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A unique mix of crafts, nature, homeschooling…life.

*new* old fashioned fans

It’s starting to heat up around here and the humidity is kicking my butt. So, as usual, my mind began to wander. Where did it wander to? Well…If you are over 40 and live in the Midwest, you will remember those tri-fold fans that were used back in the day. I remember them at the 4th of July parade, movies in the park, and church before there was air conditioning.

The fans were made out of chipboard or thick paper and often had some form of advertising on them. I haven’t seen any around for a looong time (an o for each decade) and I really wanted one to fan myself while I wait in line at the ice cream shop or drive in concession stand. My search has has taken me no where, so I finally broke down and made some. (Disclaimer: This pattern is totally from scratch and memory, so don’t get mad at me if it’s different than you remember.)

This is a simple pattern that you can even make with children and even use old calendar pages or junk mail. Actually, cereal boxes are the perfect thickness. Great summer project here!

Here’s the print-and-cut file in .gif format. Resize to whatever you want, but look below for tips.


And here is a zip file with a bunch of digital formats for die cutting machines.

Here’s how to do it.


You will need 1 large piece of paper or three to four smaller pieces. (You will want to fit one blade of the fan on a piece.) You will also need 2 eyelets or brads, if you can’t find anything else. You may also want some ribbon or string to make a handle.

Tips for assembly:

-Cut out all your pieces to the size you want. I wouldn’t go either too large or small. Mine is about 6″ tall.

-The small piece there is for holding the fan together.

-The bottom hole is for a brad or eyelet and allows the fan blades to open out. They should pivot on this brad/eyelet so it will go through all four pieces.

-The top hole is for preferably an eyelet and acts as a bumper for the outer blades to keep them in place. It only goes through the small piece.

-Fan yourself while you complain about the humidity.

So, there you have it. Make your own to bat the air around with. Tell stories to your kids or grand kids about when they used to have movies in the park and air conditioning was a novelty.



  1. Rachel

    I love this idea! I have quite a few events coming up that this will be perfect for. Thanks so much, I’ll be linking.

  2. Dana

    What a great idea…we don’t get too many really hot days here in the Pacific NW, but this would make a perfect giveaway for advertising and easy to make. Thanks…reposting with your link on my craft blog here.

So, what do you think ?