How to Make a Paper Fan

How to Make a Paper Fan. This fan can be made in any size or shape you like. Try an oval-shaped fan first and then move on to other geometric shapes.

Use a cardstock-weight paper for the body of your fan. Cut an oval shape that measures about 11 inches by 8 inches.

Place the oval shape on a flat work surface and position it so that the 11-inch length runs from side to side. Use a ruler to find the bottom center point of the shape and make a light pencil mark at this point on the bottom edge.

Cut three 10-inch long strips out of light to midweight cardboard (about 1/2 inch wide each). Place one end of each strip at the center point you marked in step 2. The ends should be stacked one on top of the other.

Position the cardboard strips so that one angles out to the left, one is vertically centered and the third angles out to the left. The strips should be evenly spaced - about 3 to 4 inches in between each strip.

Trim the excess from the cardboard strips so that they do not extend past the edges of the oval and so that the ends are squared off. Glue the cardboard strips to the surface of the oval. Remember to keep the ends of the strips that come together at the center of the bottom stacked, as in step 3.

Repeat steps 3 through 5 for the other side of the fan.

Cut two more strips from light to medium weight cardboard. Their dimensions should be 6 inches by 1 inch.

Taper the end of one strip so that it forms a point. Repeat for the other strip. Each strip should be identical in shape.

Glue the two strips together, except at the pointed ends. This forms the fan's handle. Insert the bottom edge of the oval between the pointed ends of the handle. A pointed end should cover the points at which the three glued-on strips are stacked. Glue the handle into place.

Place a sheet of tissue paper over the fan. Glue the paper onto the fan at the fan's edges and along the three cardboard strips. Repeat for the other side, and trim away the excess tissue paper.

Cover the handle with a long strip of tissue paper. Secure the paper at both the top and bottom of the handle with glue.


Decorate the tissue paper with stamps, paints, markers or crayons. Patterns drawn on tissue paper with a metallic paint pen create a nice effect. Experiment with card stock and tissue paper colors. See how different combinations work. Use any paper you like to make your fan. You can even try using a light cotton fabric. Use prints or decorate the fabric yourself.

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