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Making Kitana fans.

Making Kitana fans.

I made some functional fans for a costume recently, and I wanted to share my experiences in developing these props because I enjoyed it so much. If you look at the photo of the fans used by Kitana, from Mortal Kombat X, you will realize two things:

1.) Yes, she is scantily clad.
2.) Those things are weapons.


Since they were intended to be non-lethal, I had to consider my materials that I was going to use to construct them. Initially I thought, “Foam board will work just fine!” Until I realized while yes, the material would be light, it wouldn’t be durable at all.

The Process

Step 1.) After trying to figure out the best size for the fans (I determined my proportions based off of the photo to the left), I used Illustrator to draft a 1:1 scale pattern of the fan blades. From there, I printed it and transferred my first pattern draft onto cardstock.

Step 2.) I purchased acrylic sheets that my friend helped me cut with a dremel. I found the perfect fabric in a Manhattan store on Fashion Ave/7th Ave., and carefully cut it to cover the span of the fan blades.

Step 3.) To keep the tips from flopping over and fraying after being cut, I used a diluted solution of white glue and acrylic paint. In addition to that, I used a diluted acrylic paint solution to paint the folds onto the fan.

Step 4.) The fan blades were painted with acrylic paint. If I were to do it again, I would use spray paint.

Step 5.) After letting all paint layers dry, I glued everything in place with E6000 glue.

Step 6.) For temporary use, I used a pencil to stencil in the fan blade etchings. Afterwards, I used the dremel to carefully etch in the designs.

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