Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Mosaic-Inspired Obon Fan

It is a lovely Tuesday once more, and this week I'm really feeling the Obon odori spirit! In fact, I was just at one on Saturday- so much fun! But a big part of the dances (and keeping cool) revolve around the uchiwa- the fans the dancers and people use! So I thought why not embellish one and have a little fun with it? Let's look glamorous and cool and dance the night away! This design is really simple and unique- no two will ever be quite alike!


  • 1 Uchiwa, color of your choice.
  • Origami Paper, preferably printed/designed/metallic
  • Colored Paper (if desired)
  • Bells, 6 pieces
  • Ribbon, color of choice
  • Mod Podge (or any craft glue)
  • Scissors
  • Paintbrushes
  • Starting with your origami paper, cut out triangles and various geometric shapes from the paper. I usually just trim the corners to get all kinds of triangle then go from there- there is no right or wrong way to do this! Have fun with it! Cut out a generous amount, but you can always cut out more later.

  • Once you have cut out an amount you are satisfied with, lay them out on your uchiwa. You are not gluing anything down, you are simply playing around with the design- this can take lots of time, but you can fuss with it until you are satisfied with the layout. This is the longest step for me! :)

  • When you are happy with your layout, you can begin to glue them down. I do this with a brush and some mod podge- it sticks them down right away! However, use caution! Once you put the piece down with the mod podge, it is down for good- you can't reposition it without ripping the paper or the fan! 

  • I also used the store's Accu-Cut dies to cut out these kanji- friend and life/birth. I liked the meaning since Obon is a place to connect with friends and family, and it's a celebration of life as well as the dead. To use the accu-cut ask an associate- it's free to use if you purchase the paper from us! I added these to the fans to add some Asian flair.

  • Next, cut out two pieces of ribbon in identical length- I cut mine about 2 feet long, and gather 6 bells. Here, I used silver. String three bells on each ribbon till about the middle- to make this easier, I cut the ribbon at an angle.

  • Finally, tie the ribbon with bells anywhere on the fan you'd like- you can use hot glue to glue these down if you wish, but it's your choice! 

  • Voila, you are done! I made a second one as well using red and gold as my theme- see how the printed paper with the metallic paper makes such a nice addition? Enjoy your fan, and dance, dance, dance this summer at the Obon Odori near you! :D

Helen C.
Kahului Ben Franklin Crafts

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