Intro: Cinderella Wicked Stepsister Hand Fan
Have a Ball to Attend where you need to snag a moneyed royal heir? And a beautiful stepsister who is always sanctimoniously telling you to "have courage and be kind"? Here's the perfect accessory to win over Prince Charming (or maybe that Duke two seats down who looks like he could make you a wealthy widow).
The hand fans from the 2015 Cinderella movie are Jenny Lind style fans, which were popular from the 1850s - 1890s. This fits in with the movie costumes which are a blend of Victorian styles and retro starlet.
Step 1: Materials
Sandalwood hand fan - from Daiso, Chinatown or online
About a dozen wood coffee stirrers - from your local chain coffee store (or other thin wood sticks)
Wood or all purpose glue
Gold fabric marker
Shiny fabric (at least 18 X 24 inches) - something with high polyester content is good. I'm fairly certain the original movie fan has heat press foil but it is easier to find a metallic fabric or a poly with metallic brocade
a few sheets of card stock
Coordinating color feathers or feather trim - craft store ones are fine
Brass or gold colored brad that fits through the rivet hole at the bottom of your fan
Something to cut with - scissors, rotary cutter, laser cutter
Step 2: Make a Template
Use a reference photo, either an antique fan, or the one from the film to make a template for your fan blade.
You can freehand this on a piece of paper or import the photo into your favorite graphics program (like illustrator)
In order to look like the movie fan you want your fan blade to be approximately 6 inches long and 2 to 2.5 inches wide.
Trace your fan blade using the graphics program or by hand. If you are going to cut everything out with scissors or a rotary cutter, trace/print onto cardstock for a sturdier template. If using a laser cutter save your file. You might want to do some test cutting to figure out the best power and speed settings for cutting the fabric on the laser.
Step 3: Cut Out Your Fan Blades
I wanted my fan to be pretty sturdy so I chose to use a piece of thin cardstock in the center to hold up the fan blades and use two pieces of fabric for each, one on the front and one on the back. This project would probably work just fine with just the two pieces of fabric.
Cut enough pieces of fabric and paper for at least 8-10 fan blades. 12-14 probably the max you need. Fewer than this and your fan won't fan out much.
Step 4: Glue Together and Paint Your Fan Sticks
Take the sandalwood fan and dismantle it. It is probably held together with thin plastic thread like fishing line and has a piece of plastic or metal at the bottom. You want individual blades. Also the sandalwood fan probably has 20-25 blades and we'll only use 10-14.
You will need 2 fan sticks that don't have coffee stirrers, these are the very front and back sticks (called guardsticks), all the rest will have the stirrer glued to the stick.
Cut your coffee stirrers down to match the size of your fabric fan blades. Since you will need them to be glued onto the fan stick and the fan blade they should be about 1 inch shorter than your fan blade (so if the blade is 6 inches make the stirrer 5)
Glue your wood coffee stirrers onto the fan sticks about 1 inch down from the top of the fan stick, leaving the top 4 inches or so extending above the stick. Try to do this evenly so all the sticks are the same size.
Let the glue dry.
Paint both sides of the sticks with gold colored craft paint. Acrylic paint works fine.
Step 5: Glue the Fan Together, Color the Edges.
Time for more gluing.
Glue a small tuft of feathers either to your interior paper/cardstock or to the inside of one of your fabric blades. Use the movie reference photos to figure out how much feathers you need.
Glue the fan blades to the fan sticks sandwiching the wooden blades and stirrers inside the fabric and paper. The blades should entirely cover the coffee stirrer on both the fan stick and above the stick. Once you've glued the feather, fabric and paper (or just feathers and fabric) to the sticks let the whole thing dry.
Once everything has dried, use your gold paint marker to outline the edges of each fan blade.
Step 6: Put the Fan Together
Use a paper brad, I like the brass colored ones, to put your fan back together through the small hole at the bottom of the fan blade.
Now comes the hard part. You need to sew the fan blades together. Use a sturdy polyester sewing thread in a matching color. Look closely at the pictures in this post to see how the fan connects. The thread goes from the middle center of one fan blade through the middle center of the next. You are not sewing the edges together!
Starting at one end of the fan, take a few of small stiches in the center of one blade to anchor your thread. You can make a small knot on those threads of extra security. Sew through to the middle center of the next blade. Lay the blades on each other so there is some slack. In the photo of the pink antique fan you can see that the fabric of the fan blade should cover about half of the next blade up. Once it looks ok take several small stitches and a small knot to anchor the current fan blade in place. Sew on to the middle center of the next blade and continue on, making small anchoring stitches and knots along the way until you get all the way around to the other end.
If you don't sew you might be able to connect these fan blades using small cut pieces of ribbon and gluing each blade to a piece of the ribbon. Remember to have enough slack to be able to fold the fan.
Hooray, you're done.
Go to the Ball, Be Fabulous.