Instructions to Make a Chinese Fan

Written by christina sloane
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Instructions to Make a Chinese Fan
Paper fans are used in Chinese celebrations. (Japanese fan image by Manohar S from

Chinese paper-fan folding is an ancient practice borrowed from Japanese and Korean traditions. Chinese artists and scholars once used fans as a status symbol, decorating the paper surface with their painting and poetry and fanning themselves while deep in thought. Today, Chinese fans are still used when performing the fan dance, celebrating Chinese New Year and keeping cool.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Coloured construction paper or other good-quality paper
  • Glue stick
  • Paint or ink
  • Paintbrush
  • Three chenille stems
  • Two large craft sticks
  • Pencil or ruler

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  1. 1

    Decorate your paper with paint and/or ink. Copy traditional Chinese designs, or create your own designs. You can also use stamps to decorate the paper, if you wish.

  2. 2

    Glue three sheets of decorated paper together, end to end, and allow the glue to dry.

  3. 3

    Fold the paper accordion-style. Use a pencil or ruler to make your creases sharp.

  4. 4

    Gather your fan together at one end, and wrap chenille stems around the end to create a handle.

  5. 5

    Insert your craft sticks inside the wrapped end to create a long handle. Secure the sticks with glue.

Tips and warnings

  • Create a two-toned fan by gluing a shorter rectangle of construction paper on top of a taller rectangle of construction paper before you start decorating.
  • Red and gold are traditional Chinese New Year colours.

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