Dip Dyed Pinwheel Banners – a Tutorial

Last year I made some dip-dyed pennant banners for the magazine Celebrating Everyday Life. This year I meant to share them with you – early enough you had plenty of time to make some for your Independence Day celebrations. But I didn’t get to it till now and perhaps there are some other procrastinators out there who might still want a project this week ūüėÄ

These are really so simple.  And yet they will look rather detailed and a bit complicated.  So wow your party goers next weekend with some of these strung about the yard!

Dip Dyed Pinwheel Banners Tutorial

You will need:

Drop cloth from a home improvement store (or use any plain fabric you have on hand)

hot glue gun and glue


string or twine

Rit Dye (blue and red)

a bucket


somewhere outside to hang your pinwheels as they dry

Ribbon or strips of drop cloth

Sewing machine if you sew – you can totally hot glue everything with this project if you want to!
dip dyed pinwheel banner (13 of 18) copy
dip dyed pinwheel banner (1 of 18)

To make the drop cloth pinwheel or medallions cut your drop cloth pieces a minimum of 7.5 by 11.  Fray the edges as far as you desire.

Make your first fold along the shorter side of the rectangle.¬† ¬Ĺ inch in width including the frayed part.¬† You want to end up with your last fold going the same way as the first fold so the frayed edges are on the same side.

dip dyed pinwheel banner (2 of 18)

 Continue to make folds 1/2 inch wide, pressing with your iron as you go.

dip dyed pinwheel banner (3 of 18)

dip dyed pinwheel banner (4 of 18)

 When you are finished the stack of folded fabric should look like this.

dip dyed pinwheel banner (5 of 18)

 Tie the center of the medallion with bakers twine or ribbon of your choice.

dip dyed pinwheel banner (6 of 18)

 Use hot glue to fasten edges of medallion together to form a circle.

dip dyed pinwheel banner (7 of 18)

 Glue edges together as soon as your hot glue is spread on one side.

dip dyed pinwheel banner (8 of 18)

dip dyed pinwheel banner (9 of 18)

 Continue by doing the exact same thing to the other side.

dip dyed pinwheel banner (10 of 18)

Make as many as you want your banner to have.  Now you can dip dye your finished medallions if you wish!

dip dyed pinwheel banner (11 of 18)

 I used about 6 inches of water in a bucket.  For my blue medallions I used about 1/4 or the bottle of liquid dye and for the red I used 1/3 of the bottle.  I wanted my red a bit darker.

dip dyed pinwheel banner (12 of 18)

dip dyed pinwheel banner (14 of 18)

¬†Dip the pinwheels in as far as you want them dyed. ¬†You can completely submerge them if you want them completely colored. ¬†I dipped them a bit over half. ¬†Some were dipped a bit more than others – I like the haphazard-however-it-turns-out look ūüėÄ

dip dyed pinwheel banner (13 of 18)

Keep them in the dye as long as you want.  They will dry a bit lighter than they look when you take them out of the dye.  I just held them in for a few minutes then took them out and hung them outside to drip dry.

dip dyed pinwheel banner (19 of 2)

 I made some blue, some red and left a few un-dyed for the white.

dip dyed pinwheel banner (20 of 2)

TIP 1:  Wear old clothes Рyou WILL get some dye on you.  Especially if there is any breeze at all outside.

TIP 2:DO NOT consider doing this inside. ¬†You will regret it. ¬†You will wish you had listened to me! ūüėÄ ūüėÄdip dyed pinwheel banner (15 of 18)

To attach to a header ribbon sew (or you can hot glue) small pieces of ribbon to the pinwheels. ¬†Those ribbon pieces will then be sewn (or hot glued) to the banner ribbon. ¬†For this one I used a long strip of drop cloth, frayed it to match the frayed edges of my pinwheels and folded it double. ¬†The ribbon pieces were tucked inside the folded ‘ribbon’ and stitched. ¬†You can totally hot glue this too.
dip dyed pinwheel banner (16 of 18)

Use them to decorate wherever and whatever you have this 4th of July!  The playhouse, the doghouse, the trees, the front porch.  You can leave them up all summer to create a fun atmosphere.  dip dyed pinwheel banner (17 of 18)

Your kids would love this project too Рjust make sure they are OUTSIDE and are wearing really OLD clothes!  Dye is supposed to change the color of things after all!
dip dyed pinwheel banner (18 of 18)

Super simple really. ¬†And it doesn’t take all that much time. ¬†Unless of course you have to stop at every step and photograph it from every angle :)

Come back tomorrow and I’ll show you another variation of this dip dyed banner!


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  1. brenda says

    great day… you are back…
    finally have gotten a couple of blogging friends emails back. hope you all stay.

    when this sort of thing occurs do you notice anything different on your end ? perhaps fewer comments etc ???

    • says

      Hi Brenda! I really need to switch to a different mail delivery – feedburner is constantly changing how many of my subscribers it sends the mail too – not very nice of them hmmm?!

  2. Becky says

    Oh my goodness Jill another home run. Directions by you are always a joy!!! Love love love. I have some dye so ill give it a try! Happy 4th!!! Becky

  3. says

    Jill, It is not too late for me! Can’t wait to try these and hang them around our lodge and maybe on floats for our little town parade. Thanks for taking time to share! Happy Fourth to all of us Americans!

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