Picture of Computer fan guard art
These decorations look great hanging in a window with the light shining through them or outside hanging in the garden.

You will need a guard from a computer fan. They are about 3 inches/7.5cm wide.

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Step 1: Marbles

Picture of Marbles

You will need lots of marbles, a hot glue gun and some string to hang the decoration.

These marbles are 'craft' marbles from a discount store. Any marbles that let the light through would be fine.

Work out a pattern you're happy with. Then, using a hot glue gun, put two dabs of hot glue onto two guard tracks. Quickly place a marble on the glue and hold for a few seconds. Continue to apply marbles until you've got a piece of beautiful glass art.

Updatetulekah kindly suggested putting marbles on both sides of the fan guard so that it looks good from front or back.

Step 2: Fewer marbles

Picture of Fewer marbles
If you like a simpler look you can use fewer marbles and much less time gluing.

Step 3: Fried Marbles

Picture of Fried Marbles
lrijnaker has suggested the wonderful idea of using fried marbles. They're so beautiful and sparkly that they'll catch the light even better. The photo is from

The link has instructions on how to fry the marbles from a person who has tried every method and found that baking them in the oven worked best.

Step 4: Beautiful just as they are

Picture of Beautiful just as they are
If the thought of playing around with marbles and glue is all too much for you, then go simple like in the photo. I've used a trampoline spring to link two fan guards together. If even that's too much trouble for you then just one fan guard still looks great.

Step 5: Beads

Picture of Beads
This project uses cheap plastic beads. If you don't have a hot glue gun this project is perfect for you as the beads are threaded onto sewing thread and woven around the rings of the fan guard. It is fiddly work and takes time to get everything sitting neatly.
lrijnaker3 years ago
Cool, I like this idea. I would probably use fried marbles because I'm currently obsessed with them and looking for ways to use them, but it would up the sparkly factor quite a bit.
bauble (author)  lrijnaker3 years ago
I love it. What a great idea. I knew about fried marbles years ago but had forgotten all about them. Thanks for the tip. I've added your idea to the instructable.
tulekah5 years ago
i have some of those grills but i never thot to ornament them.   i would alternate sides when gluing on the marbles so that when they turn (like in a mobile) there isn't a 'front' and 'back'.
bauble (author)  tulekah5 years ago
That's a good idea about putting marbles on both sides. I have added your idea to Step One. Thanks.
MJMATHOT5 years ago
They can also be used as coasters for warm coffee cups or so.
emjayg MJMATHOT5 years ago
Beaut. A good project to keep one busy on a lazy day.
emjayg5 years ago
Beaut. A good project to keep you busy on a lazy day.
ChrysN5 years ago
Very pretty!
Z..5 years ago
That's lovely! Such ingenuity!
rimar20005 years ago
Nice, but I suggest you a better tittle: "Computer fan guard art, or how to obstruct the PC cooling"
bauble (author)  rimar20005 years ago
Haha, yes could be the latest trend in computer modding!
n0ukf bauble5 years ago
But who looks at the back of the computer? Many are hidden under the desk.
NachoMahma5 years ago
.  Great job. Clear pictures (except step 5 and it was clear enough to get the idea across). Good explanations. Great way to recycle old computer parts.
.  I do wonder how long hot glue and plain ol' thread will hold up to weather and sunlight.
.  You might be able to combine more than one guard using stainless steel bolts/nuts/washers to get attractive patterns.