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Time
72h00

How make a cheap wood fan to match ANY outfit!
This is how I made a steampunk themed hand fan, but this project could be used to make any colour combination to suit any outfit. And it's really easy too!

Posted by Elizabathory from Australia • Published See Elizabathory's 4 projects »
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  • How to make a fan. Modified Fan (Steampunk Version) - Step 1
    Step 1

    Take your wooden fan and remove the pin that is holding all the vanes together. You can snip it with the pliers (which is what I did), or any other method you can think of. If you cannot remove it and keep it intact, you will need to replace it (this is where the pop rivet comes in but we'll talk about it later).

  • Step 2

    Next you need to snip and remove the clear nylon thread holding the top of the vanes together. Put it in the bin. You can't re-use this.

  • How to make a fan. Modified Fan (Steampunk Version) - Step 3
    Step 3

    Place the newspaper on your work surface and lay the vanes out in order of their placement in the fan. You will need to give them a light wipe down with a very lightly damp cloth. Too wet and the wood will soak it up.

  • Step 4

    Once you are sure the wood is completely dry and ready to go, this is where the fun begins. Plan your painting or staining BEFORE you start! Make sure you have all the colours you need because these are going to have to sit for a good couple of days before you can put it all together again.

    Paint one side of the vanes and lay them on top of the chopsticks so the chop sticks lay at the top and bottom of them. This is going to stop the wood from sticking to the newspaper.

    As soon as the stain or paint is touch dry, flip them over and paint/stain the other side.

    It is important when you're painting to keep the layers of paint as thin as possible, or you won't be able to close the fan when you're done.

  • Step 5

    Now this is the HARD part... Let it dry. Now now, I am one for instant gratification, but this project NEEEEEEEEDS drying time. As the pieces are drying, you will need to check on them and make sure they're not drying and sticking to the chopsticks or newspaper.

    And when I say drying time, I mean drying time. We're talking three days here. But that's okay, because once it's dry, putting back together is reeeeeeeally easy.

  • Step 6

    You've made sure your vanes are dry. You have your other supplies beside you and you're ready to go.

    STOP!

    Take a deep breath.

    Have a cup of tea.

    Have some cupcakes.

    You need to be calm and not rush this step. If you do, you'll ruin all that hard work.

  • Step 7

    Okay, so what we're going to start by doing is taking our large eyed needle and making sure all the holes at the top of the vanes (the ones that the clear thread were going through) are clear and free of any pain or stain. If they're not, our thread isn't going to go back through.

    Once they're free make sure the ones down the bottom are also clear.

  • Step 8

    Take that pin from the bottom and put it SLOWLY back through the holes. That wood is fragile and can split really easily if you try and force it through.

    If you had to damage your pin, you might be able to still use it and just bend over the end with your pliers, or you're going to have to do the same with your pop rivet.

    If you're bending over your pin with your pliers, you might want to cover the end of it with something so it doesn't scratch you when you use it. A little bit of latex tool dip (aka- PlastiDip)might do the trick. I happened to have some, so that's what I used.

  • Step 9

    Take your clear fishing line and thread it through the holes at the top. Now, I found it easier to take a photo of how it went through in the first place to copy it when I was re-threading it. You might want to do the same.

  • How to make a fan. Modified Fan (Steampunk Version) - Step 10
    Step 10

    Take another breath.

    Have another cup of tea.

    Sit in the sun and fan yourself because you now have a gorgeous fan that no one else has!

    Huzzah!

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Comments

Penny F.
Penny F. · North Bay, Ontario · 19 projects

I am trying to find steampunk ideas to create as I want to slowly make myself my first steampunk costume ever but I am not rushing anything. I will have to look around for wooden fans.. If not wooden then maybe plastic ones to try out this idea! :D

Elizabathory
Elizabathory · Perth, Western Australia, Australia · 5 projects

You can normally find the wooden ones at asian or indian stores. Failing that, if you are going to go with plastic, I would suggest a light sanding and maybe some etching primer sprayed on them so the paint will stick.

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Devious_Insightful_Pixie
Devious_Insightful_Pixie · South Sioux City, Nebraska, US · 2 projects

Very cool idea. I've been trying to find some interesting Steampunk ideas and tutorials. I'll have to try out.

Elizabathory
Elizabathory · Perth, Western Australia, Australia · 5 projects

I have also used this fan as a hairpiece for a clockwork lady and it was really effective, so if you're looking for ideas, go a little nuts. :)

Reply
Chuckee
Chuckee · Las Vegas, Nevada, US · 14 projects

Patience... Not gonna happen.
=D

Elizabathory
Elizabathory · Perth, Western Australia, Australia · 5 projects

HAHAHA! I'm not the most patient of people either. I normally find waiting for paints to dry too long. I think if I was going to do this sort of thing again, I would go with spray paints and light coats so I didn't have to wait so long.

Chuckee
Chuckee · Las Vegas, Nevada, US · 14 projects

I'm not too big on spray paints, either... I once blew green out of my nose for a week. I was, like, seven.
That being said, green is generally worth it. =P

Reply
Elizabathory
Elizabathory · Perth, Western Australia, Australia · 5 projects

Thanks. The photo kinda doesn't do them justice, but they're black, mahogany and antique gold... I like the idea of plastic fans and car spray. I have a couple of these lying around... Might have to nab your idea and do my own... :)

Reply
Sheila Squirrel
Sheila Squirrel · , ,

I love the colours. I did this with a plastic fan. I used purple car spray paint. I totally agree, instant gratification is a no no. I had to build up the colour slowly and try to find another craft project to keep my hands away from it ;D

Reply