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Picture of Computer fan guard art
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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

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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

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

Step 3: Fried Marbles

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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 http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=202515.0

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

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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

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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.

Step 6: Tie on the first lot of beads

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Tie your sewing thread to one of the axis bars near the middle. I used about 1.2m or 4ft of thread. I was able to weave all the beads on with this length but it made it harder because it kept getting caught everywhere. You can also use more manageable lengths and join them as you go along.

Put a bead on the thread. Check that it is sitting nicely then put the rest of the beads on for the first segment.

Step 7: Take it slowly

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Now you're onto your second segment which will be going out one row. The photo shows you one way of looping the thread. This is where you will have to be patient.

Just put one bead on and check that it sits properly. As you can see I have taken the thread around a bar that is on the outside of the row where the beads will go.

This helps to keep the beads stable where you want them to be. If you get yourself into tangles trying to follow the loops in the photo, never mind. Just learn as you go along and you will find the best way of threading for yourself.

The beads have to sit in a curve to follow the curve of the metal bars. If you pull the thread too tight they'll form into a straight line and look out of place. We'll be correcting any sag that comes about from loose threading in Step 10.

Step 8: Progress

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This photo shows the order of progress. The important thing to remember is to keep going around in circles. Yes, that is a good thing here!

In the 1st row you can see that I pulled the thread a little too tightly. Now the yellow beads are in a straight line instead of a gentle curve.

Step 9: Round and round

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Here is the finished work with the order shown with number labels.

Step 10: Saggy beads

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The beads sag all over the place as soon as the fan guard is placed upright.

Step 11: Tucking everything into place

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The photo shows how to correct the sag. Tie another length of thread onto a bar and simply loop around each row. I found it more effective to start the first loop before the first bead. It held things in place better. Then loop the thread around the gap between every second bead. Tie the thread in a knot around the bar after each segment is done.

The bottom photo is what it looks like from the back. The thread is more noticeable from the back because it's not going between the beads.

At any point of the bead project you only need to follow your own common sense. If you are not able to get good results from looking at the photos, it doesn't matter. Just do what I did: take note of what works and doesn't work and do what does work!

lrijnaker4 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)  lrijnaker4 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.