Saturday, June 1, 2013

Step by Step - Fan-tastic!

Hi everyone and welcome to a Saturday Step by Step. As promised it's Buttons (Jenny) here with a guide on how to create a fan table setting ideal for a wedding or celebration. There are lots of pictures to guide you through and I'll start by showing you what can be achieved.
So, here goes. Start with creating the covering for the fan. I tried to avoid too much measuring, so cut a circle with a diameter the size of the width of an A4 sheet of paper.
Once cut out fold the circle into quarters and cut along one of them to the centre.
Now start adding mountain and valley folds to create pleats around the circle - don't get to hung up on measuring these, just judge them roughly by eye.
By the time you've finished folding you should have a semi-circle (though you may need to trim it down slightly if it doesn't work perfectly). Repeat this whole process a second time so you have two fans.
Now trace two circles of the same diameter as your originals onto chipboard, adding a strip around 4cm wide between the widest parts of the two circles.
Cut out your chipboard shape, scoring along the two centre lines. Now you have the basis of your fan shape.
Now cut another strip of chipboard (about 12" in length by 7cm wide - I know! a mix of metric and imperial! That's what comes of growing up with metric at school and sewing measurements at home:) Score down each side at 4cm across and cut into the remaining edges to make a fringe.
Put a strip of strong tape in from the edge of the chipboard circle on one side (like the bottom of this picture) and stick one side of the separate strip to it.
In order to make this centrepiece more stable I added a couple of strong/heavy magnetic strips (stuck on top of each other) to the centre gusset. As well as introducing weight it also means you can put a flat piece of metal under your tablecloth to help 'stick' your fan and stop it moving around/getting knocked over - just make sure you put the strips magnetic side down!
Now you can stick the second side of the chipboard circle to the strip to finish your basic fan shape. Notice you've got a ridge each side of the top of the fan to help hold your flowers on board.
Apply your paper fans to each side of the chipboard shape (you may need to do a bit of trimming) and then start adding a bit more decoration. I cut out the centre of a cheap paper doily and chopped it in half, and also added half a filigree metal circle to enhance the illusion of a working fan.
After a coat of gesso, I added a mix of Picket Fence and Antique Linen Distress Paint with a little water to marble/distress the surface. Then some 1/2" lace was glued around the top of the fan. To blend it in some Picket Fence Distress Stain was pounced on top. Then I got fiddly, painting on Picket Fence Distress Crackle Paint onto the filigree metal and doily.
It gives just an extra touch of vintage magic on an otherwise plainly coloured fan - don't forget, although you want it to look special the flowers still need to grab the attention first and display the colour scheme.
Now just add your flowers (either bought or hand crafted if you're feeling adventurous) along with bits of dyed seam binding, ribbon, beads/pearls or whatever else takes your fancy.
So there you have it, one bespoke table decoration with inbuilt stability and exteria impact. Hope it's given you some ideas for making your own creations. There's a list of most of the products used at the end of this post (you just need to add paper/chipboard/beads/and a paper doily). Have a great weekend and take care of yourselves, hugs Jenny xxx


  1. Jenny this is so clever, fantastic design! I am definitely going to give this a try, thanks so much for the step by step, really clever and much simpler than I expected, THANK YOU!!!

  2. I marvel at your ability to think up such wonderful creations and this one is no exception Jenny. This really is a stunning creation that I may use for D2s wedding later this year. Thanks for the step by step! Hugs, Anne x

  3. Great step by step instructions here - love the mix of metric and imperial (I do that all the time!!). I will certainly give this a go.

  4. Good Morning Jenny. What a fabulous creation. This could also look beautiful as a Christmas centrepiece too. Will definitely have a go at this. Brilliant instructions too. Hugs Rita xxx

  5. This is wonderful - a fabulous centrepiece for any occasion! Thank you so much for sharing this project.

  6. WOW your tutorial looks fun! I will have to give this a try. Thanks so much for sharing!
    Hugs, Cathy-Lynn

  7. Positively amazing - it leaves me speechless!!!!

  8. an amazing project and stepXstep...jenny you have done it again! x

  9. Completely amazing, Jenny - a wonderful use of your origami skills in the creation of this beautiful piece! Thanks so much for this brilliant step-by-step.
    Alison x

  10. So beautiful, I really love this!!!

  11. I love your project Jenny and your tutorial is FABulous!!! Great job! Hugs, Rebecca

  12. This is one WONDERFUL tutorial Jenny - thanks so much - have bookmarked for future reference! Nicola x