Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Flower power from an old ceiling fan [How-to Tuesday]

My friend Benita is going to have a baby any second now, and she's really hoping it'll be a girl because this is how she decorated the nursery:

(Photos were taken by Benita.)

The petals of the flower are made from the blades of an old ceiling fan. Benita painted them pink and stenciled on words she hopes her daughter will live by. Her husband cut the stem and leaf pieces from wood and she painted them green. 

She also painted the little do-hickey metal parts that held the blade to the fan mechanism. I'm sure there's a term for them but I'm just going to call them do-hickies. There's a picture, after all. You know what I mean. 

It turns out they make really cute curtain tie-backs.

And on the other side of the nursery, the do-hickies accent a montage of family photos. 

Nice job decorating, Benita, and a great example of upcycling with that fan.

Hey, wouldn't it be cool if this post went up right when Benita had her baby? It's still a little early, but I'm feeling lucky. How about…now! 

No, wait, I mean…



[Update 4/29/2009: Benita sent some more details of how she turned the fan into a flower, plus a before shot of the fan. She writes:
  • The words are actually store bought ($0.99 each at JoAnns but were on sale for $0.50 when I got them) and are wood, painted and then glued on to the fan blades – I’m fearful of stencils!
  • I cut out templates of all the pieces using paper store bags and arranged them on the wall to make sure everything was proportional and I had enough space for each piece – it also gave Andrew the templates to cut out using his jig saw.
  • The largest expense was the 3M Command Adhesive mounting product we used. We wanted to avoid lots of nail holes to cover up. We used two strips of 1-in adhesive for each piece. It appears to be holding up great so far!
  • I did prime the fan brackets because they are metal and I was afraid of chipping paint.
  • Finally, the screw holes for the fan brackets are filled with woodworking dowel caps – Andrew always has various sizes on hand for projects!

This was the ceiling fan at the end of its previous life. Score one for creative reuse.]


  1. Oh that fan is SO creative, I love it! What a fun mom! I'll be linking to this post.

  2. So cute! I should go buy a used ceiling fan and do this!!!

  3. This is great! I know I have a dead fan somewhere- thank goodness I save every darn thing!

  4. Rachel -- thanks for linking!

    Mad Em -- packrats unite!

  5. The tie-backs look like little leaves. Very nice.


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