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Learn how to make outdoor decor with Spring sublimation wind spinner designs!

Want to add some seasonal color and motion to an outdoor space? Make a wind spinner (or several!) using my spring sublimation wind spinner designs! Adding customized yard decorations is a fun way to bring your style outdoors. And as much as I love my backyard friends, a wind spinner can keep birds from gathering where they’re not welcome, while also deterring bugs, squirrels, and other outdoor pests. Hang a wind spinner on your front porch, your garden, or even use one to add some bug-repelling fun to your porch, deck, or kids’ outdoor play space. And these stained glass-inspired sublimation designs will look beautiful while helping!

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While my original designs had a fall and winter theme, I love the bright, cheery spring feel of this new design collection! I’ve included designs featuring a fox, sunflowers, a cardinal, and different nature scenes!

Just like the original files, you can use the same sublimation printing and transfer process for these Spring designs. You can use most styles of heat press, but I got the best results with a Cricut EasyPress. My Sublimation Cookbook has the temperatures and times for other options, too. After the sublimation blank is heated, only touch it with a heat-resistant gloves until it’s cooled. The aluminum can stay hot a lot longer than you think!

And when it’s time to display the physical product, follow my illustrated tutorial below to correctly space out the wind spinner’s rings.

If the spinner will get a lot of sun, it’s a great idea to take it outside with some UV Resistant Clear Coat Spray and a cardboard box. Good ventilation is super important when working with the clear coat. Put the spinner in the open box to protect it from debris, and to protect the area from the spray. Next, spray a light coat over the spinner and let it dry for 10 minutes. When it’s totally dry, flip the spinner over and coat the other side, too.

I made these digital printables using an AI art generator and image editing software to clean them up. Now you can use the high resolution spring sublimation wind spinner designs for your own projects! If you want to learn more about using AI in your crafting with a personal touch, check out my AI Art Design workshop.

Here’s a supply list of what you need to make physical end products using my spring sublimation wind spinner designs! This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won’t cost you a penny more)! Read my full disclosure policy.


Materials and Tools to Make a Spring Sublimation Wind Spinner

View my Amazon shopping list with the exact items we used to make this project

For sublimation using my new spring designs:

For infusible ink using the instructions and designs in the original project:

For both methods:

How to Make Your Own Spring Sublimation Wind Spinner

The detailed step-by-step assembly video on how to make sublimated wind spinners debuted during Maker Academy Weekend 2023, held online November 1-5, 2023. You can use my new spring sublimation wind spinner designs with the same process, because I’ve added the written instructions below. If you want more of the original tutorial, you can get an on-demand pass to watch all 30+ workshops, each with a printable handbook, transcript, audio file, design files, and support with a VIP pass below:

Learn how to sublimate a wind spinner with JenniferMaker's tutorial! A vibrant sublimated wind spinner hangs outdoors, printed with a beautiful orange and brown-toned autumn woods scene.

DIY Wind Spinner

Yield: 1
Active Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour
Difficulty: Easy to Medium
Estimated Cost: $20-$30

Learn how to make a DIY Wind Spinner!

Instructions

STEP 1: GET OR PREPARE AND PRINT A SUBLIMATION DESIGN

You can use my DIY Wind Spinner files from my resource library, Design #520.

I have six designs, or you can create your own. I've also included a vector version of the Tree of Life for use with infusible ink transfer sheets.

- Autumn Moon

wind spinner autumn moon design

- Autumn Path

autumn path design

- Autumn Scene

autumn scene design

- Autumn Tree

- Winter Moon

wind spinner winter moon design

- Winter Tree

wind spinner winter tree design

Today, I’m going to make the Autumn Tree design, but you can use these steps for any of the designs.

We'll print the design on a good-quality sublimation paper for the best results. I’m using A-SUB paper in my Epson EcoTank with Hiipoo ink.

Measure your blank wind spinner and make sure your image size is correct before printing. I’m using these 8” wind spinners, with 8.25" designs, so we can fully sublimate them using 8.5” X 11” paper.

NOTE: It is best to make the print a little larger than the blank. This also makes it easier to tape the blank in position, and we can sublimate all the way to the edges. Make sure to purchase 8" wind spinners, and not 10" or larger if using standard 8.5" X 11" paper to print and sublimate.

You can use image editing software to prepare your design. If you need help printing for sublimation please check out my Sublimation T-Shirts for Beginners for detailed information on printing using Google Docs.

Don't forget, that since we will be sublimating both sides of the wind spinner, we will need to print two copies of the design.


STEP 2: SUBLIMATE YOUR WIND SPINNER BLANK


Before you begin, make sure you have proper ventilation by opening a window or turning on a large fan.

Warning: you will be working with materials that will be heated to a high temperature. It is strongly recommended that you wear heat resistant gloves when handling these materials.

Preheat your EasyPress to 360°F (192°C) and set the time to 120 seconds.
set easy press to 360 degrees for 120 seconds


Make sure to peel off the protective coating from BOTH sides of the wind spinner blank prior to pressing.



Lint roll your blank to remove any dust and debris. You'll want to do this to each side, before sublimating. Don't forget to lint roll the second side after the first is pressed, as more debris can be introduced while pressing the first side.

lint roll to remove dust and debris



With the sublimation print face up on the table, place the blank face down. Either side works fine. Secure with heat resistant tape. I used eight pieces to secure it properly. I found that using only four pieces of heat tape allowed the print to lift more than when taping all the way around the wind spinner.

If the paper is not taped securely enough, the image can 'ghost', and some of the sublimation ink can be carried to the other side of the blank.

secure print with heat resistant tape


To find the center of your print, use a pencil and ruler and mark it on the top, and side margins with a pencil on both prints.


Place a clean sheet of white card stock on your heat mat. We do not want to sublimate our heat mat!


place cardstock on heat pad



Place your blank on the white card stock, sublimation print will be face down.





Use caution to not bend the aluminum wind spinner. While handling before and after sublimating.

We'll need to wear gloves, to protect our hands from heat. The spinners are not sharp on the edges, so can be handled without gloves while preparing.

put on heat resistant gloves

Place a clean sheet of butcher paper on top of your print.

place butcher paper on top of sublimation print

Place the Easypress on top of the sublimation print and blank, and click the 'C' button to start the timer. Use medium pressure, and do not slide, or move the Easypress off the print. Hold still!

hold the easypress still while pressing the wind spinner print


When the time is up, lift the EasyPress straight up and return it to its stand. Use caution not to lift the print and blank up with the heat press. Also, make sure to move the press straight up, and not off to the side, as removing the print diagonally can produce 'ghosting'. Wait for one minute to let the spinner cool down a bit.



Get ready to remove the print. It can be tough to remove all of the tape while still wearing your gloves, but don't worry, you can remove the rest later.


Once your blank has cooled, you will want to repeat the same steps to press the same design on the back of the wind spinner blank. Make sure you sublimate the back with the top facing the same direction as the other side. And make sure that there is equal distance around the print, and you use the pencil marks to center the blank.



STEP 3: INFUSIBLE INK SHEETS VERSION

Upload the Tree of Life SVG file to Cricut Design Space and add it to your Canvas.

This is what my SVG file looks like on my Canvas. You can zoom out to see all of the design by clicking on the minus (-) sign on the lower left.

tree of life svg in design space


Make sure the outer layer is sized to 8.25” so we can sublimate off the edge of our wind spinner blanks.

Select the tree and click Duplicate. Drag the duplicate to the side.


Make sure you have the right machine selected and click "Make It."
If prompted, click "On Mat," "12 in x 12 in," and "Confirm."

use brayer to secure infusible ink to mat

On the Make screen be sure to Mirror your design on both mats.

mirror image in design space

Move your image to the center of the mat.

Choose the ‘Infusible Ink Transfer Sheet’ material setting and the pressure to more.

Place your Infusible Ink Transfer Sheet onto a green StandardGrip Mat, with the finished side facing up. Use a brayer to secure the sheet to the mat.

TIP: The Infusible Ink patterns are directional, so keep that in mind if you want the patterns to go in the same direction.

Make sure you have a clean Fine-Point Blade in the correct clamp. 

Load the mat, and press Go.

Once the cut is complete, unload the mat and remove the ink sheet.

cracking the infusible ink

Roll the design and start 'cracking' the cuts to allow easier removal around the design elements.

Remove the tree shape from the carrier sheet.

TIP: If a design piece shifts, like the ink within the tree branches just gently put it back in place with the tweezers. This stuff is pretty sturdy!

remove tree from infusible ink sheet

Cover your heat mat like we did earlier with white card stock and place the blank on the design.

Use heat tape and tape down the sides. I like to use eight pieces all the way around the wind spinner.

Now, flip the blank and taped design over and add butcher paper on top to protect your press.

place butcher paper on top of infusible ink sheet before pressing

Make sure your heat press is at the correct temperature and time settings.

Hold the heat press on the blank at 360°F (192°C) for 120 seconds using light pressure. The infusible ink sheets require light pressure and a little less time then the sublimated version. Hold still!

When the time is up, lift the EasyPress straight up and return it to its stand. Use caution not to lift the print and blank up with the heat press. Also, make sure to move the press straight up, and not off to the side, as removing the print diagonally can produce 'ghosting'. Wait for one minute to let the spinner cool down a bit.

Remove the tape and sublimation paper.

If you plan to hang your wind spinners outdoors in a sunny spot, you might want to consider spraying a UV Resistant Clear Coat to prevent fading. In an outdoor space, place your wind spinner at the bottom of a box. Spray the UV Resistant Clear Coat on on side of the wind spinner. Wait for it to completely dry - about 10 minutes and repeat in the other side.


STEP 4: BEND YOUR WIND SPINNER

Now it's time to bend our wind spinner rings into position!

The instructions state to spin the center part last, but I like to keep the center aligned with the hanging holes.

No need for gloves since the spinner has cooled down after sublimating, and the edges of the aluminum spinner can be handled without gloves. They are not as sharp as they look!
bend side 1 of the wind spinner to the left

I start with the left side. Bend the outer most ring to about 45° inward toward you. I like to stabilize the bottom of the blank on a sturdy surface while bending. Then with the next smaller ring bend forward, but not as much. Do the same for each ring until you reach the center. Try and place even distance between each ring.

bend side 2 of the wind spinner to the left

Then flip, and do the same with the other side of the wind spinner. Work from the left side again.

You can adjust each ring trying to make symmetrical. I like to view the wind spinner from the top to make sure each sides' rings are aligned, so that when spinning, the design is stable and stays true and symmetrical.

Optional Motor

The wind spinners have small mounting holes at the top and bottom. You can use the supplied swivel clips to attach them, outdoors, with line, or a shepherd's pole. You could also mount from the bottom hole, using a garden ornamental stake, but you would have to attach it securely with a small bolt, etc.

optional spinning motor for wind spinner

Since there is a top and bottom hole, you have the option to daisy-chain these. Imagine the possibilities!

While these aluminum wind spinners look great, and last, outdoors, you might want to display them indoors as well.

To replace the lack of wind indoors, I used a small battery and remote operated motor to spin the wind spinner at 10rpm. 20rpm was a little fast for me.


Note that the swivel joint needs to be removed if using the motor. We want to turn the wind spinner, not free-spin the swivel.


You can simply use the clip the swivel was attached to. Open the clip with your finger and place the small opening in the hole on the bottom of the motor. The large opening on the clip can be placed on the wind spinners' top hole. Make sure not to scratch your beautiful design!

STEP 5: SHOW IT OFF

These wind spinner look great outdoors, or even indoors, for year-round enjoyment.

final reveal of sublimated wind spinners

Answers to Your Questions About How to Make Your Own Spring Sublimation Wind Spinner

Q: Where is your video tutorial for this project?

A: These sublimated wind spinners are a special project we made for our free Maker Academy Weekend 2023 event! A complete and detailed step-by-step video premiered during the event November 1-5, 2023 — this tutorial video was available to watch for free for 24 hours only during the event. If you missed it, you can get access to the full video, the 15-page printable handbook that details how to make this beautiful project with a VIP Pass to Maker Academy Weekend 2023, which comes with other perks and bonuses, too! Look at all the star ornaments made by our VIP passholders in the lead up to our big event!

Q: How do you make a garden wind spinner?

A: Follow my tutorial! If you use images of your own design, be sure the main element of your work (the subject) is in the middle of the file. That way, it will sublimate onto the solid middle of the wind spinner and be easier to see.

Q. How do you sublimate wind spinners?

A. If you have a sublimation printer, you can use my tutorial to prepare your digital file using your preferred printing or design software (I like to use Google Docs!) and press on the blank. If you don’t have a sublimation printer, there are services where you can have someone print your own work or original art as sublimation transfers to be shipped to you. Look for listings that have “instant print” in the name. If you’re on a timeline, be sure to check their shipping service time frame, and remember it can vary by postal service!

Q: What temp do you sublimate wind spinners?

A: I recommend 360°F (192°C) for 120 seconds to sublimate my free digital printable files or your own digital creations on wind spinners.

Q: How do you shape a wind spinner?

A: Custom cut blanks for wind spinners are made from coated aluminum, so they’re pretty easy to shape as long as you take your time. The metal’s edges may be sharp, so wear gloves for extra protection. The easiest way is to stabilize the spinner’s bottom point on a sturdy table. Hold the spinner in place with one hand, and use your other hand to gently pull the right outermost ring toward you until it’s perpendicular to the flat section. Then pull the next ring just a little bit less than you pulled the first, and so on until you’ve bent all the rings on that side. Then rotate the spinner and repeat these steps for the other side. Look at the spinner from the top down to make sure the rings are bent evenly, and adjust them as needed. The spacing doesn’t need to be perfect, but having the rings evenly spaced will make the image easier to see.

Q: Do wind spinners keep bugs away?

A: When the wind spinner spins, it makes a subtle buzzing sound that can keep away  insects, birds, and even squirrels!

Get my free PNG files to create your spring wind spinner!

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I SO hope you’ll make a decoration using my spring sublimation wind spinner designs! Please share a photo of your wind spinners in our Facebook group or tag me on social media with #jennifermaker.

Love,

JenniferMaker.com

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