Summer Crafts for Kids: How to Make Paper Fans

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Summer Crafts for Kids - How to Make Paper Fans

how to make paper fans
Katherine Lee

Here's an idea for the perfect summer craft for kids -- paper fans! All you need is some pretty paper, wooden craft Popsicle sticks, and glue and you can make these pretty fans.

I've shown how to make two types of paper fans here, one an Asian-style fan and another a simple circle style. Choose one or both styles and make a bunch in some different colors.

The best part of this fun summer craft for kids: When you are done, you can use them as fans on a hot summer day. They also make great items for a gift bag after a birthday party or other celebration. Hope you like making these as much as we did!

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Gather the materials you will need to make the paper fans.

how to make paper fans
Katherine Lee

  • You will need just a few materials to make these beautiful fans:

  • pretty patterned paper in a variety of colors and styles (If the decorative paper is thin, also get some card stock paper to give the fans some stiffness and weight.)
  • scissors
  • paper edger scissors (optional)
  • washi tape in a few pretty solid colors (You can find washi tapes through PriceGrabber or through online retailers like Cutetape.com.)*
  • roll of adhesive tape (best for decorative paper)
  • bowls in a couple of sizes (I used a 4 1/2" diameter bowl and a 6 1/2" diameter bowl for these fans.)
  • wooden craft Popsicle sticks
  • school glue
  • pencil

*(Note: If you don't have washi tape, you can simply paint your wooden sticks or leave it plain; the fans will be just as pretty!)

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Glue the wood sticks together to form the fan.

how to make paper fans
Katherine Lee

Begin by using school glue to glue 4 wood craft Popsicle sticks to form a fan. Place a small dot of glue on the bottom of each craft stick and fan the sticks out into a "v" shape. (I spaced them about 2 inches apart at the top.) Let dry completely.

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Trace the outline of the sticks on the pretty patterned paper.

how to make paper fans
Katherine Lee

Next, flip the pretty paper you are using over so that the side that won't be visible is facing you. Place the glued wooden stick fan frame on the paper -- taking care to leave a bit at the bottom that won't have paper on it -- and trace the frame with a pencil.

(Note: I used an Asian-style print paper, which will work well for this craft, but any pretty flowery print or style you like will do.)

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Cut out the paper fan shape.

how to make paper fans
Katherine Lee

Cut out the outline you have made and repeat this step (or use the cutout paper) to make another piece for the other side. You will now have two pieces of decorative paper in fan shapes.

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Glue the paper onto the wooden sticks fan frame.

how to make paper fans
Katherine Lee

Use your adhesive roller to glue the paper onto the wooden fan frame. (School glue or any liquid glue may warp the paper so dry adhesive is the better way to go.) Repeat on the other side.

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Here are some examples of completed paper fans.

how to make paper fans
Katherine Lee

You can expect your paper fans to look something like this when you are finished.

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To make the simple circle-style fans, trace a circle with a bowl.

how to make paper fans
Katherine Lee

To make the circle and handle paper fans, start by turning over the patterned paper and tracing 2 circles using a bowl. I used a big circle here (a bowl about 6 1/2" in diameter) and washi-taped two wooden craft sticks together to make a bigger fan. To make a smaller fan, you need only one stick for the handle.

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Use washi tape to bind two sticks together and give it some color.

how to make paper fans
Katherine Lee

Take washi tape in a pretty color that will coordinate with the paper you are using for the circle-shaped fan and use it to bind two wood craft sticks together. You don't need to washi tape the entire length of the sticks -- just cover about 2/3 of the sticks.

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Use adhesive tape to glue the wooden stick hande and circles together.

how to make paper fans
Katherine Lee

Put adhesive all over the circles and the top of the wooden craft stick handle and glue them together (with the stick in between the 2 circles).

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You can also use paper edger scissors to cut the circles for the fans.

how to make paper fans
Katherine Lee

To give the circle paper fans another interesting look, you can use fun paper edger scissors to cut out the circles. Here is an example of a smaller circle fan made with wavy-edge circles.

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Here are some examples of finished circle paper fans.

how to make paper fans
Katherine Lee

You can make several circle paper hand fans in a variety of patterns and sizes. These, and the Asian-style paper fans, are so much fun to make, your child will want to make a bunch to share with lots of friends!

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