make an accordian-pleated paper wheel, you can apply the same skills to create wheels of various sizes. For example, you can make this small white-orange wheel out of A4 paper. Just divide the paper in to four strips of 29.7cm (11.7in) long by 5.25 cm (2.1in) wide and fold them accordion style, about 0.5cm (0.2in) wide. Or make a larger one, like the black and white wheel, with six pieces of paper 16cm (6.3in) long and 9cm (3.5in) wide and fold them 1.5 cm (0.6 in) wide.
The total diameter of your wheel depends on the width of your strips of paper. The density of the pleats depends on the length of the strips and the size of the folds. Just make sure you don’t use one long continuous strip of paper for making your wheels as it’s difficult to retain the required proportions and the process of folding the accordian pleats is a lot more difficult.
So go on, play around and make your own wheels of various sizes.
For an extra large paper wheel, you will need a roll of wrapping paper. Fold the roll in half in both directions and divide it in to the four pieces created. My roll was 2m long and 70 cm wide, therefore my four pieces were 1m long and 35cm wide each. You will only use three of them.
Roll each piece in the opposite direction it was original rolled, to make the paper straight. Then mark every 2cm using a pencil. You don’t need to use the awl to prepare the pleats as wrapping paper is really thin and easy to fold. Now fold the three strips of paper accordion-style. Glue the pieces together and form the giant wheel as described in the steps above.
Get Ready to Wow Everyone!
Hang the wheels you created in a gorgeous Halloween arrangement. Position them at various heights and overlap contrasting colors.
In this tutorial you learned how to create accordian-pleated paper wheels of various sizes and paper qualities. You can apply the same skills to create decorations for parties, weddings and Christmas. Just change the colours and the design of the central circle. You could also make paper wheels to decorate cards and gifts.