Sand off old ceiling fan blades & create a garden DIY buzzing with charm

Are you an insect aficionado? This DIY home decor dragonfly is about to fly right to your heart. It’s made from old ceiling fan blades and is a clever way to decorate a child’s bedroom or birthday party. You could even display it with other shabby chic accessories on a shelf for a living room focal point that will delight visitors.
If you don’t already have an old ceiling fan on hand, check out a thrift store or architectural reuse center for the parts you need. The same can be said of the wooden spindle used to make the dragonfly’s body. This project uses chalk paint in a sky blue color, but feel free to select a shade or two that matches the style of your room. A few rhinestones glued to the netting offer a dazzling detail and impart the effect of a dragonfly’s glittering wings.
- Wooden ceiling fan blades with white brackets and original screws, 2
- Sanding block
- Rag or paper towel
- Folk Art Home Decor Chalk Paint in “Glacier”
- Large paintbrush
- Decorative netting
- High-temperature glue gun
- Hot glue sticks
- Scissors
- Wooden spindle with a screw in one end
- Styrofoam ball
- Pencil
- Electric screwdriver
- Drill bit
- 1-inch long Phillips-head screws, 4
- Phillips-head bit
DIY Everywhere
1. Remove the brackets from two ceiling fan blades, then sand both sides of the wood. Wipe the dust off with a rag or paper towel.
2. Paint both sides of the blades. Allow the paint to dry, then paint a second coat.
3. Once the second coat is dry, lightly sand the edges and faces of the blades. This will give them a slightly distressed look. Wipe the dust off with a rag or paper towel.
4. Stretch decorative netting over the front of the blade. Turn the blade over, and glue down the netting where the threads meet all the way around the back of the blade. Trim away the excess netting. Repeat for the second fan blade.
5. Turn the blades right side up. Position a bracket on top of the end of the blade. Turn the blade and bracket upside down, then use the original screws to screw the bracket to the blade from the back. Repeat for the second fan blade.
6. Using the screw in the end of the wooden spindle, drill a hole into the Styrofoam ball. Fill the hole with hot glue, then reinsert the screw. Hold the ball and spindle together until the glue dries.
7. Paint the completed piece with the chalk paint. Lightly sand the edges of the spindle.
8. Position one end of a bracket on the middle of the spindle. Mark where the screws should go with a pencil. Use a small drill bit to drill guide holes into the wood. Reposition the bracket on the holes, then screw into place with 1-inch long Phillips-head screws.
9. Repeat step 8 with the second fan blade, but point the blade in the opposite direction. This will give the appearance of the dragonfly’s wings.
10. Your dragonfly is complete! Place it on a bookshelf for all to enjoy.