Japanese Hand Fan Craft

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Students will learn about Japanese culture as they create hand fans using paper and paint.

By Karen West

What You Need:

  • 12×18 white paper
  • watercolors
  • paintbrushes
  • fans or pictures of fans
  • Popsicle sticks
  • tape

What You Do:

  1. Discuss uses of fans such as functional and artistic uses.
  2. Fold paper in half horizontally or – as I tell the students – like a book.
  3. You may want to first make a template if doing this with younger students. On the folded side draw half of a fan shape (like an arch) and cut. The piece will resemble an arch shape.
  4. Lightly draw an image from nature. My students drew leaning trees with branches and leaves.
  5. Using watercolor, make bold brush strokes. I emphasized using a quick brush stroke to fill in leaves.
  6. Let dry.
  7. Fold the paper back and forth, creasing each time. Gather the paper together to form the fan and staple or glue.
  8. Tape to wooden craft sticks together to form a handle.
  9. Display the finished fans.

About Hand Fans: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hand_fan

Explore Japan (National Geographic Kids): https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/explore/countries/japan/

japanfan3lg  Make a Japanese Fan


Photo of students: Masami Tuko