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How to Make a Simple Weathervane

By Maryellen Cicione ; Updated September 21, 2017

From forecasting wind direction to decorating an outdoor structure or garden, a weathervane represents a timeless folk art classic. Weathervanes have been part of history as far back as the 1st century B.C. Commonly used by farmers and sailors to track the wind’s changing direction, weathervanes have been a useful tool through the ages. Made in all shapes and sizes, weathervanes represent true Americana in many popular designs, such as a rooster, horse, eagle, merchant ship, or arrow. Some weathervanes are three dimensional and made from elaborate materials, while others are more basic and made from wood. Anyone can make a simple weathervane in just a few hours and design or paint it to reflect their style and interests.

Making a Weathervane

Decide on a shape. Design a weathervane that portrays a bit of your style. If your home is modern or country, think of a design that matches its style. If you love animals, sports, gardening, or adventure, consider a theme-shape weathervane design.

Draw your design on a thin piece of wood by making an outline of your selected shape. This way you can erase mistakes or make adjustments.

Using a saw, carefully cut along your penciled outline to cut out your shape. Sandpaper the edges until they are smooth.

Decorate your weathervane. You can paint features on your shape or make decorative designs. Depending on your design, you can simply paint it one solid color. Paint the block of wood to match your weathervane color.

Affix your weathervane to the block of wood. The size of the wood block needs to be larger than your weathervane shape. Drill a hole in the center of the block of wood large enough to fit one end of the dowel. Fill in any space with glue. Drill another hole in the center of your weathervane shape and insert the other end of the dowel. Test it to be sure your weathervane moves around.

Mount your weathervane to your outdoor structure by nailing the ends of the block of wood. You can also affix your weathervane with wire if your outdoor structure already has a support. As an alternative, use wire to tie your weathervane to a fence or pole in your garden.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Thin piece of wood
  • Pencil
  • Saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint
  • Wooden dowel
  • Block of wood
  • Drill
  • Hammer
  • Nails or wire

Tips

  • Besides wood, you can also use an aluminum tray or papier-mâché as materials for making your weathervane.
  • Be creative when painting. Consider using other materials like glitter or beads to add a unique decorative accent to your design.

Warning

  • If your weathervane shape is top heavy, you might need to use a thicker dowel or block of wood.

About the Author

 

Maryellen Cicione is an award-winning writer with more than 20 years' writing and editing experience. She boasts strong research skills and specializes in interviewing. Cicione's work has been published on numerous websites and in various magazines and newspapers. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications.