By Sheila Daniels
All this heat and humidity is beginning to take a toll. But it’s also taking my mind back to another place and time. If you are over 40 and live in the midwest, you probably will remember those tri-fold fans that were used back in the day. I remember them at the 4th of July parade, movies in the park, and church – before there was air conditioning.
The fans were made out of chipboard or thick paper and often had some form of advertising on them. I haven’t seen any around for a looong time (an o for each decade), and I was really wanting one to fan myself while I wait in line at the ice cream shop or drive-in concession stand. My search was taking me nowhere, so I finally broke down and made some.
This is a simple pattern that you can even make with children. And you can use common household materials such as old calendar pages or junk mail. Actually, cereal boxes are the perfect thickness. A truly COOL end-of-summer project!
Here’s the print-and-cut file:
Resize to whatever you want, but look below for tips.
Here’s how to make that perfect old-timey fan.
You will need one large piece of paper or three to four smaller pieces. (You will want to fit one blade of the fan on each piece.) You also will need two eyelets or brads, and also may also want some ribbon or string to make a handle.
Tips for assembly:
- Cut out all your pieces to the size you want. I wouldn’t go too large or small; the perfect height is about 6 inches.
- The small piece is for holding the fan together.
- The bottom hole is for a brad or eyelet and allows the fan blades to open out. They should pivot on this brad/eyelet, so it will go through all four pieces.
- The top hole is for (preferably) an eyelet and acts as a bumper for the outer blades, to keep them in place. It only goes through the small piece.
- Fan yourself while you complain about the humidity.
So, there you have it. Make your own fan to bat the air around with. And be sure to entertain your kids and grandkids with stories the “olden days,” when you could watch movies in the park and air conditioning was a novelty.