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23 DIY Windmill Ideas-Learn How To Make a Windmill Cheap

When I was living off-grid in the countryside, I decided to build my own DIY windmill to generate electricity for my cabin. It was a challenging yet rewarding experience that taught me a lot about renewable energy. With just basic tools like a wrench and a drill, I was able to construct a small wind turbine that provided enough power to charge my devices and light up the cabin at night.

One of the most important lessons I learned during the process was the importance of proper planning and research. Before starting the project, I had to carefully assess the wind patterns in my area to determine the best location for placing the windmill. Additionally, I had to educate myself about the various components needed for the system, such as the rotor blades, generator, and tower.

Assembling the windmill was a hands-on learning experience that required patience and attention to detail. I followed step-by-step instructions from DIY guides, making adjustments along the way to ensure everything fit together correctly. Seeing the windmill spin for the first time and generate electricity was incredibly satisfying and made all the hard work worth it.

Overall, building a DIY windmill not only provided me with a source of renewable energy but also empowered me to take control of my energy needs. It’s a project that I’m proud of, and it continues to inspire me to explore other sustainable living solutions.

Check out these 23 DIY windmill ideas we have found for you and discover how you can save money and have all the electrical energy you need without having to spend a lot of money.

1- DIY Windmill Redo

I stumbled upon this DIY windmill project on YouTube when I was looking for ways to spruce up the old windmill in my backyard. The video caught my eye because it promised an easy and cost-effective way to give my windmill a new lease on life.

What I particularly liked about this project was its emphasis on using leftover materials. The idea of repurposing metal ductwork, rods, and PVC pipe to breathe new life into my windmill was both ingenious and environmentally friendly. It appealed to my DIY sensibilities, as I’ve always believed in making the most out of what you have.

Watching the video, I was impressed by how simple the process seemed. The minimalistic approach to construction made it accessible even for someone like me, who isn’t exactly a DIY expert. Plus, the fact that the materials would cost next to nothing was a huge bonus. It meant I could tackle this project without breaking the bank.

But beyond the practical aspects, there was something satisfying about the idea of giving my windmill a makeover. It wasn’t just about functionality; it was about adding a touch of creativity and personality to my outdoor space. And knowing that I could achieve that without spending a fortune made it all the more rewarding.

Ultimately, this DIY windmill project resonated with me because it embodied the ethos of DIY culture: resourcefulness, creativity, and sustainability. It was a reminder that with a little ingenuity, we can transform the ordinary into something extraordinary, all while minimizing our impact on the planet.

2- Wind Turbine

The second one we are going to discuss is a great project for a school science fair and it’s cheap to build. Watch this YouTube video to discover how to build your own wind turbine using PVC pipe.

To make this diy windmill project like this one on Youtube just take small sections of PVC pipe, cut in half and attached to the ends of the blades to catch the wind. As the sails begin to turn, they will increase in speed and generate electricity. Very simple principle and an easy DIY project that can be increased in size for use on an off-grid homestead.

Anywhere you need to generate free electricity, this powerful PVC wind turbine can do it.

3- Deck Sized Windmill

Here we have a stylish wooden windmill by Instructables that is small enough to fit on your back deck. It adds decor and keeps the air circulating while you enjoy sitting outdoors.

The wooden tower is crafted in an octagon shape and has a double set of sails that allow the windmill to swivel and turn with the wind. A great addition to any backyard deck!

This video and written instructions will take you through the building process with ease. The extra airflow created by this homemade windmill will also help keep the mosquitoes and flies away so you can enjoy your outdoor space without fear of bug bites.

DIY WIndmill
Deck Sized DIY Windmill, Image source: Instructables

4- DIY Dutch Style Windmill

Popsicle sticks, craft sticks, and wooden dowels are some of the main building components for this DIY windmill by Instructables. Learn how to make a windmill that looks like a miniature version of the traditional Dutch windmills and is powered by a wind turbine.

This is a fun DIY project that will teach students several lessons about generating electrical energy. A wind turbine will be constructed along with the Dutch windmill and a solar panel is used in this design.

This would make a fun project to build and place in the garden. The popsicle sticks are easy to paint and this wind-powered Dutch windmill would make an attractive piece of outdoor decor.

DIY windmill
DIY Dutch Style Windmill, Image via: Instructables

5- Cardboard Windmill Project

Students can learn how to build a small wind turbine cardboard and glue in this YouTube video. The result of this cardboard windmill project will provide enough power to run a small LED light bulb.

It’s easy to construct and this idea takes the design one step beyond building the cheap windmill, but also a small scale house is created with cardboard with an LED light inside. This DIY project provides detailed instructions for creating a visual display of how a windmill works as an alternative energy source. Tutorial:

6- Homemade Wind Generator

The homemade wind generator project I found on DW.com immediately captured my attention. As someone who appreciates ingenuity and sustainability, I was intrigued by the idea of a bicycle repair shop owners creating their own electricity off-grid.

What stood out to me the most about this project was its practicality. In a location without access to traditional electricity, the homemade wind generator provided a simple yet effective solution. It was inspiring to see how they harnessed the power of the wind to generate enough electricity to light up their shop and power their tools.

The video’s detailed explanation of the construction process was invaluable. It gave me a clear understanding of how they repurposed salvaged components to build the windmill, ensuring that nothing went to waste. This aspect resonated with me deeply, as I believe in the importance of recycling and repurposing materials whenever possible.

Moreover, I admired how they stored excess energy in batteries for use on days when the wind wasn’t strong enough. This showed a thoughtful approach to energy management, ensuring that they had a reliable power source even in fluctuating conditions.

Overall, what I liked most about this homemade wind generator project was its practicality, resourcefulness, and commitment to sustainability. It served as a reminder that with a little creativity and determination, we can create solutions to our energy needs while minimizing our impact on the environment. It also inspired me to explore other DIY projects like solar generators, further harnessing the power of renewable energy sources.

Homemade Wind Generator
DIY Windmill Generator, Image via: dw.com

7- Table Fan DIY Windmill

Learn how to make a windmill by The Do It Yourself World from an old table fan with this idea. The finished windmill will produce 24 volts AC at a couple hundred milliamps but more power can be generated by using a more powerful magnet.

These pictorial instructions are easy to follow and give you advice for using a box fan instead of a table fan to generate more power. This is a great way to recycle an old fan or two and generate enough free power to keep an off-grid lifestyle well-powered and comfortable.

Table Fan DIY Windmill
Table Fan DIY Windmill, Image source: The Do It Yourself World

8- Printer Parts DIY Windmill

This is a great way to recycle parts from an old printer to make something new and usable. This homemade windmill at Tree Hugger can generate enough power to charge your electronics and will produce a steady 5V 1A output on a breezy day.

Learn how to harness the power of the wind with recycled parts by watching this instructional video. Great for an off-grid fishing or hunting cabin when we need energy for charging a phone and iPad.

Printer Parts DIY Windmill
Printer Parts DIY Windmill, Image source: Tree Hugger

9- Printable DIY Windmill Template

Create an attractive and functional DIY windmill by Adventure-In-A-Box with this easy to use template. Teaching students how to make a windmill couldn’t get any easier than this free template can make the project to be.

Making a craft at home or in the classroom not only entertains kids but also teaches them how stuff works.This template idea also promotes using different blade angles and the number of blades to discover the amount of energy output is changed.

This idea is more than just a windmill template, it’s a valuable learning experience for kids. Get your template printed today so you can start this fun learning project.

Printable DIY Windmill Template
Printable Windmill Template, Image source: Adventure-In-A-Box

10- Small DIY Windmill

This video will provide you detailed instructions for constructing a small wind-powered generator on Youtube. The generator is small, easy to build and ideal for providing electrical energy for outdoor lighting or other small-scale power needs.

11- DIY Mini Windmill

This is a great project for a school class that is learning about alternative energy sources. This DIY project contains step by step instructions for building a mini windmill like this on Youtube that is functional and can provide a few watts of power for lighting.

12- Working Cardboard DIY Windmill

Here we have another cheap idea for building a windmill by paksc.org as a school science project, and it’s made from cardboard.

This idea for a cardboard windmill comes with downloadable PDF instructions so it’s very easy to follow during construction. Minimal building materials are needed so it’s very cheap to build.

Working Cardboard DIY Windmill
Working Cardboard DIY Windmill, Image source: paksc.com

13- DIY Small Windmill

This is a good place to start if you have never built a windmill like this one by Newphysicist.com before. The instructions are clear, easy to follow and the homemade windmill needs very components to build.

This is a great DIY project for the novice builder and the finished windmill will produce enough power to recharge a rechargeable battery.

DIY Small Windmill
DIY Small Windmill, Image source: Newphysicist.com

14- Minute DIY Windmill

This idea will show you how to create a homemade windmill by Instructables cheaply and in just 10 minutes using an old computer fan.

A fan removed from a non-working computer can be the main component in a mini homemade wind turbine that will generate enough power to light a small LED light bulb.

homemade windmill
Minute DIY Windmill, Image source: Instructables

15- DIY Mini Windmill Craft

Learn how to construct a mini windmill craft in this Youtube video that is both fun and educational for kids. The windmill works and makes an ideal science project for the classroom.

No cutting or large tools required, which is another plus for building a DIY windmill with kids. The components for this building project are inexpensive and you may already have them laying around.

16- DIY Miniature Windmill

Wind power is quickly becoming the desired energy source. It’s clean, free, renewable and available to everyone, everywhere. No matter where you live it’s possible to have a consistent source of electricity that won’t cost you anything after the initial investment of building materials for a wind turbine.

Learning how to build a miniature DIY windmill cheaply by Popular Mechanics and discovering how it works to create energy through wind power can provide you with the know-how for building a larger scale wind turbine for your homestead.

DIY Miniature Windmill
DIY Miniature Windmill ,Image source:Popular Mechanics

17- Garage Sale DIY Windmill

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and you may find building materials for a DIY windmill at a garage sale like the maker of this YouTube video did.

Watch and learn how to transform garage sale finds into a usable windmill that can produce enough watts to meet the electrical needs of an off-grid cabin.

18- DIY One Pound Windmill

This idea is for a portable windmill by Instructables that only weighs one pound and is easy to carry with you into the back-country.

When camping, hiking, hunting, or fishing, you still need to stay connected to loved ones but finding an electric outlet to recharge your cell phone is not easy in the back-country. Change that by building this DIY windmill that weighs only one pound and is easy to carry with you in a backpack.

Just a light breeze will be enough for this small windmill to generate enough power to recharge a cell phone and other small electronics.

DIY One Pound Windmill
DIY One Pound Windmill ,Image source: Instructables

19- Wooden Windmill Base

Learn how to build a windmill base like this one on Youtube from a few peices of wood. This is a great way to use some leftover 2×4‘s or similar pieces of wood and create an attractive wooden windmill for your garden.

For this DIY build, the sail was recycled from another windmill and updated with a good cleaning and painting. All that was needed was a solid base to mount the sail on. Used sails can often be found at flea markets or thrift shops very cheap and a wooden base like this one is cheap to build.

This would make a nice addition to the front yard, garden area, or anywhere else that you want a windmill. The height can be customized to fit into your outdoor space.

20- Windmill Water Pump

A windmill water pump is a cheap, efficient, and low maintenance way to get fresh water out of the ground for use on your homestead.

As the sails of the DIY windmill turn, water is pumped up and out of the ground for your use. Learn how to build a cheap and functional windmill water pump in this Youtube video for your off-grid homestead or camp site. No more buying fresh water or hauling it in from the closest water source, you can have fresh water right in your own yard by using wind power to draw it up from below the ground.

The fresh water will be available even in the winter when other water sources are frozen.

21- Ductwork Pipe Blades

This video will show you how to use what you have on hand to create something new – like ductwork pipe blades for a DIY windmill.

The base of the windmill is a simple wooden structure that is several feet tall but you can build a DIY to a customized height. The blades of the sail are created from metal ductwork pipes in this instructional video but other similar materials can be used.

By using what you have on hand you can build a DIY windmill generator like this one on Youtube very cheap. Use the windmill to pump water, generate electricity, or increase the air circulation around your home and garden.

22- Energy Generating Windmill

With the uncertainty of the economy and high cost of electricity, people are looking for alternative ways to power their homes. We all want electricity to power our appliances, electronics and to give us light but we also want to be eco-friendly and budget friendly.

This energy generating DIY windmill on Youtube video is cheap to build and will provide free electricity to your home. The use of inexpensive, lightweight PVC pipe and recycle wood material keeps the cost low and electricity output high. This little energy generating windmill can help reduce your electrical consumption and lower your monthly bill.

Ideal to build as a school science project or for use at an off-grid homestead. Watch this YouTube video and learn how to make one for yourself.

23- Straw and Fabric DIY Windmill

This miniature wind turbine by Instructables is made of drinking straws and fabric. The straws are used to create the frame of the windmill blades and then covered with lightweight fabric that can easily turn in the breeze.

This idea will show you how to create a cheap and functional wind generator that will produce enough electrical energy to power an indoor or outdoor light. This will make a great school project for a science class and inspire students to create a larger scale wind turbine that can generate more energy.

Straw and Fabric DIY Windmill
Straw and Fabric DIY Windmill, Image source: Instructables


By building a diy windmill you can get free energy required to power up small devices or tools. This is also a great scientific project for students to learn how to get free electricity from wind power. Hope you like our round up of these diy windmills projects.


MDPI, Sustainability, volume 13, pub: 19 August 2021, “Bridging Education and Engineering Students through a Wind Energy-Focused Community Engagement Project”, https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/13/16/9334

Boston University, “Lesson plan for Windmill activity”, https://www.bu.edu/gk12/tommy/Windmill.htm

BYJUS, atmosphere, “how to make a windmill”, https://byjus.com/physics/how-to-make-a-windmill/

About Farhan Ahsan

My name is Farhan Ahsan,I am web enthusiast, writer and blogger. I always strive to be passionate about my work. I started my work at the beginning of 2007 by engaging myself with detail reading and exchanging information with others. Since then things and times have changed, but one thing remains the same and that is my passion for helping and educating people, building a successful blog and delivering quality content to the readers. I always love to write about gardening, sustainable life, off grid living and homestead farming.

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