How to Make a Cardboard Fan

Updated April 17, 2017

The earliest fans date back to 3000 B.C. Greek, Chinese and Roman cultures all incorporated fans into daily life, as well as in special ceremonies. Japanese dancers often incorporate fans into traditional dances, performed at festivals and other special events. You can make your own handheld fan out of cardboard in just a few minutes, as a fun afternoon craft with the kids or to keep you cool on a hot day.

Draw a circle, square or oblong on the cardboard and cut out with scissors. Use the cardboard cutout as a stencil to trace and cut out two of the same shapes from the construction paper.

Decorate the construction paper cutouts with markers, crayons and glitter. (Apply with glue.) Allow the decorated cutouts to dry if necessary. Glue the construction paper cutouts onto either side of the cardboard cutout. Allow to dry for 1/2 hour.

Apply glue to the end of the Popsicle stick. Shove the glued portion of the stick inside the corrugated cardboard cutout. Apply glue to the area where the stick enters the cardboard for increased hold. Allow to dry for 1/2 hour to 1 hour.


Use pre-made stencils of your favourite cartoon characters or animals for a unique fan shape. These stencils are easy to locate, download and print from the Internet.


If you use cardboard that is not corrugated, you will not be able to shove the stick inside the cardboard, and your fan will not be very sturdy.

Things You'll Need

  • Medium-sized piece of corrugated cardboard (Reuse an old box.)
  • Scissors
  • Construction paper (any colour)
  • Glue
  • Paint, markers, crayons, glitter
  • Popsicle stick (or craft stick)
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About the Author

Sarah Morgan has been a copywriter since 2008 and has written hundreds of articles for various websites and blogs, including work for the Couple's Institute and Caney Technology. Morgan has a degree in practical ministry from FIRE school of ministry in Charlotte, NC.