Easy Steps to Turn an Old Windmill into Wall Art

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Part of our front porch project was adding some visual interest to a long brick wall. Along with an updated doorbell button, I wanted something unique, something that alluded to the way we approach creating a comfortable home.

And then I got it! A windmill!!

There is something about windmills that I love. Perhaps it’s that it is functional and visually appealing at the same time. I’m sure not everyone shares my love of this utilitarian art form but I don’t understand why not.

I gave Jay a mission- find old windmill parts, preferably the blades. And he did!

Windmill Before Collage

Now to turn these rusty discarded windmill pieces into something outstanding.

The first step was cleaning the parts. I wanted the rusty patina but not the layers of dirt and grime. Plain old white vinegar is a great cleaner.

Supplies for Cleaning:

  • White Vinegar
  • Steel Wool
  • Water


Steps for Cleaning:

  • Apply vinegar with steel wool
  • Allow to sit for 3-5 minutes
  • Rinse off with water
  • Repeat if necessary

Clean Windmill BladeClean Metal Blade with VinegarRinsed Windmill Blade

We wanted to recreate the look of a section of the windmill. We decided to use rebar as the arched metal piece. It is rustic, inexpensive and Jay thought it wouldn’t be too difficult to shape. That proved to be both true and false. It did bend with only slight force but we didn’t have much control over the shape it took. Ultimately we were not satisfied with the finished project….back to the drawing board.

Windmill Blades layed outWindmill with Rebar

Turns out steel strap isn’t as hard to work with as we first thought. Using two ⅛” x ¾” x 4’ strips, Jay shaped the arch using his hands. He started with the lower arch; once it was shaped correctly he cut the strap to the desired length using a hack saw with a metal blade. He did the same thing for the top arch. Then we attached the blades to the arched steel with L-brackets.

Windmill L-Bracket 2

Using the same bolt for the top two outside L-brackets we attached another L-bracket to use as hanging hardware.

Windmill Hanging Bracket

It is everything I imagined it could be! I love it!

Windmill Blade ArtWindmill Blade on Front PorchWindmill Blade Arch

I hope this inspires you to discover your own Comfort Created!

2 Comment

  1. Jenna says: Reply

    Looks great! I was fortunate enough to find a half of a windmill in tact, but two of the blades are broken at the half mark so I might cut it into sections similar to this size. 🙂

  2. I think this is really cool that you can make different things with the windmill. I think I would build it into a really rustic looking windmill and put it out in the yard. It would look really cool to have as decoration.

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