Year of the Horse!
I was wandering through my local thrift store the other day, and decided to start looking for books about China, or kids books with lots of illustrations of horses, to start my own fans for our own celebration. The thinner the paper, the better, because you will want to staple through many layers; however, tissue paper is not thick enough to hold up in a fan. I felt those themes were appropriate for my fans; but there are plenty of options that highlight common themes for the Chinese New Year, such as the color red, the color gold, Chinese characters and calligraphy— it was really fun to research a bit about the cultural symbolism to complete this party favor.
Handmade Paper Fans
Things You Need:
• Popsicle sticks
• Paper (wrapping paper, craft paper, magazine paper, book paper, etc.)
• Hot glue gun and hot glue sticks
• A sturdy stapler
• Binder clips, exceeding 1”
Idea adapted from Activity Village
Start with a paper strip that is 36” in length, and width of about 5” (just enough to cover the popsicle stick). I achieved the paper length by taping smaller pieces together. Next, fold the paper accordion style: fold the paper forward, then flip it over and fold it forward again, so when you view the profile of the paper it is zigzagging. I experimented with using one of the popsicle sticks to meticulously fold the paper only the width of the stick. While it was a more professional and clean finish, I can tell you that by the time you finish the length of paper, it is far too thick to staple through and finish. I found that a fold of 3/4 inch-1 inch works best. Don’t be excessively worried about the folds being even, a few millimeters in either direction will not hurt your fans in the end.
At this point, plug in your glue gun to start warming up. When you’re done folding (undoubtedly the toughest part,) pinch one end of the paper together and use the stapler to pierce through twice, then turn it over and do the same to the underside. The original idea from Activity Village suggested tape, but I wanted a more polished look, as achieved with the stapler. Now, take two popsicle sticks and arrange how you would like them to fit on the fan. The fan should extend at least ½ inch, of the stapled end, outside of the sticks. Use your glue gun to adhere each outside fold to each of two sticks. Hold together with binder clips until the glue has dried (approximately 20 minutes).
Finally, I dolloped a bit of glue on the inner side of one stick, to place the string to hold a hang tag. I then wrapped each closed fan in red ribbon and enclosed with a custom label in the same Boxicle style.
More Chinese New Year Ideas:
Homemade Fortune Cookies DIY Chinese Lai-See Envelopes DIY Chinese Paper Lanterns Drawstring Gift Bags
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