Fan Blade Lampshade

About: Architecture Student, Artist and All-round designer. :)

Hi guys! Thought of a quick upcycling project. I took a fan blade from a spoilt floor fan and converted it in a jiffy into a neat little lampshade that looks just like ornamental glass! Have a look below for your DIY fan blade lampshade.

Supplies:

A fan blade salvaged from a spoilt fan
Heat gun.
Pliers
Sandpaper
A circular container with an idea width (explained later)
Masking tape and/or a pants belt.
Flat screwdriver and gas lighter OR 1 inch circular drill bit with drill.
A pair of gloves.
Safety glasses.

Step 1: Step 1: Bending

The fan blade I picked was quite flexible to begin with. So when selecting from a yard or garage sale, make sure to find a blade with flexible plastic. It would make your work much easier.

The objective is to find a container that acts like a temporary mold on which you bend the blades into a tulip shape. I found an acrylic container in my house that I used here.

I tried a couple of methods and found that the easiest one was to have a friend help me by holding the hub of the fan blade over the centre of the container while I taped the blades to the bottom of the container and to each other. Keep in mind that the plastic wasnt meant to bend this far, so only bend at the tip of the fan blade so that the pressure spreads evenly. It would even make the curve look smoother and more natural. And this is also a good time to mention that I did shatter one fan blade before I made this one, which gave me the understanding of where to push the blade (tip, not the stem). And when doing this, kindly wear gloves and safety goggles to be on the safe side incase your fan blade breaks.

Once taped (you can go overboard with this like I did to ensure symmetry and no surprise release of the fan blades) you can now bring a heat gun and gently heat the stem of the blade evenly for about 3-4 minutes per blade. I used a hair dryer which took me longer but a heat gun would save you a lot of time and trouble.

Then I let the fan blade cool outdoors for 10minutes before removing the masking tape to give you the form you see.

Step 2: Step 2: Preparing the Lampshade to Receive the Bulb Holder

Once the container and masking tape was removed, I grabbed a pair of pliers and simply broke away the central supports in the hub of the blade to make room for the bulb holder to anchor itself to. The plastic flies pretty far so kindly wear safety goggles and gloves when doing this.

Once the surface was more or less flat, I marked the size of the bulb holder's inside area on to the fan, and cut out a hole. Now, I personally used a screwdriver heated on a gas lighter flame but if you have a 1 inch drill bit then you can use that too. I removed the rough edges of the hole with a bit of sandpaper. 80-100 grit should do just fine.

I tested the bulb holder and once satisfied, cleaned up the fan lampshade and secured it to the bulbholder.

Step 3: Beauty Shots and Layout Suggestions

And that's it! Wasnt it easy? It took me about 40 minutes from start to finish working with my friend. An evening well spent.
The lampshade can be used tightly mounted to the ceiling or hanging loosely above a dining space or even on top of a table (the last two shown here. I didnt have a ceiling mounted bulb holder).
I like how the project came out, especially the tinges of blue contrasting with the brown table, a bit of fire and ice interaction. I'm thinking of trying out other fan blades and exploring various colors and textures too.

What do you think? :)

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