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How to Make a Giant Japanese Paper Fan

Another name for the Japanese folding fan is "Akomeogi." The fan was invented during the 8th century and was used by those who were in high society. The fan is made with sticks that are not only used to open and close the fan, but also to hold it. The amount of sticks there were on each fan served as an indication of the person's rank in society. The more sticks, the higher the rank.

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  1. Choose two pieces of paper that are large enough to create the size fan you desire. You can purchase jumbo sheets of paper from your local arts and crafts store. Stay away from paper that is too stiff, such as construction paper and cardboard paper. Be sure to choose a colour you like.

  2. Place one of the pieces of paper on a flat working surface. Use a pencil to draw a "closed arc" pattern on the paper. The closed arc will resemble the shape of a rainbow. An example of this closed arc is located in the "Resources" section of this article.

  3. Use your scissors to cut out the closed arc pattern.

  4. Take the arc that has been cut out and place it on top of the second piece of paper. It will serve as a pattern for the second piece of paper.

  5. Use your scissors to cut around the arc that is on top. You should have two arcs in your hand after the cutting is done.

  6. Decorate the two arcs however you like. For example, you can use markers to draw flowers on the arcs or tree branches that have flower buds on them.

  7. Place the two arc shapes on top of one another to create a "mirroring" effect. Begin to fold the two arcs "accordion" style. To do this, fold vertical creases in the paper. See the accordion fold example in the "Resources" section of this article if you need a visualisation of the accordion fold.

  8. Take an arts and craft stick or Popsicle stick. Place glue on both sides of the stick. Place the stick on the backside of one of the arcs. The stick should be placed on the first accordion fold. The other side of the stick should be glued to the mirroring fold of the other arc. Repeat this step until all of the folds have sticks.

  9. Place glue around the edges of the arcs to secure the edges together. This should be done around the entire circumference of the arc.

  10. Fold the arc back into the accordion style. Once folded, the Popsicle sticks will be on top of one another.

  11. Take a ribbon or decorated string to tie around the base of the Popsicle sticks. The ribbon will help keep the sticks together as you flare out your fan to open it.

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Things You'll Need

  • Jumbo paper
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Markers
  • Arts & craft sticks
  • Glue
  • Ribbon

About the Author

Faizah Imani, an educator, minister and published author, has worked with clients such as Harrison House Author, Thomas Weeks III, Candle Of Prayer Company and "Truth & Church Magazine." Her dossier includes JaZaMM WebDesigns, assistant high-school band director, district manager for the Clarion Ledger and event coordinator for the Vicksburg Convention Center.

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