DIY: Easy-Peasy Paddle Programs

Paddle fan programs are nothing new in the wedding world, but boy are they still fun! Here’s how ours turned out:


I would tell you that the concern for our guests’ comfort on a potentially hot summer day was the leading deciding factor to use paddle fans, but honestly, the cuteness factor had just as much influence. I just cannot resist things that are both adorable and functional.

We didn’t finalize the order of our ceremony up until the one-week mark so I had to find a quick and easy DIY method to create these puppies in a crunch. Regardless of whether you can finalize your ceremony before the final week or not, I would highly recommend having the design and layout for your program finished in advance. I had our design sitting around for months, just waiting for my rough draft or filler text to be replaced with the final verbiage. This way when I actually did figure everything out, I could go straight to the printer instead of having to spend precious time designing.

For this DIY project, you will need:

  • Printed program fronts and backs (ours are 7? x 6? on 100lb matte coated coverstock paper)
  • Corner rounder (optional)
  • Wood paddles from Hobby Lobby or similar craft store
  • Double-sided adhesive
  • Packing tape

The first thing I did after having our programs printed and cut to size was round the corners on all of the front pages and all of the back pages. The corner rounder I had access to worked best punching a handful of flat sheets at a time, but depending on paper thickness you may be able to save this step until after the program has been fully assembled.


I used clear packing tape to secure the wooden paddle to the back of one side. Using strong tape instead of double-sided adhesive will keep the stick in place and ultimately help prevent the two pages from pulling and separating completely because, honey, that paddle ain’t goin’ nowhere. I’ve found that double-sided adhesives are good for securing a flat surface to another flat surface, but then leave something to be desired when you introduce any three-dimensional objects. Packing tape is the cure-all for Wandering Stick Syndrome. (WSS is serious, folks.) Use it, and use it well. Do let your perfectionist side relax a bit for this step, though. You’ll notice all the tape crinkles in my photo”¦ those won’t show at all in the finished program so don’t worry about getting the tape flat and smooth.

Double-sided adhesive wins the round for gluing paper to paper in this project! I decided to try a permanent bond glue runner by Ad tech, as shown above. It worked very well, though I did need at least six re-fill cartridges to assemble 100 programs.


You don’t need to use a lot of pressure to lay down the glue strips with this runner, so application should be very swift. It was hard to see where the glue was in the photograph, so I added red as a guideline for what areas to glue.

Tip: The closer you can get the strip to the edge of paper, the less noticeable any splitting between the two glued pages will be. Don’t forget to add a strip to the taped wooden stick, either!


Laying down the other side is probably the trickiest part because you need to get the two pages aligned. Start by aligning the top edge and corners while trying not to let the adhesive touch the paper yet. Once you’re confident the top is aligned just right, begin pressing the page down to the glued paper while working your way (slowly) from top to bottom. After it’s flat and glued, press firmly over the glue strip areas to make sure the bond is holding.

Tip: Working from top to bottom is a little more forgiving than laying down the entire page in one motion. You’ll want to avoid bending the paper so much that it creases, but this way you can make any necessary shifts and adjustments as you go.


Voila! Now you can admire your newly assembled program paddle fan.

Go ahead”¦wave it around and try it out. You know you want to make silly poses like I did.


left: “tee-hee”; right: “uhhhmuhguuhd it’s so hoooooot.”

One last thing to note: I assembled these a few days before our wedding, and by the day-of some of the glue strips had started to separate at the bottom around the wooden stick. (This is where the packing tape is really important because the stick won’t loosen and fall out.) Just keep this in mind if you’re assembling yours in advance. The tops and sides held well, but you may have to pinch the bottom ones back together unless your glue is stronger than my little runner strips.


A mild case of separation disease, which can lead to WSS without packing tape.

How are you assembling your programs? Did you find it was a quick and easy project or did it consume more time than expected?

*all photos within this post are personal


Mrs. Bunting

December 23
Grand Rapids, MI
Wedding Date:
June 2011
Love Me, Love Me, Say That You Love Me...
The Story of Us (Part I)
Add a comment


  1. brooch Member
    brooch 1760 posts, Buzzing bee @ 5:27 pm

    Those are AWEEESOME!

  2. painauchocolat Member
    painauchocolat 2298 posts, Buzzing bee @ 5:27 pm

    So in love with your illustrations and typeface (?)!! We had paddle fans – plain, ol’ white ones with ribbing. Had we decided to implement a program, I def would have done something like yours… only not as nice.

  3. parasol Member
    parasol 2955 posts, Sugar bee @ 5:28 pm

    Great paddles, Bunting! I love a good DIY project, and these are great!

  4. earrings Member
    earrings 2611 posts, Sugar bee @ 5:39 pm

    Adorable! Im a big fan of program paddles/fans 😛

  5. Guest Icon Guest
    sara, Guest @ 5:43 pm

    Super cute and LOVE your design! I made ours too and that is one project you couldn’t pay me to do again. Ours were designed on 1 piece of 8 1/2 x 11 paper and we scored the center and folded so that we didn’t have to match them up.

  6. Guest Icon Guest
    Stacy {Advantage Bridal}, Guest @ 5:58 pm

    DIY invitations, thank you cards and stationary is becoming more popular. But we love the idea and “cuteness factor” of these program fans! What a great tip for all the DIY brides and budget brides out there.

  7. Guest Icon Guest
    Stacy %7BAdvantage+Bridal%7D, Guest @ 6:02 pm

    @Stacy {Advantage Bridal}: oops, “stationery”

  8. elephant Member
    elephant 6339 posts, Bee Keeper @ 6:13 pm

    Love the “uhhhmuhguuhd it’s so hoooooot.” pose!

  9. Guest Icon Guest
    sara, Guest @ 6:25 pm

    SO CUTE!!! I have too much info for my program to do this :( bummer, I totally would’ve done this!!! Love!!!

  10. msseal Member
    msseal 1179 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:44 pm

    Oh, Bunting—THESE ARE SO EFFING CUTE. Love love love them.

  11. candy apple Member
    candy apple 1877 posts, Buzzing bee @ 9:14 pm

    Love love love, as always, B :)

  12. macarons Member
    macarons 241 posts, Helper bee @ 10:22 pm

    Super cute! I reaallly want to finish our programs, like now but we haven’t finalized everything just yet.

  13. Member
    Future Army Wife 2213 posts, Buzzing bee @ 11:20 pm

    LOVE! They look fantastic. I want to do these too. How much did all the supplies cost?

  14. ostrich Member
    ostrich 2402 posts, Buzzing bee @ 3:13 am

    bravo, B. you never cease to amaze me with your mad diy skillz. :)

  15. Member
    Earlybride 2671 posts, Sugar bee @ 8:40 am

    love it

  16. Guest Icon Guest
    Emily, Guest @ 12:43 pm

    Love these programs! They are exactly what I want to do. Did you print these from a home printer or from a printing center, like Kinkos? Thanks for all the instructions!

  17. Member
    tinylittlebird 1743 posts, Bumble bee @ 1:41 pm

    TOO CUTE! I love your illustrations!

    We did paddle fans for ours too, but we did ours a little differently.

    We printed ours on one side of a 8.5×11 page, then folded them in the middle (Technically, we also cropped off the margin at the top so they would look like they were full-bleed… but depending on the graphic, this step could be skipped)

    Rounded corners, folded them inside out (nice sides facing in) then used my Xyron (9 inch bed, found it for $15 on ebay!) to make one side sticky.

    Place the stick, fold it closed, and BOOM. Paddle fan.

  18. tartlet Member
    tartlet 3227 posts, Sugar bee @ 9:26 pm

    AMG–your illustrations are sweet! You have serious talent there, Bunting!

  19. mspony Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 8:48 pm

    These are so cute! Your illustrations absolutely beautiful! You’re so talented!

  20. ladyfingers Member
    ladyfingers 1257 posts, Bumble bee @ 12:01 pm

    These are too cute!!!!

  21. bunting Member
    bunting 687 posts, Busy bee @ 1:31 pm

    Thank you everyone!

    @sara: I hadn’t even considered doing it that way, but then I avoid scoring when I can. It’s not my most favorite thing to do, haha.
    @Future Army Wife: The wooden sticks were $3 for 24 pieces (I needed 4 packages), I already had packign tape on hand, and the glue runner was around $3-4 for one applicator or two re-fills (I needed about 5 packages). The printing is the most expensive part, but if you have a printer at home then you could DIY that.
    @Emily: I work at a local printing company, so they were done on a digital laser printer. You could really do these at-home or take them to a printing center, though I have to confess Kinko’s is our arch-nemesis, heheh. If you take them to a center, make sure you get a printed proof before running the whole order to see how the colors will look.@Mrs. Tartlet: That’s a clever alternative! I bet those stayed stuck, too.

  22. Member
    future mrs j 82 posts, Worker bee @ 11:28 am

    You are on Green Wedding Shoes! Your wedding is amazing, really looking forward to recaps!!!

    Also, did your bridesmaids love the Plum Pretty Sugar robes? I’m considering them as gifts as well.

  23. Member
    southerntransplant 306 posts, Helper bee @ 4:49 pm

    Oh my goodness, you were on Green Wedding Shoes today, right?? Yay!! Everything looks amazing Mrs. Bunting!!! :)

  24. bunting Member
    bunting 687 posts, Busy bee @ 4:54 pm

    @southerntransplant: Yes, I was! 😀 Thank you!
    @future mrs j: Thank you! I’m so thrilled about the feature. And yes, the Plum Pretty Sugar robes are GORGEOUS. I actually had our seamstress make similar ones (to save me some money) out of cotton voile for the bridesmaids and they turned out beautifully, but mine was PPS and I absolutely love it. It’s very lightweight, comfortable, and would make a great gift. If you get them for your girls, you have to get one for yourself!

  25. Guest Icon Guest
    candi hutchinson, Guest @ 6:27 am

    would love if you would share your templete … i want mine to be like that with the order of events on one side and the wedding party on the other, but having a hard time making it work ! thanks –

  26. Guest Icon Guest
    Erin, Guest @ 8:43 am

    Hi I was wondering if you could tel me where or how you did the illustration part of the paddle? I think its such a cute idea!

  27. bunting Member
    bunting 687 posts, Busy bee @ 9:04 am

    @Erin: Thank you! I did all of the illustrations myself, and I do offer custom illustration services if you’re interested. I’ll send you an e-mail. :)

  28. Member
    Future Army Wife 2213 posts, Buzzing bee @ 9:48 pm

    Thanks for the cost update, Mrs. B!

  29. Guest Icon Guest
    Emily, Guest @ 8:52 pm

    And Perfect!!
    And I hope you take it as a compliment that i am stealing your idea!
    (If i can make pictures as cute)
    Thank you

  30. Member
    Jam.Morante 5 posts, Newbee @ 8:08 am

    could you do me the honor of sending me the template for this..this is soo cute and unique!

  31. Guest Icon Guest
    Alexis, Guest @ 2:04 pm

    Is it possible to get the template for this project? I love it but am having a hard time with the layout.

    Thank you!

  32. bunting Member
    bunting 687 posts, Busy bee @ 6:15 am

    Hi ladies!

    I’m so sorry, but I don’t really have a template that I can send unless you have access to Adobe InDesign and know how to use it. :c That’s what I used to design this in, and it’s a bit more complex than Word.

    I imagine you can set-up up similarly in Publisher or Word using columns and tables though!

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