How to Make a Weathervane

By Willow Sidhe

  • Overview

    A weathervane is used to indicate which direction the wind is blowing. It is one of the oldest tools for forecasting weather patterns. There are many ways to make a weathervane with materials you probably already have on hand. Use this simple method to make a lightweight weathervane of your own to monitor the wind in your area.
    • Step 1

      Turn over a paper plate. Punch a hole in the center of the plate using scissors. Write "N" for north on the top edge of the plate, "S" for south on the bottom edge, "W" for west on the left edge and "E" for east on the right edge using the marker.
    • Step 2

      Place a small amount of Play Dough in the center of the second plate. Surround the Play Dough with several small rocks. Put the first plate upside down on top of the second plate and use tape to secure the edges.


    • Step 3

      Push the pencil through the hole in the second plate, making sure it is held securely by the Play Dough and is not tilting. The eraser end should be protruding and the unsharpened pencil end sticking into the plate.
    • Step 4

      Draw an arrow and tail shape (like the one in the diagram) on a piece of construction paper and cut it out using scissors. Cut a slit on each end of the drinking straw. Push the arrow shape onto one end and the tail shape onto the other. Secure with tape.
      Weathervane Arrow and Tail Template
    • Step 5

      Stick the straight pin through the straw in the middle. Stick the other end of the straight pin through the pencil eraser. Make sure the straw is able to move freely while attached to the pencil. Now you have a weathervane.
    • Step 6

      Use the weathervane. Find where north is with a compass. Place the weathervane in a high place with your marked directions lined up with the actual directions.
    • Skill: Easy
    • Ingredients:
    • 2 heavy paper plates
    • Marker
    • Ruler
    • Scissors
    • Play Dough
    • Small rocks
    • Tape
    • Unsharpened pencil
    • Construction paper
    • Straight drinking straw
    • Straight pin
    • Compass
    • Tip: To secure the rocks, place them slightly in the Play Dough so the stickiness will hold them in place. This will help your weathervane stay together without losing any anchor rocks.
    • Tip: Use a ruler to draw straight lines when drawing the arrow and tail, or print and cut out the image in the diagram instead. Light cardboard can be used instead of construction paper for a sturdier weathervane.

    © High Speed Ventures 2011