How to make oriental folding fans

Updated February 21, 2017

Folding fans are a simple and attractive way to keep cool during the summer. They are made out of accordion folded paper attached to movable sticks, traditionally made out of bamboo. When the fan is unfolded, it shows a beautiful picture and provides enough surface area to efficiently move air. When it is folded, the oriental paper fan is compact enough to easily fit in a pocket.

Cut a page of standard 8.5 by 11 paper in half so that it is a 4 1/4 by 11 rectangle.

Decorate both sides of the paper. Use simple drawings or abstract designs, since folding the fan will distort the image.

Fold the paper back and forth in an accordion fold parallel to the short side. Each fold should be about 1/2 to 1 inch wide. The actual size of the folds doesn't matter that much, but they should all be the same size.

Glue a craft stick onto each end fold. The paper should be all the way at the end of the craft sticks. Make sure that the craft sticks are longer than the width of the paper.

Cut or drill a hole in one end of the sticks. Fold the fan up. Push a paper fastener through the holes to hold them together.

Unfold the fan to use it. Fold it up again and put a rubber band around the sticks to hold it closed.

Things You'll Need

  • Paints
  • Pens
  • Brushes
  • Paper fastener
  • Rubber band
  • Glue
  • Scissors
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About the Author

Isaiah David is a freelance writer and musician living in Portland, Ore. He has over five years experience as a professional writer and has been published on various online outlets. He holds a degree in creative writing from the University of Michigan.