Origami Turbine -A Super Paper Spinner!

Do you like origami toys? What about origami that spins, moves or flaps?  If so then you –and all the children in your life including your inner child, will love this origami turbine.

Blow on on it once and let the fun begin. It’s a super paper spinner!

If you’ve ever folded the traditional flapping bird,  you’re more than half way to making this special paper spinning toy.

This origami turbine was designed by my friend David Donahue when he participated in a a simple origami design challenge showing the effect of wind. When you’ve finished folding, place your paper spinner on a skewer, stick the skewer into the ground, then invite a gentle breeze to blow it round and round.

The following step-by-step video shows how to make your very own paper spinner. Thank you to David for giving permission to present his model.

Tips and suggestions for making the paper spinner

  • All kind of papers can be used to make this origami windmill.
  • In the video the turbine is demonstrated using thin kami paper, known in the U.S. as “origami paper”. Any other paper –such as gift-wrapping paper or regular office paper, is also a good choice.
  • A good size to begin with is 6×6 inches (15×15 cm). Then you can try making smaller or bigger paper spinners.
  • Make miniature turbines with 3×3 inch paper and use them as cupcake toppers. A tooth pick will be perfect to hold them.
  • The windmill is most effective if the paper is colored differently on each side.
  • The center of the square is the point of contact with the skewer. Once you have determined where it is, reinforce it by adding a piece of adhesive tape on the inside.
  • Use a nail file to blunt the sharp point of the skewer so that it doesn’t poke a hole through the paper.

Let us know how this paper spinner turns out for you. We hope you have fun and enjoy it!

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6 thoughts on “Origami Turbine -A Super Paper Spinner!”

  1. Wonderful! I so much enjoy your website, and recommend it to all my folding friends and newcomers to our folding events. Thank you so much for your generosity and the beautiful presentations!

  2. Hi Leyla:

    Once again a lovely Donahue/Torres collaboration! Reminding us all the importance of fun and simplicity. A lovely model and beautifully taught.

    Thank you both,


  3. Dear Leyla, thank you so much. I love everything that turns … spinner, windmills … and your wonderful toy …


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