Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead book cover

By Kelsey Nickerson

Cooling down on a hot summer day has never been cuter! Kids will love this fun summer book craft to create their own personal fans. Made out of upcycled book pages, these sweet paper fans are easy to make and fun to use. You can keep them simple or get as detailed as you want in coloring and decorating them. Get creative with stickers, glitter, or whatever else you have on hand. You could even glue feathers along the top of your fan!

Once your fans are finished, you can store them in a vase on a porch or patio, ready for those hot days and nights. In the meantime, they’ll make a crafty and summery centerpiece. Or take them along to keep kids (or yourself!) comfortable on outings—just compress the accordion folds and secure them lightly with a rubber band or string to keep them from getting crumpled. However you choose to use them, these book page fans are a literary way to keep your cool.

DIY Book Page Paper Fan


  • Old book pages (six pages per fan)
  • Decorative paper punches
  • Tape
  • Ribbon


  • Colored pencils, markers, or even watercolors 
  • Other items for decorating: stickers, glitter, feathers, or anything you have on hand
  • Glue

Cost: If you have these basic supplies already on hand, this craft could cost you nothing! If you need to get a decorative paper punch, you should be able to pick one up for a few dollars. It’s worth having a few on hand for future crafting. (On the other hand, you could skip the punch and just get fancy with some other crafty touches.) We can usually find a bit of ribbon around the house, but if you can’t, you can always get creative by twisting a bit of tissue wrapping paper or using several strands of colorful yarn twisted together.

Step 1: To start off, take six old book pages. Trim the side that you tore out of the book for a neater edge if need be. If you want to color the fan or decorate it with glitter or small stickers, go ahead and do that now, but leave any larger details like feathers to add after folding your fan. You only need to color or decorate one side of each page. Tip: Don’t put anything on that will make it too hard to fold the paper (e.g., no rigid stickers), and beware of tearing the thin paper of your book pages when coloring or painting them.

DIY Book Page Paper Fan

Step 2: Because book pages are usually made of pretty thin paper, we’ll make the fans a little sturdier by doubling up the paper. So, take two pages together (if you decorated the pages, have the decorated sides face out) and use your hold punch to cut a row of shapes along the top of the book pages. Repeat for the rest of the pages (three sets total of two pages each).

DIY Book Page Paper Fan

Step 3: Keeping the pair of pages together, you are now going to accordion-fold across the page horizontally. Once you’re done with this step, you will have three sets of accordion-folded double sheets.

DIY Book Page Paper Fan

Step 4: Now you are just going to attach these three sets together to make one larger fan. With a few small pieces of tape, attach the outermost folds together.

DIY Book Page Paper Fan

Step 5: Lastly, gather the fan together at the bottom edge (the one without the shapes) and tape around all the folds. Then tie a decorative ribbon to cover the tape. If you’re planning to add larger adornments such as feathers, go ahead and glue them on now.

DIY Book Page Paper Fan

This fun and quick project is not only a crafty way to cool down on hot days, it’s also a great activity to keep kids busy (and cool!) during summer vacation. These adorable fans can even make cute favors for a summertime party. Let us know how you use yours!