Thursday, May 16, 2019

How I Made A Dragonfly from Ceiling Fan Blades and a Stair Balustrade

I'm not the artist who dreamed up the concept of using ceiling fans and table legs and or deck/stairwell balustrades to create whimsical Dragonflies. This idea is the brainchild of this woman:
LucyDesignsArt Lucy happened upon a box of used ceiling fan blades in a thrift store and their appearance was enough to remind her of wings.

Since Lucy's first online blog post featuring her unique concept, Pinterest blew up with tons of pictures of others creating Dragonflies from upcycled table legs and fan blades. I found the idea so incredibly clever that I followed suit and ended up making three, on Facebook Marketplace I scored some deck balustrades, and the fan blades from eBay. One is now comfortably resting on a tree in our backyard, another one sold, and fingers crossed a new patron seeking to visually enhance their outdoor garden will buy the third. In the meantime, here is the one I made for our yard.

Here are a few tips I learned when making outdoor garden Dragonflies

  • To find used Fan Blades put a call out to friends, family and on your local Buy Nothing (your town's name) Facebook page-I got some free this way! Also check Facebook Marketplace and tagsales or eBay
  • Wash all components with dishwashing soap and let dry before painting
  • Buy a Finial post i.e. the Dragonflies head that has a screw in bottom to securely attach to top of balustrade (or table leg)
  • You can spray paint–or to cut down on using aerosols, paint with outdoor primer wear a mask! this step can be omitted if you want a more antiqued woody look
  • Paint with Outdoor/exterior craft paints to save money on paint, use a papertowel dipped in paint and wash over blades, you can effectively layer colors this way and cover a larger area of blade
  • Create your own stencil shapes by drawing design on cardstock and cutting out or draw on regular paper, laminate then cut out and use as a stencil 
  • Don't attach wings until AFTER everything is painted since these were gong to be outside I brushed on polyurthane to protect fan blades and body from moisture
  • Attach fan blades to body of Dragonfly with screws, if wings still are wobly use GE outdoor Clear silicone glue underneath to keep them in place
  • We attached a slotted Tbar but a straight flat slotted metal flat bar would work just as well. to the back with some screws and then attached to our tree. If you are bothered by the metal bar showing against tree, you can paint a brown/black color on it with Multi Suface Craft Paint to blend into the tree

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