Saturday, August 3, 2013

Craft a Delicate Paper Fan Ornament

Above are light weight, paper fans that you can decorate a Christmas tree with. All you need are a few ordinary kitchen supplies and a few odd trims from your sewing basket.
      You will need a bit of patience to create these delicate little fans, but they are not difficult to assemble. As you may have guessed, these ornaments can be made to compliment any Christmas theme that you like. Their appearance is dependent entirely upon the designs and colors of the cupcake liners and trim that you use. I decided to use very simple selections for my fan ornaments: gold and pale pink and silver paired with pale blue. These conservative choices will blend nicely with a collection that I am crafting for my younger child. 
      She has decided to trim a Christmas tree of her own with Rococo inspired ornaments. Many of the pieces that I will make for her theme will be "over-the-top" so it is important to balance the elaborate collection with only a few colors. She has settled upon pastel colors paired with silver and gold. Some collectors refer to trees with a Rococo theme as, "Marie Antoinette trees". These trees are intended to reflect French court preferences in design during the the 18th-century. Marie Antoinette lived from 1755 to 1793; a time prior to the era when Rococo fashions and designs were most popular. But as most art movements take a bit of time to saturate all parts of culture, it is not surprising to associate the beginnings of a movement in one particular place early on and then identify the movement as a whole for a larger audience much later. 
      The Victorians loved Rococo design/fashions also and many of you will associate ornaments from your own Victorian collections with those ornaments that I am designing for Hannah's new Christmas collection. What is the difference between the two references, Victorian and Rococo, when it comes to design trends? The answer is: not much. The Victorian era is associated with Great Britain, and the Rococo with France. Both movements took place at the same time and were separated only by a mere ocean and two very different kinds of queens. Queen Victoria was quite romantic and Marie Antoinette was quite silly.

Here are few examples of "Marie Antoinette" or Rococo inspired Christmas trees:

Toothpicks are glued together at their tips between two
cardboard circles to create a fan form.
Supply List:
  1. Small amount of cardboard
  2. Toothpicks
  3. White glue
  4. Paper Cupcake Liners 
  5. A small variety of trims
  6. Scissors
      The first process in the crafting of the fans should be completed the night before so that the wooden toothpicks will have ample time to dry before decorating the fans with paper and trim. First cut out two very small circles approximately 1/2 an inch in diameter for each fan that you intend to craft. Then place one of these tiny cardboard pieces on top of a washable surface like newsprint or wax paper so that the glue will be easy to clean up after the fan forms have dried. Add a generous dot of glue to one cardboard circle and arrange your toothpicks in a fan-like spray on top of it. Then add a small amount of glue to the second circle and lightly balance this on top of the tips of the toothpicks to give the fan form a clean finished appearance on both sides of the ornament.
      The following day, you will need to gather up the rest of your art supplies and prepare them for assembling the paper fan ornaments. Cut out the bottom parts of the cupcake liners you intend to use and then cut each liner open so that you are left with a long accordion, folded strip of paper. Then wrap the paper around the toothpicks neatly, while applying dabs of glue to each wooden toothpick. Add also some trim to your fan to give it a decorative finished appearance. I glued a thin, metallic cord between my cupcake liners in order to hang the fans from a Christmas tree.
Links to additional paper fan ornament crafts:
Paper Fan Links Collected by Jytte Jenson

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