Completing a craft with your kids brings back the nostalgia of carefree days spent on the lake or at the beach. And a paper fan craft is both artful and functional. All you need is a few sheets of decorative paper, wooden popsicle sticks, and glue to make hand-held fans in two different styles: an Asian fan or a simple circle fan. Elementary-aged children will love the more involved Asian fan, while preschoolers will have an easier time with the circle fan. And the best part about these fans is that when you’re done, you can use them on a hot summer day. They also make great gift bag items for a birthday party or another celebration.
Gather the Materials
You only need a few materials to make either the Asian or the circle fan. They include:
- Patterned paper in a variety of colors and styles
- Washi tape in a few solid colors (You can find washi tape at your local craft store or online through retailers like cutetape.com.)
- Paper adhesive glue
- Bowls in a couple of sizes (4 1/2-inch diameter and 6 1/2-inch diameter bowls work well)
- Wooden popsicle sticks
- School glue
Glue the Wood Sticks
Begin by using school glue to glue four wooden popsicle sticks into a fan formation. To do so, first place a small dot of glue on the bottom of each stick, press the bottoms together and then fan the sticks out into a “v” shape, spaced about 2 inches apart at the top. Let the glue dry completely. Then, add two more in the same fashion, allowing each glue application to dry before proceeding.
Trace the Sticks Onto the Paper
Next, place the decorative paper wrong side up on a table. Place the fanned-out wooden stick frame onto the paper, taking care to leave a small bit hanging off at the bottom to form a handle. Trace the frame onto the paper with a pencil.
Cut the Paper Into a Fan
Cut the paper along the outline of your fan. Then, use the cutout to trace a second fan template for the other side. Cut that one out, as well. Now, you have two pieces of decorative paper fan shapes.
Glue the Paper Onto the Sticks
To complete the fan, use your adhesive glue to glue each cutout onto either side of the fan frame, right sides facing out. Make sure to line up your cutouts exactly so that you have a perfect match. Allow the fan to dry completely, and then clean up any stray edges.
Note: Using school glue or another type of liquid glue may warp the paper. Paper-specific adhesive is the better way to go.
For the Circle Fan, First Trace a Bowl
To make the less-involved circle fans, start by placing the patterned paper on the table with the wrong side down. Using two of the same-sized bowls, trace two circles onto the paper.
Cut Out the Circles
Cut the circles out of the paper. Or, for an interesting look, cut out the circles, making a wavy-edge.
Tape the Sticks
For a smaller fan, take one stick and wrap the bottom (handle) in colored washi tape to cover 2/3 of the stick. For a larger fan, tape two sticks together using the same process.
Note: If you don’t have washi tape, you can dip the ends of your sticks into the paint. Just make sure they are completely dry before assembling the fan.
Glue the Stick to the Circle
Place adhesive paper glue on the wrong side of both circles, making sure to cover the edges thoroughly. Also, place glue on either side of the top of the wooden sticks. Place one side of your stick onto the wrong side of the paper circle, making sure to leave enough room hanging off for the handle. Press the other paper circle on top, matching the edges as best you can. Allow the fan to dry completely, and then trim off any stray edges.