Colorful Paper Twirlers
Crafts Kids Arts and Crafts Activities

Making and Decorating Colorful Paper Twirlers with Kids


These colorful paper twirlers are easy to make and mesmerizing to watch! Here is a tutorial for making and decorating your own beautiful paper twirlers using the watercolor resist painting technique.

How to Make Paper Twirlers with Kids

You’ve probably made spiral paper twirlers before, either as a kid or with your own kids.

I have done both, but it’s such an easy and satisfying activity with mesmerizing results that it’s worth doing again. Or at least I thought so.

We combined the simple paper cut activity with the super-saturated color of a crayon and watercolor resist art. Oh, and we did this on a big scale, but you can do this small scale if you like, either with cheap paper plates or smaller circles of posterboard.

Here’s how…

How to Make Colorful Paper Twirlers with Kids

This watercolor resist painting technique makes easy paper twirlers extra fun and extra beautiful!

Crayons and Watercolor Paint for a Watercolor Resist

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*I cut a couple of circles each out of large pieces of white poster board, but you could do this on a smaller scale if you like with paper plates, watercolor paper, or card stock.


STEP 1: Cut your circles out of your poster board.

You can trace a large mixing bowl for a perfect circle or just wing it. Winging it is my middle name, so that’s what I did.

Paper Twirlers - Drawing the Spiral

Step 2: Draw your spiral…

…starting from one point on the perimeter of the circle (but don’t cut it yet).

Make the spiral relatively thick. We had two with an endless thin spiral and they didn’t hold their magic twirly powers quite as well and dragged all the way to the floor besides (although that was easily remedied by trimming off the bottom).

Making and Decorating Paper Twirlers

Step 3: Now decorate your spiral with crayon drawings.

Any designs. Lots of color. You could stick to seasonal colors if you like or decorate the spiral like a snake, but we just went for lots of color and design.

Paper Twirlers - Watercolor resist over crayon drawing

Step 4: Paint with Watercolors

Paint over the crayon drawings with watercolor paint. Let dry.

Turn the circle over and paint the reverse, too, as you’ll see both sides as it spirals through the air. Let dry.

Colorful Paper Twirlers - Cut along the spiral line

Step 5. Cut along the spiral line.

Paper Twirlers - Hanging with Yarn

Step 6. Punch a hole in the center and tie a string there for hanging.

Color Paper Twirlers ready to hang

Daphne and I each made two, so we had four to hang!

Paper Twirlers Hanging in the Window

Step 7. Hang your new color paper twirlers!

You can hang these in a window or near a fan or on the porch or ?

Our colorful new paper twirlers in action!

A video posted by Jean Van’t Hul | Artful Parent (@jeanvanthul) on

Admire and watch the paper spirals twirl in the wind or by your puffs of breath. It’s mesmerizing to watch!

Paper Twirlers Hanging in a Group

How about you? Have you made paper twirlers before?

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How to Make Paper Twirlers with Kids


  • Reply
    November 3, 2016 at 2:32 am

    Thanks for sharing such nice art work. My son is also very much interested for drawing and painting. So last week I took his admission into Euro Art Studio which locates & serves for teens between 4-17 throughout the New Jersey, USA. It offers Art classes for children and teens in a wide range of mediums and by a certified Art teacher as well as working artist. According to me this helps him to improve his creativity skill.

  • Reply
    March 3, 2020 at 10:34 am

    Thank you. Of late, I have struggled to fill the after school hours in a way I can feel good about. There has been way too much screen time and it just saddens me. Your site and your mission with Artful Parent is a bright spot that I feel grateful to make use of. Everyone needs more art and music in their life.

    • Reply
      Jean Van't Hul
      March 8, 2020 at 4:52 am

      I agree that everyone needs more art and music in their lives! And yes, screen time seems to be a bigger and bigger problem with the current generation of kids and families. I wish I had a magic cure-all!

  • Reply
    March 25, 2020 at 10:41 am

    Hi Jean,
    The link to the watercolors seems to be broken, or perhaps the product is no longer available?

    • Reply
      Jean Van't Hul
      March 26, 2020 at 4:40 am

      Thanks for letting me know, Becky! It doesn’t seem to be available anymore, so I updated the link with one of our newer favorite watercolor paint sets!

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