How to make a whirligig + FREE TEMPLATE

A classic of crafts are the whirligigs. These are powered by the rotating motion of their propeller blades and make a beautiful lawn ornament.

It is an ideal activity to do during the weekend. It’s a fun, quick and easy project.

Let’s learn how to make a whirligig!

How to make a whirligig guide step-by-step

While you can make any figure that has arms, a body, and legs, there are some shapes that are easier than others. You can even make whirley gig plans in different materials, like wood, plastic, paper or metal.

So if you want to know how to make a whirligig, continue reading this article.

Essential materials

  • Wood
  • Pencil
  • Saw
  • Fine grain sandpaper
  • Drill
  • Wooden glue
  • Steel nails
  • Hammer
  • Acrylic paint
  • Blade Counter Clockwise Hub and Blade Clockwise Hub

In this case, we are going to make a wooden eagle-shaped whirligig plans.

  • Step 1

    On the wood, draw the eagle’s silhouette.  We recommend 3/4″ poplar hardwood. This is the main part of the whirligig.

    You can also add any details that you would like to highlight, for example, the beak and the eyes.

Click on the image below to can download the whirligig template.

  • Step 2

    Draw on your wood, the eagle wings or propeller blades. You will need 4 wings, 2 for each side of the bird to generate movement. For this step we recommend 5/32″ marine grade plywood.

Click on the image below to can download the whirligig templates.

  • Step 3

    Cut out the outline you have drawn on the wood with a saw following the pencil line.
  • Step 4

    Sand the cut-out silhouette with fine-grit sandpaper to make its sides smooth and splinter-free.
  • Step 5

    Once the wings are made, you will need something to hold the wings in place and make them spin. To make them turn, one propeller must turn clockwise and the other propeller must turn counterclockwise. If they don’t rotate correctly, one side will constantly loosen in the wind.
  • Step 6

    With the glue, stick the propeller blades on the hubs. But you can also use steel nails to fix it more securely.
  • Step 7

    Drill through the center of each end of the dowel that runs through the body of the whirligig for a #9 brass wood screw.
  • Step 8

    Apply glue to the inside edge of the hole in the center of the whirligig and slide the dowel through the hole, making sure it’s centered side to side. Wipe off any leftover glue and let it dry.
  • Step 9

    On the right side of the eagle body, attach the blade clockwise hub assembly by sliding a propeller tube through the center hole in the blade clockwise hub. Take the washer and place it on the wood screw and slide it through the center of the socket. Screw on the spike.

    Repeat the same process on the left side with the blade counter clockwise hub.
  • Step 10

    In the hole at the bottom put glue and slide a brass tube inside. Next, slide a pivot bearing up the tube and nail it down to the post where you want it to be.
  • Step 11

    Finally, paint the wood as you like, wait for it to dry and place it on the lawn so that it shines in the wind.

Now you can decorate your garden!

Once you have the whirleygig plans ready, all that remains is to cut, glue and screw to have your eagle on the lawn.

In addition, you can make figures such as a windmill, a plane or more birds.

We leave you some fun and original ideas people also made to decorate their roof by clicking here.

You can also see this article about how to make glitter ornaments with polycrylic to start preparing the decoration for Christmas.