DIY Hand Fan from a Retro Album Cover

DIY Hand Fan from a Retro Album Cover

I love flipping through the record albums at thrift stores. You just never know what you’ll find and there are SO MANY amazing retro album covers out there. Recently, I found a stack that were empty (no records inside) and decided to make a DIY hand fan from a couple of them.

retro album covers

Case in point- Leif Garrett. When I posted the above picture on my Facebook Page, Leif was everyone’s favorite.

This project was inspired by church fans handed out on hot summer days. So why not use a retro album cover to make a DIY hand fan?

vintage album cover

Someone had already drawn on the cover AND the actual record was MIA. So, it seemed like an easy upcycling idea for the cardboard sleeve was meant to be.

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Album Cover DIY

First, I made a paper template from scrap paper to use as a fan shape. Since I was using vintage album covers, I thought a guitar-shaped DIY hand fan would be perfect.

paper template of a DIY hand fan

I traced the paper pattern on my retro album cover and cut it out. Then, I re-traced it a second album cover and cut that one out, as well. You could use the back of the same album cover for this, but I chose to use two different sleeves.

album cover DIY

Next, I turned my attention to a handle for my DIY hand fan. I cut off a 10.5″ portion of a vintage yard stick; had I already had a vintage wooden ruler on hand, I just would have used that instead.

making a DIY paper fan from a retro album cover

I placed the rough edge of my yard stick hand on the backside of my retro album cover and then glued the handle to the fan.

wooden handle for a DIY hand fan

Then, I did the same with the other side, lining up my album covers as perfectly as possible.

Finishing a DIY Hand Fan

Now, you can apply more glue around the inside edges of the fan and call it a day.

But I wanted to add just a little more texture and security to it. So I took a small hole punch and punched holes around the entire edge of the fan, save for the section where the handle was inserted.

album cover craft ideas

Then, I used an embroidery needle and some hemp twine and stitched around the DIY hand fan.

stitching together the retro album covers

And oh my gosh- I LOVE IT! It’s the perfect DIY hand fan and works wonders in this August heat, too.

easy upcycling idea for a record album cover

I’ll also fill you in on a little secret- I used a portion of a different album cover for the back of my fan.  It’s cheeky- don’t say I didn’t warn you!

how to make a DIY hand fan

Ha, told you so! If Blanche Devereaux were here, she would SO approve of this DIY hand fan from a retro album cover.

DIY Hand Fan from a Retro Album Cover

Isn’t this fantastic? What a fun way to upcycle those vintage album covers you see at thrift stores all the time.

upcycling a vintage album cover

AND this would be a great wedding favor idea for guests at an outdoor summer wedding, too. Inexpensive, easy to make, and a memorable keepsake, all at the same time!

If you enjoyed this upcycling idea for a DIY hand fan, then you may also be interested in this wine bottle cooler I made from another thrift store find!

Wine bottle cooler for a patio happy hour from an Igloo beverage cooler

Keep Cool and Craft On!


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crafting with a retro album cover

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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. You are way to young to know who those people are! Gosh what memories 🙂 Pretty cool (no pun intended) idea to turn those old album covers into a fan!

  2. Cool fans! Leif doesn’t look anything like that anymore!

    Navy Wifey Peters @ The Submarine Sunday Link Party!

  3. That is just way beyond cool. And what a good use for an album cover.

  4. This is hilarious!

  5. Absolutely loved this idea!

  6. Love this idea! Thanks for coming and linking up at #The Weekend Social. Please be sure to come back next week starting Thursdays at 9PM EST on Kitchen ! I hope to see you there!

  7. You are so clever!!! I love this idea!

  8. What a really fun and cute idea! Thank you so much for linking up at Party in Your PJs….we hope to see you again tomorrow night for another party!

  9. Hahahahaha! I love this! You are too cute! What a great craft! Thank you for sharing at Merry Monday Link Party! See you again this week, Julia

  10. OK, this is the coolest thing ever! Love the other side:)

  11. i saved a box of cereal from the movie Frozen. Now i know what to make with it.

  12. Love it, the only thing I would have done differently is used a free paint stick and painted it an outrageous color picked up from a color in the album! We actually have a box up back at church full of woven fans that we use in hot weather (or those women having their own energy surges!). These sure would be topics for conversation done in old hymn/gospel albums!

  13. You are to cute I love your ideas!

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