An old saying goes that no fan can create a cool breeze unless it is soaked with the maker’s sweat. And while some amazing bamboo fans can take almost 100 days to complete between picking the perfect bamboo pieces and hand painting intricate designs, there are easier methods to creating not-quite-so-spectacular-but-equally-effective hand-powered cooling systems.
Here’s what you need to make your bamboo fan:
- 14 x 17 in. sheets of paper (pick fun colors or patterns!)
- 11 12-inch long bamboo sticks
- 2 inch headpin
- Thread (not too thick but not too thin either)
- Needle nose pliers
Here’s how to make your bamboo fan:
- Start by creating the bones of the fan. Mark the middle of the sticks (width wise) and one inch from the one end of each of the sticks (the same end please!).
- Use the needle to create holes through the marks on the middle of the bamboo sticks.
- Thread the sticks together through the newly-created holes in the middle. Pull the bamboo together as if the fan were in a closed position. (Hint: If you wanted to decorate and/or paint the bones of the fan, now is the time to do so!)
- Thread the head pin back through the holes. Using the needle nose pliers, twist the other end of the head pin just tight enough to keep the bones together but loose enough to allow for pivoting. Trim any extra thread with scissors.
- Spread the paper out and set the bamboo bones evenly down on the paper. Tape the bones to the paper.
- Mark the paper ½ inch above the top of the bones and 1 inch on each side. Cut the bottom and top of the paper in an arc. (If you wish, remove the bones carefully to paint or draw designs on the paper.)
- Glue the bones to the paper and let dry completely.
- To fold the fan, start on one end and begin folding by bringing the first bone to the second bone and folding the paper in. Continue to fold in this manner and once done, trim any excess paper.
Use your beautiful bamboo fan to stay cool this summer!