Paper Fan Backdrop

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By General Crafts Contributor Michelle


Here’s an easy, fun backdrop to make for a wedding, baby shower, photo backdrop, or birthday party. With a little paper, and know-how, you can make a fun backdrop custom made to suit your own needs.

Here’s what you’ll need to make your own:

To make each fan, you will need 3-4 pieces of paper. The square paper I used required 4 sheets per fan. The copy paper used 4 sheets per fan, but the book page fans only required 3 sheets per fan–the book pages were a longer rectangle shape. Use the knife to cut the pages out of any books you’re using, or to cut down any paper.

To begin folding the first fan, fold your first sheet of paper in half the long way.

Fold the same sheet of paper in half again.

Fold the same sheet of paper in half again.  It may be hard to fold at this point, depending on the thickness of your paper, but just do your best to press it down and make creases–we’re just marking folding lines.

Unfold the paper.

Using the folds as guides, fold the paper back-and-forth, accordion style.

Fold the folded piece of paper in half the short way, so it looks like a “V”.

Using your hot glue, glue the middle of the “V” together so you’re left with a full fan shape.

Make two, or three more fans in this manner. Glue two fans together along the outer edges.

Glue one, or two more fans together at the edges, like you did the first two, until you can join them into a circle.

Pull the edges of the fan circle together, and hot glue.

I even had my daughter helping me make fans – it’s that easy. She folded, and I hot glued.  We tried using regular school glue to adhere them, but hot glue was much faster, and bonded stronger.

Make a whole bunch of fans in various colors, and sizes. Try cutting some of your paper in half, if you wish, to create smaller fans of the same color.

To assemble into a backdrop, figure out how tall, and wide you want your background to be. Cut a length of jute the width you want your finished backdrop, and tie a small loop onto each end–these will be hooked over your Command Hooks, so make sure they’re the right size to fit securely. Set aside–this will be the horizontal piece on the top that you string your vertical hanging strings of fans onto.

Next, cut lengths of jute the height you want your backdrop to be. Tie small loops onto the top of each length–the loops need to be big enough to thread onto the horizontal piece of jute that you will be stringing them onto.

Arrange your fans in vertical lines on the floor until you’re happy with their placement. Using your hot glue gun, begin adhering the fans one at a time to the vertical strings of jute–run a bead of glue clear down the middle of the paper fan, and then carefully press the jute onto the glue. When you space your fans along the strings, don’t space them evenly–it’s the uneven spacing of the fans that give them their nice “scattered” look. Make some of the strings a little shorter as well, to help create some interest.

When all of your fans are glued onto the vertical strings, stretch your horizontal piece of jute across the top of your wall space, looping the loops you tied on the ends, over the Command Hooks. Unhook one end of your horizontal hanging string, and begin threading the loops on the top of each vertical strands onto the hanging string–mine was high enough I had to stand on a ladder to do this, and had a friend help me thread them on. Don’t worry about spacing the vertical strings until you get them all threaded on, and the horizontal piece back in place. Once the whole thing is hanging, then move the strings around to space them. Ta da! You made an awesome backdrop!

Happy crafting!


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