Cheap paper fans are used for a variety of functions, including as wedding decorations, at summer luaus and for party favors. Whether you choose to shop online or in person at a party supply store, paper fans come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors, which make them ideal for any gathering you are planning. Because paper fans are usually modest in structure and durability, they are affordable and can add that extra touch without breaking the bank.
How to Buy Cheap Paper Fans
- Write down exactly what you’re looking for. Include a specific color scheme, desired shape, price range and tally of how many fans you will need.
- Determine if you will shop at a local party supply store or if you will order online. Ordering online can save time and money, but you will be unable to see the product in person before purchasing.
- Browse a variety of website, such as Luna Bazaar, Oriental Trading Company or Accent the Party, which will supply a number of color options and fan styles. Compare prices and styles, such as fans for a particular holiday or for a celebration such as a birthday or Chinese New Year. If you order online, check each fan for any tears or loose attachments, and contact the company if there are any problems.
- Shop a local party supply stores, which should offer a selection of cheap paper fans. If your party store does not carry them, ask if you can special order. While this may not be cost-effective, your selection will still be quite good. Also try a local promotional shop. While these are usually known for t-shirts and bumper stickers, the shop may be able to print personalized fans in your price range.
A hand-held bridal fan is a great accessory for an outdoor wedding. Not only can it be used to commemorate the day or as a wedding favor, but it is also a useful way to help your guests cool themselves on a hot day. Bridal fans can be expensive to purchase, so making your own can cut down on wedding expenses.
Make a Hand Held Bridal Fan
- Decide on how you would like to decorate your hand-held bridal fan. Using a photograph of the bride and groom, such as an engagement photograph, is popular, as is including a monogram or simply the bride and groom’s names and wedding date.
- Work out the layout and wording. The easiest way to do this is on your computer with a program like Photoshop, which lets you add your image and place the text for your fan. If you do not have access to Photoshop, you can use a Microsoft Word document and choose the page layout option to get the size you want. Then, cut and paste your photograph and add text to it. Alternatively, you can enlarge the photograph you want to use and have a copy shop print it onto your card stock. However, if you want to add your own wording for further personalization, you will need access to a computer.
- Select the shape you want to use–square is probably the easiest. As a guideline, a 7×9 inch fan is the ideal size for guests. You can customize your page size in either Photoshop or Word and add a border so that it is much easier when it comes time to cut it out.
- Choose the type and color of cardstock. Make sure it is a heavyweight card stock. Select a color that will coordinate well with your wedding colors, or white is a versatile choice.
- Work out how many guests will be attending so that you can calculate how many fans you require. You will need to double that number as you will be gluing two pieces together to make a front and a back.
- Once you have printed out your design, take it to a copy shop to have them print it onto your card stock. If you have a large number, they may be able to cut them out for you, too, to save you from cutting them to size by hand.
- You can purchase wooden paint sticks at any hardware store. You can either paint these white or leave them as they are. If you paint them, allow them to thoroughly dry before attaching them to the printed card stock.
- Take two of your cut card stock designs and lightly glue the non-printed sides. Place the paint stick onto the glue with at least 2 inches sticking directly onto the card. Hold the two sides together firmly to attach securely.
- Cut a piece of 12 inch ribbon to tie around the top of your wooden stick where it meets the fan. Add a dab of glue to secure in place.
Chinese fans were invented thousands of years ago. Originally invented to keep flies away and produce a cool breeze, fans picked up popularity in the higher classes. Fans made of silk didn’t just keep faces cool–they became part of dances and ceremonies, as well as a silent mode of communication. Teach your children and students about these traditions by helping them make their own Chinese fans.
Make Simple Paper Chinese Fans
- Spread the paper out on a clean, flat work surface and plan your design. Traditional designs include birds with long, elegant feathers; cranes; koi fish; butterflies; weeping cherry trees; bonsai trees; and pagodas.
- Sketch an initial design with a fine-tipped black pen. Color in the details with larger watercolor markers. Start with the lightest colors, and add shading with darker colors. Allow the details to dry for about an hour.
- Turn your paper so it’s a long, vertical sheet. Fold up the last 1/2 inch of the paper. Flip the paper over and fold the folded edge of the paper up another 1/2 inch. Continue this way until the entire paper is folded into an accordion.
- Push the folds of the accordion together so you have a thick rectangle of paper. Wrap the bottom 1/2 inch of the rectangle with a double layer of masking tape.
- Glue a craft stick on either end of your paper accordion. Position one end of each stick right above the masking tape wrapped around the bottom of the paper accordion. The opposite end of each stick should stick out at least 1 inch beyond the untaped end of the paper. Allow the glue to dry overnight.
- Open your fan by pulling the craft sticks away from each other. Fold the sticks downward toward the floor and press them together. This should create a circular fan shape.
For summer weddings, especially when held outdoors, it is common to provide wedding guests with a fan to keep them cool through the ceremony. These wedding fans are not only practical, but they are a great opportunity to add your own personal touch to the ceremony. Many brides choose to make their own wedding fans and use them as personalized favors for their wedding guests.
Paddle Wedding Fans
This style of wedding fan is one of the easiest versions to make. For the fan itself, it’s important to use a very heavy paper, preferably card stock. Choose any shape and color you prefer. Some of the most popular shapes include rectangles, ovals and hearts, while some of the most popular colors include white, black and wedding-specific colors. For the rectangle shape, you will just trim the edges to an appropriate size or round the corners for a softer look. For each fan, you will need two identical pieces of card stock. Next, choose what each side of your fan will look like. Many people choose to decorate one side with their wedding program, and the other side with a picture of the couple. Once you have settled on your design, print these out on card stock as well. For a more pleasing visual effect, make these prints smaller than the original card stock and preferably on a color that contrasts nicely with the original card stock. Glue each design onto the middle of the original card stock.
Next, choose a handle. A thick wooden stick, such as a paint stick or tongue depressor, works well. Spray paint the stick to match or complement the card stock. Once the paint is dry, position the stick in between the two pieces of card stock. Use a heavy glue or rubber cement to affix the sticks to the two sides of the fan. Once the stick is in place, glue around the inside edges of the cardstock, sticking both sides of the fan together.Consider decorating the stick for added style. Some options include tying a ribbon around the stick or gluing buttons or little treasures to the stick.
Segmented Wedding Fans
If you want a segmented wedding fan, the process may take a bit longer. A segmented wedding fan consists of 5 to 6 different pieces of card stock (“cards”) fastened together at the bottom. These segments will then open up–or “fan out”–to create a full fan look.
First, decide how many segments you want and what design each piece should display. You will probably want to design about five or six different cards (which will be each segment once the fan is complete). It is easy to incorporate a wedding program into this type of fan. The first card could have your names and wedding date, followed by your wedding party, wedding songs, personal messages, pictures and any other information you may want to share with your guests.
Once you have settled on the design for all of your cards, you’ll want to print these out onto a heavy card stock. It’s important to keep these cards at a small to medium size; once they are fastened together and opened up they will become quite large. After printing your segments onto card stock, cut them into rectangular shapes with rounded corners. Remember that each segment should be the same height and width.
Punch a hole through the bottom middle of each card. Arrange your cards into the correct order and slide a decorative ribbon through the holes. Knot the ribbon tightly so it will hold all the pieces together tightly. For a more decorative look, tie the ribbon into a bow.
Outdoor weddings can be beautiful, but the heat and humidity can be uncomfortable for guests to sit in as they watch the bride and groom exchange vows. Make decorated wedding hand fans for your guests to ease their discomfort. Hand fans were a mainstay at Southern churches and funeral homes due to lack of air conditioning. The hand fan dates back thousands of years to the Egyptians who used them in ceremonies. Bring the hand fan into the present day by decorating them for your wedding.
- Select what you would like to print on your wedding fan. Create a custom monogram using the bride and groomâ€™s initials or print a large initial for the coupleâ€™s last name on the fan. Print the wedding program on the fan so the guests do not have as many things to hold. Choose a photo, such as an engagement photo, of the couple and have it printed on the fan. Couples may opt to have a favorite songâ€™s lyrics or poem on the fan.
- Print your chosen verbiage or images onto card stock. You can print it yourself on a laser printer or you can take it to a print shop to have it printed.
- Consider using metallic ink for the printing. Gold and silver are traditional metallic wedding colors, but don’t forget about other hues of metallic ink such as blues, pinks and greens.
- Accentuate certain printed words, such as your monogram, by applying a small amount of glitter onto the lettering. Run a thin line of glue around the letter you are highlighting. Sprinkle glitter onto the glue and shake off the excess.
- Use a scrapbook punch to round the corners of the fan. Clip the corners with a rounded corner punch for a softer look.
- Glue a jewel at the base of the handle for extra glitz.
- Purchase pre-drilled tongue depressors or over-sized popsicle sticks for the handles. The manufacturer drills a hole at the end of the stick which allows you to tie a thin ribbon through the hole. Incorporate your wedding colors into the fan decoration by using a satin ribbon that matches the bridesmaids’ dresses. Tie the ribbon in a bow or thread it through and knot it.
Depending on the climate or the time of year, paper fans can be the perfect accessory to a wedding. Fans can help keep guests cool on a hot summer day and can double as the wedding program or a favor for guests to take home. Paper fans are inexpensive to make and allow you to get your creative juices flowing, adding a personal touch on your big day.
Make Paper Fans for a Wedding
- Decide on the photo and/or writing you want to put on the fans. Both black and white, and color pictures look good.
- Decide what shape you want your fan to be. A popular shape is a heart, or you could use a simple rectangle. To get your shape, use an 8.5- by 11-inch piece of paper. Cut a heart shape or round off the corners to make a soft rectangle. You can also fold the piece of paper in half to make a smaller fan.
- Play around with your sample fan to see where the lettering and picture looks best. You can leave one side blank, or you can put the picture on one side and the wording on the other side.
- Look at your paint sticks. Depending on where you bought them, they may have the writing on them. If so, you can paint them white and set them aside to dry.
- Visit a copy center. Have copies made of your lettering and picture on card stock. White or cream card stock always looks good, or you can choose a color used in the wedding. Make sure if you are only printing on one side of your fan that you purchase enough card stock to add a back.
- Cut the card stock into your shape for both sides of your fan.
- Lay the front face down and put glue on one side of the paint stick. Press in firmly to the center of your page.
- Spread glue on the still face down page and the other side of the paint stick. Place the other side of your fan on the glue, face up. Line pages up at the edges. Spread your hands over the pages to smooth out any creases and excess glue. Set them aside to dry.
- Wrap ribbon around the fan where the stick meets the paper. Tie in a bow and put a dab of glue under the knot to keep the ribbon in place.
Church fans are used to keep cool during church services. They originated in the church prior to the installation of electric fans and air conditioning. Church fans have two sides that are made with heavy-duty poster board paper and an 8-inch basswood handle. One side of the fan holds religious images or biblical information. The other side may have information about the church or advertisements from local businesses that provided the fans.
Make Church Fans
Calculate the number of fans needed for the church. Having this information saves time and money when buying supplies and constructing the fans.
Purchase blank double-sided hand fans from a promotional products printing company. The 8-inch basswood handle already will be attached.
Decide what religious design to print on one side of the fan. The images can be of the church or of any biblical image. Images can be located at web-design Internet sites or sites that sell stock photos.
Buy self-stick labels and paper with dimensions similar to the size of the blank fan. The images and information, which the church approves, will be printed on these labels.
Print the image on a self-stick label the same size as the fan. The image should be attached to one side of each fan. Using a laser printer is easier and helps ensure the images are clear.
Determine what information or advertisement will be displayed on the reverse side of the fan. The churchâ€™s name and address or church sponsor can be placed here. Placing the churchâ€™s information on the reverse side is helpful to visitors of the church who may want to return or make a donation.
Print the information on the labels and place on the reverse side of the fan. Make sure the information is accurate and spelled correctly.
Lace fans are often produced as folding hand fans used by ladies to fan themselves to keep cool. The hand fan is thought to have originated in Egypt over 4,000 years ago, according to Purdue University. Folding hand fans were developed independently around the same time in Japan and China, before being transported to Europe through trade routes from Asia in the 1500s. Lace and other elaborate materials and designs began to be used for hand fans to prove the status and style of the person holding the fan.
Step To Make a Lace Hand Fan
- Lay out the lace, beads, sticks and wire of the lace hand fan on a flat surface. Use wood glue to attach beads to the base of each stick to act as spacers between each stick.
- Attach the sticks of the fan together using a brass or silver wire pushed through the holes in the base of the sticks. Tighten the wire around the base of the stick to form a ring that holds the sticks of the fan firmly in place.
- Tighten the wire ring inserted into the base of the sticks to hold the fan tightly together. When a lace fan is not securely held in place, the sticks will slide around and won’t remain in place when used.
- Using the brush, paint wood glue onto the sticks and allow the glue to dry before applying the lace. Once the glue has dried, press the lace onto the sticks before the glue dries using a warm iron.
- Wait for the glue warmed by the iron to cool before attempting to fold. Natural folds should occur when the lace fan is folded.
Sea fans, similar to coral, are often found in salt water habitats. You can make your own 3D sea fan from items you may already have in your home. Things like the vented plastic panel from a flyswatter and pipe cleaners can be used to create a sea fan. Sea fans make great school projects, and are useful in dioramas of underwater scenes.
How to Make a Coral Sea Fan
Cut the shape of your sea fan from the plastic panel of a new flyswatter. Research pictures of sea fans to inspire your own unique sea fan design.
Lay out several sheets of newspaper on a table to prevent paint from getting on anything other than your project. Set the plastic cutout on the newspaper and paint your sea fan with a paint brush. Sea fans often display fluorescent colors, so you can get creative. Allow the paint to dry.
Cut the pipe cleaner to the desired size for the branches using scissors. Spread a strip of glue along the pipe cleaner and apply it to the plastic sea fan. Apply pressure to ensure the pipe cleaner sticks to the plastic canvas.
Electric fans are great for dispelling summer heat and air conditioning is even better. If you’re out and about, however, a paddle fan is one of the best ways to keep cool. It doesn’t require a plug, costs next to nothing and won’t run out of batteries like those hand-held electric fans.
Make Paddle Hand Fans
- Cut your paperboard into a fan blade. The most common shape is a rectangle with rounded edges, but a circle, triangle or any other shape should work.
- Glue a tongue depressor onto each side of the fan blade so that most of it hangs off the edge. Then, glue one in between to reinforce the handle.
- Cut off the part of the middle stick that hangs below the other two with scissors. File it down with sand paper until it is the same length as the other two sticks.
- Paint your fan. Many people like to decorate their fans with tropical scenes, birds and other soothing summer scenes. You could also glue a photograph onto your fan, decorate it with beads or do any other artistic project you want with it.