It's been hotter than Hades around here. When I'm not drinking tall iced teas or hiding in air conditioned rooms with all the shades drawn, I'm wishing I had a fan on hand to cool me off. This kind of weather reminds me of two things: my primary school years and the time I spent teaching English in Japan. My little rural elementary school certainly didn't have the cash to put in air conditioning. Likewise, the big vocational high school I taught at in Kyoto wasn't terribly concerned with keeping the hot, humid air out of my classroom. So how did I survive both? Handmade paper fans. They're simple to make out of any sort of paper you have on hand. Here's how. 1. Grab two same-size large sheets of paper. They can be square or rectangular, like this sheet of scrapbooking paper – your choice. 2. Fold up one edge, making a sharp crease. I made my fold about an inch wide, but, again, it's up to you how wide you make yours. 3. Continue folding same-width folds, creating an accordian-style pleat. 4. Fold all the way to opposite edge of paper. Repeat with second piece of paper. 5. Overlap one fold of each pleated sheet of paper in centre. Tape together using transparent tape. Make sure you tape over the raw edges so that everything holds together without gapping. 6. Pinch one end of the fan together to create handle. 7. Tape all around handle to secure. 8. Stir up a breeze and/or peek coquettishly at someone from behind your fancy new fan. Stay cool!