Monday, August 6, 2012

Beautiful Fabric Fans

A few years ago while at the Stampin' Up! convention a few hundred demonstrators and I were standing in line to enter the shopping mall. It was getting pretty warm so, I pulled from my purse a fan I keep handy for just such an emergency. Really, I'm known for being prepared - That's me! I got lots of envious looks and comments like - That's Genius!

 So for this years convention I made these fans for my 3-D swaps.
Something they could really use - right?

Here is what I started with:
Paper fans (I purchased at Asian item #PF9WT for .90 each)
Cotton fabric
Stiffy fabric stiffener
foam brush
Wood glue
Sticky Strip
Rosette Die
Flower Die
Baker's Twine

Carefully tear the paper from the fan - this is really easy it is only attached to the ends and will slip off the blades easily. Clean off any paper that might show after fabric is attached (I used a wet one it worked great for this).

You don't have to get all the paper off - just 1/2" at the top and bottom so it won't show once the fabric is attached.

Cut 2 fabric strips to fit the die.

Apply Stiffy fabric stiffener and spread over entire fabric, just enough to saturate it. I used plastic bags to protect my work surface.

Let dry completely. This may take a few hours. I had several spread out at once.
When completely dry, run through the Big Shot with the Rosette Bigz die one at a time.

Save the scraps for other projects - they are stiff enough to punch.
This is the new Elegant Butterfly Punch - So Cute! Wouldn't this be so cute on a card? (that will have to be another tutorial).

Back to the Fabric Fans..
Fold accordion style (mountains and valleys). This is super easy because the die scores/creases the fabric. Then glue the two pieces end to end with wood glue.

Glue the left end of the fabric to the fan end piece with wood glue.

 Flip the fabric over face down.
Lay the first fan blade on top and add glue - as little as possible and only to the top of the bamboo blade.

fold the fabric onto the glue, place the next fan blade on the fold and glue only the blade.

Continue folding and gluing using as little glue as possible so the fan will open when completed.

When you get to the end cut the extra fabric away (keeping it for the band).

Glue the end of the fabric to the fan end piece.

Place a rubber band or a scrap piece of ribbon to hold it while it dries.

While the fan is drying assemble the band.
Cut a strip (about three and a half of the folds) from the leftover die cut.

Cut the ends of the rosette off and fold the sides under using a piece of sticky strip to hold down the edge.

Make a loop and tuck one end into the other about a 1/4 inch.

Using the remaining fabric cut two small flowers using the Blossom Party die.

Sew the flower and button onto the band with Baker's Twine where it comes together securing the band and tie a bow in the Baker's Twine. You may want to use a pair of needle nose pliers to pull the needle through - it's a little tough.

I went through the button, both flowers then the band where it crosses securing it together.

Then back through the band, the two flowers and the remaining hole in the button.

Tie a bow in the Baker's Twine.

Add a dab of Crystal Effects to keep the bow from unravelling.

Trim the Baker's Twine.

Take a piece of Baker's Twine 12" long open the fan (this may take a bit of prying depending on how much glue you used (a fingernail or bone folder works well for this).
Secure Baker's Twine to band by treading it and tying a double knot at the end - Thread through the back of the band from the inside.

Then back through to the inside.

Secure the other end of the Baker's Twine to base of fan by running it through the center blades.

Then tie in a knot close to fan.

Now complete - the band slips onto the fan to secure and will not get lost. 

Sit back, relax and enjoy your fan!

Especially if you can coax someone into fanning you :)

 Timeless Portrait fabric #122337
Comfort Cafe fabric #126894
Summer Smooches Fabric #125411
Big Shot Die-Cutting Machine #113439
Designer Rosette Bigz XL Die #125594
Extended Cutting Pads #113478
Blossom Party Originals Die #115971
Whisper White Baker's Twine #124262
Sticky Strip #104294
Crystal Effects #101055
Neutrals Designer Buttons #119743
Brights Designer Buttons #119747
Regals Designer Buttons #119744
Elegant Butterfly Punch #127526
Bone Folder #102300
Wood glue
Needle nose pliers
Click here to purchase these and other Stampin' Up! products!

Thanks for stopping by! Comments welcome - I would love to hear from you.



  1. Your pictures really don't do these fans justice, they're AWESOME! And you have a great tutorial. Anyone could make them from your instructions. :)

    Cherished Handmade Treasures

  2. Wow! You are very talented! Very Beautiful and great instructions. One of those projects I hope to copy someday :) I don't sew, so lol, that would be a great way to use SU fun fabric.
    Blessings to You!
    Devera :)

  3. Adorable! I have been wondering how to do this as Texas is just to hot to sit around without a fan like this. Thank you! :)

  4. Wow! wonderful tutorial, so handy for this hot days.

  5. That is one fantastic tutorial. Fantastic fans! Thank you for sharing this at my Make it Pretty Monday at The Dedicated House. Hope to see your prettiness again on Monday. Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  6. They're beautiful. What a great idea and the tutorial is so easy to understand. Thanks for linking up at Doodles & Stitches!

  7. Sorry this is late, but better late then never. Thanks so much for sharing with last weeks with Wednesday's Adorned From Above. These fans are really cute. The link party is open now for this week.
    Debi Bolocofsky

  8. Beautiful! I never would have thought to done this!

  9. I'm so excited to try this :D Thank you very much


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