Color Diffusing Paper Fan with Straws and Connectors!

Feature-Image-colourdiffusingfanBeautiful oriental-inspired fans are able to fold out for a quick cooling-off or fold in for easy storage! Use our Straws and Connectors to design this ingenious take on a hand fan! I’ll show you how to cut the Straws and Connectors down to size to make the pivot point for the opening and closing motions. It’s the perfect little craft with a real practical use! Give the fan as a gift to someone special this summer or keep it for a particularly hot sunny day!

Duration: 30 minutes

Age: 5-10

You’ll need: 

R15212 Color Diffusing Paper 12 x 18″

R6085 Straws and Connectors

• Markers

• Spray bottle

• Paint tray

• Tape

• Scissors

Line-14The best part about this project is that you’re working with Color Diffusing Paper, which is a versatile fabric-like material. After decorating with markers or paint, spray the paper with water to get a unique tie-dye effect! It’s fun to watch!

Step-00Each project will need about 3 Straws and 2 Connectors, but grab a whole bunch from the box in case you cut the wrong size. Pick out the marker colors you’d like to dye your paper fan.


Fold the 12 x 18″ Color Diffusing Paper sheet in half lengthwise. Unfold the paper. Cut along the crease line you just made. You will end up with two 6 x 18″ length sheets of Color Diffusing Paper. Make doubles or distribute equally between students!


Decorate the Color Diffusing Paper! Once you are finished, spray the design with warm water.


See those colors go! Set your sheet aside to dry. Once the paper is dry to the touch, you’ll need to fold it accordion-style. Check out the animation below with instructions on how to do an accordion fold.


First, lay out your sheet of paper lengthwise. Fold the paper width-wise in half. From the fold line, fold the paper again width-wise in half. Repeat 2 more times until you are left with a thin rectangle.

Unfold the paper and spread it out. You will notice that the paper is creased in sections. Start from one end and pinch the first crease so that it turns into a mountain fold. Hold your fingers at the crease, then flip the paper over to the other side. Fold the crease backwards. Hold it with your fingers then flip the paper back over to the main side. Fold the next crease upwards. Continue in this way to accordion fold the rest of the paper. The last image in the animation shows you what the sheet should look like after you’ve finished folding.

Set the paper aside to construct your fan frame and pivot.


For this step, you will need to cut the straw into roughly 3/4″ sections. Out of one straw, you will get eight 3/4″ sections, so you can give each section to other students or use them to make more fans.

Step-18The straws cut easily with a pair of scissors! Attach a connector to one end of the short straw.


Open up the accordion-fold sheet of paper. Flip the sheet over so that the first crease closest to the edge is one that opens outwards. Place one full-length straw vertically across the paper close to the edge. Step-20Align the straw against the edge and tape it in place.


Repeat the same step for the opposite side. Attach one connector to the end that sticks out furthest from the Color Diffusing Paper fan. Slide the short straw against the connector and point it out to the straw on the opposite end.


Slip the end of the straw through the connector’s top prong. The short straw and connectors will act as pivot points for the fan frame. Twist the straws in the opposite direction from each other.

Step-25Spread the straws apart to see the fan in its full glory!

Step-26Try different color combinations and styles! Switch up the colors of the Straws and Connectors for even more options.

Step-27Slide the two straws until they are parallel. The Color Diffusing Paper may need a little adjustment to help fold it all back into a flat fan, but with a bit of maneuvering, the fan will fold in easily without issue.


Beautiful fans are a great art project to take home, both for the process-result art and for the practicality! How did your handheld fan projects turn out? What are some of your twists to this project? Send us your photos and comments or comment below! Contact us through the contact form. 

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We love art! After 40 years, we continue to be a leader in innovative and unique art materials. Our mission is to help teachers make educating children exciting, engaging and creative. We demonstrate our commitment to teachers through the quality and affordability of our products. We lead the industry in innovation and design. Our belief is that healthy learning comes from healthy minds and bodies. For over 40 years, Roylco has been creating unique and innovative hands-on products in art, science, math, special needs, literacy, socials studies and early childhood that will engage children as well as empower teachers and parents. Our product line consists of over 400 products in a variety of educational subjects that meet the National Standards.

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