Sunday, November 04, 2012

What's Up Tiger Lily Ribbon Fan

This $18 fan from WalMart shows what a few rolls of dollar-ribbon and a bit of creativity can accomplish.

I lusted after pretty floor fans in the hundreds of dollars at department stores, while my white PVC fan plugged along, silently doing its duty and looking very large and very white against the cork floors.

Finally, I decided to wrap the stem in some dollar-a-roll ribbon I'd picked up at after-Christmas sales at Michael's crafts. They'd been on the shelf for months, so why not?

At that point, all I wanted to do was disguise the ugly thing; I hadn't planned out an entire DIY craft project.

I wrapped the stem carefully, without using glue to keep it in place. You can see the place where the PVC joint bulges that was especially challenging to cover neatly.

The ribbon is the kind with fine wire at the edges, which made it a little easier to shape.

This Maypole wrap defies gravity, secured at the top near the motor with just a bit of tape.

Now that I've had so many compliments on this piece, I won't hesitate to use hot glue when I redo it.

When the pole looked pretty good, I decided to try my hand at hiding the hideous base -- a big white plastic circle against the beautiful cork flooring. I didn't have enough leopard ribbon for the whole base and of course I couldn't go back and buy more, because that sale and those products were long gone.

I experimented with overlapping the different ribbons to feature the leopard print. I was still reluctant to anything permanently, in case I didn't like it and wanted to rip it all apart.

I settled on gluing some of the ribbons together, one on top of the other, but not to the fan base, to create the wheel. I use tiny dots of hot glue and quickly poke one piece onto another with a barbecue stick.

The design is fairly delicate, and I probably should hot glue my creation in place one of these days to make it more stable. I move it gently holding onto the motor so the whole thing doesn't crumble away, but the fan mostly stays in the same place anyway.

With the stem and base complete, the white face of the fan stood out like a big old full moon, only not in a good way. My next step was to use the remaining leopard ribbon as edging.

My first idea was to please the two-inch wide ribbon and make a ruffle all around the fan face. I was hoping for a leopard-printed sunflower.

This was too girly and silly. Shows why it's not a good idea to run wild with a hot glue gun until I know what I want to do.

I experimented until I came up with folding the ribbon from front to back. It turned out to be the easiest process of those I tried. The wires helped with that, too. Tiny pleats shape the ribbon into the circle. These are held in place with an especially sticky double-sided tape, applied in small pieces.

This wasn't a 15-minute project like the maribou lampshade. It started out as a bit of whimsy and ended up as a full DIY craft project. My cheap fan gets lots of compliments even from repair men who stop by to fix appliances!

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