Fanning off the Heat 扇

Statue of Confucius

Male Fu Dog

Here at SDCHM, we do our best to support energy conservation efforts. One of the biggest culprits in using high amounts of energy in a household or business is none other than the air conditioner. Obviously, during the summers where temperatures are at peak highs, energy consumption is as well. Because of this, we thought it would be fitting to highlight a cool, energy-saving craft to fan off the heat: DIY recycled paper handheld fans.

Statue of Guanyin
Fans are the ancient predecessors to modern day air conditioning systems. The oldest found evidence for handheld fans in China are made of bamboo, and date back to 2nd century BCE. The fixed fan, known as pien-mien, meaning 'to agitate the air', was traditionally the most popular form of a handheld fan in China. Often, fans were painted with calligraphy, came in various shapes, and were made of materials such as silk, bamboo, and feathers. Although the folding fan was invented in Japan, Japan was greatly influenced by ancient Chinese oval and silk fans. The folding fan became popularly used in China during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). It is the handheld folding fan that we will show you how to make today!

Materials Needed:
-Recycled paper
-String, feathers, pens, beads, glitter, or anything you would want to decorate your fan with

Terra Cotta Horse
The instructions are pretty simple, and there is a lot of room to be left for creativity.

1) Pick a piece of recycled paper (thicker paper is sturdier, but harder to cut designs into).

2) Fold the paper back and forth in an accordion fashion. Each fold should be about 1/2 to 1 inch wide.

3) With the fan folded, take scissors and cut designs into it, as if you were making a paper snowflake.

4) Finish by decorating the fan to your liking.

Even if you don’t want to keep cool with your handheld fan at all times, it can also serve as a beautiful decorative piece for your home. The best part is that fans are fun to make. So, turn off your computer and TV and save energy by making this earth friendly craft. Feel free to post examples of your fansterpiece on our Facebook!

Thank you SDG&E for making this possible. Please “reduce your use” by flexing your power!

Lion head with fans made at SDCHM!


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