How to make sandalwood fans

Written by amy lea
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How to make sandalwood fans
Asian hand-held wooden fans were a sacred gift. (bamboo fan detail image by Scott Williams from

Hand-held fans are part of Asian and European histories, of which many do not know the details. The Spanish flamenco dancers use them to tell a story in their dances. Asians use them as ceremonial gifts. There are many types of hand-held fans. Asian gift fans are often made of a special wood so the scent of the wood wafts as the user flicks the fan. Sandalwood is a popular wood for making hand-held fans.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 12 wide Popsicle sticks or tongue depressors
  • Sandalwood oil
  • 3/8-inch grommet tool kit
  • Drill with 3/8-inch bit
  • Sewing needle
  • Polyester thread
  • Paint, marker or wood cut-out stamps

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  1. 1

    Soak 12 sticks in sandalwood oil for 24 hours. Let the sticks dry for 24 hours.

    How to make sandalwood fans
    Soak the sticks for only 24 hours to avoid warping. (fragrance sticks image by MAXFX from
  2. 2

    Decorate the sticks as desired with paint, marker, or wood cut-out stamps. Asian fans usually have pictures of nature and flamenco fans usually have intricately cut-out details on each stick.

  3. 3

    Drill a hole in the centre of the bottom of the sticks, 1cm from the end.

  4. 4

    Drill another hole in the centre of the top of the sticks, 2cm from the opposite end.

  5. 5

    Place all the sticks on top of each other and attach them with grommet in the 1cm hole. A grommet is a bolt with a snap to close. The bar allows the sticks to move freely.

  6. 6

    Tie a knot at one end of a long piece of thread. Thread it through the holes 2cm from the ends.

    How to make sandalwood fans
    Many wooden fans have small matching details on each stick. (hand with Chinese fan isolated on white image by Elnur from
  7. 7

    Spread out the fan to have the sticks touching side-to-side. Knot the other end of the thread so the sticks cannot spread further.

  8. 8

    Pull the thread at one end while holding the other end of the thread still. This closes the fan.

Tips and warnings

  • Use small amounts of paint, as too much weighs down the sticks and does not allow them to fan out properly.
  • Keep all power tools away from children.

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