Besides making a ton of socks, I also wanted a few baubles and ornaments to deck my halls before the holidays. Pinwheel-making seemed like an elfish thing to do, so I cribbed the first half of this project from the amazing magazine CRAFT: ( and booked some quality time with my paper-loving friend Janice. We set a date to party in her project room with paper, glue, scissors, and a pitcher of fabulously festive sangria.

First, though, I needed to find images for my ornaments. I guess I was expecting something entirely different when I walked into Excalibur Books and Comics, Inc. (2444 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 231-7351) – maybe a few older dudes who looked like Steve Buscemi wearing too-tight t-shirts in a darkly lit, musty cave. This would have been awesome in its own right, but Excalibur is brightly lit and welcoming. It has thousands of comics. Maybe more. After greeting me, the boys at the counter left me to my own devices. I spent the better part of a day perusing issues dating back to the 30's – Wonder Woman, Thor, Aquaman – it was difficult to choose. I went with Captain America, the lucky stud.

Next, I headed to Columbia Art & Drafting Supply (1515 E Burnside, 232-2216) where I bought pre-cut 5"x5" paper ($2.89), along with a can of Krylon Crystal Clear Gloss ($9.47) and my old caustic stand-by, Super 77 (multi-purpose spray adhesive, $9.64). The staff was friendly, knowledgeable, and not at all pushy. I'll say it again: Not pushy!

In CRAFT: 03, "Field of Pinwheels" shows how to make a pinwheel in just a few brief, poetic steps. Janice and I had the system down in minutes. While I chopped comics into 4"x4" squares on the paper cutter, she was pulling out paper scraps I hadn't seen since 1994, when we peddled colored pencils and oil paints to starving students at Binder's Art Supply in Tempe, Arizona. I Super 77'd my comics to the colored squares and trimmed the edges. Between the sweet, sweet smell of spray adhesive and the buoyancy of our bubbly, I was feeling like a true Artiste.

We sewed around the edges of each square on the sewing machine and followed the diagram. We made two-inch cuts in from each corner and snipped the inside right corner of each two-inch cut 1/4 of an inch down. Then, we applied dabs of glue to the corners before turning the tips to the center, blasted the pinwheels with two coats of Crystal Clear Gloss, and let them dry.

The Clear Gloss coating yellowed the newsprint a bit, which made the ornaments look authentically vintage. I sewed a button to the back of each ornament with 18 inches of red and white Baker's Twine, wrapped the twine around the button twice, and tied it in a knot. Now if I only had a tree...

Next Week: Felt Ball Garland

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