How to make origami Chinese fan

Remember the paper fans we used to make as kids? We are taking it a notch up: making a standing fan to adorn our dinner table. If you’ve been to a fine dining restaurant or Chinese banquet, you’ll probably seen the fan gloriously displayed on your dinner plate.

fan paper napkin

Part of a dining experience is to make us feel special – from the moment we step into the restaurant and right until we finally leave. We can make dining at home special too; all you need is a regular paper napkins. Since Chinese New Year is around the corner, we’ll make a fan with auspicious colours and patterns. Let’s get started!

fan paper napkin 1

It’s a regular fan many of us used to make with a base. Fold half of the napkin into a fan and form a triangle base with the rest.

40 cm (16 in) paper napkin

paper napkin origami



1. Open the napkin fully and fold in half. Crease firmly.

2. Make pleats to the napkin halfway.

3. Fold the napkin into half (with the pleats outward)


4. Fold the unpleated part down to form a triangle.

5. Fold the overhanging end underneath to form a base. Crease firmly.

6. Stand the napkin outright and spread out the pleats. The triangular stand is to support the fan.


  • The recommended size for a fan napkin is 40 cm square napkins. Try IKEA’s Fantastisk Paper Napkin. We’ve tried smaller napkins and they turned out just fine.
  • To make a beautiful standing fan, you need to have a very crisp fold. To do that, iron the paper paper napkin. Make sure the steam function is off. You don’t want to wet the napkin!
  • If your fan is not sturdy, remove one pleat which allow you to form a larger triangle base to support the fan.

fan paper napkin 2

  • If you’re using plain coloured plates and table cloth, use patterned napkin to add some pizzaaz to your table setting.
  • To find the most attractive final pattern, try aligning them in different ways in step 1.

fan paper napkin

Do try it and tag us on Facebook or Instagram! We’ll love to see how yours turn out!

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