toddler room. At that point, I thought of spray painting it or modge podge-ing it (which is when I pinned this). But both of those options seemed labor intensive and prone to error. Then the other day in between a million other thoughts (yes, literally a million) it occurred to me that I have a fun stash of washi tape and contact paper--both of which might assist in operation-make-ceiling-fan-less-boring. After doing a mini mock up with washi tape in a simple striped pattern, I decided to go with the contact paper. I have both gray and teal chevron but went with gray since I was already afraid that a patterned fan might look silly. Plus it would match her wall.
I'm going to attempt a tutorial for you. Here goes:
Contact paper: Mine is Macbeth and from HomeGoods and I always seem to see it there, TJ Maxx, and/or Marshall's, but you can visit the Macbeth website if you don't have a HomeGoods, Marshall's, or TJ Maxx store near you. You can also search "shelf liner" on eBay or etsy.
Screwdriver (or whatever tools necessary to take the blades off of your fan).
Step 1: Take your fan apart. Be careful to hang on to all the pieces and put them in a baggie or bowl so they are easily accessible later.
Step 2: Wash that bad boy. I almost took a picture of mine in its dirty state but I was too embarrassed. Make sure you dry it thoroughly.
Step 3: Lay out your first blade on the contact paper (with the backing of the paper still on!). Make sure if yours has a pattern you lay it out in such a way that the pattern on the front makes sense. i.e. I tried to keep a chevron peak in the middle of each blade. Note: I was unsuccessful. But if you're careful and super type A, you can do it, I'm sure. Honestly it didn't matter much!
Step 4: Mark where you need to cut and cut in a straight line. Because I was centering my paper/pattern, I ended up with quite a bit extra on either side (maybe 2 to 3 inches). I didn't trim it down to size at this point. It was easier to remove the blade and be able to cut the paper freely. If you don't need to "center" your paper, then you can just leave 1 to 2 inches around. You just want to have enough to be able to comfortably wrap over the edge of the blade and stick to the other side. I feel like I might be losing you now. I promise it will make sense as you do it (and if not, leave a comment!).
Step 5: Place the blade back on the paper with the sticky backing STILL on. For the first couple I traced the blade with a pencil. I then trimmed a little of the excess paper off.
Step 6: At this point, the contact paper is the right size and you can follow the instructions on the contact paper to apply it. If your'e like me, you get excited-slash-impatient with projects and either don't read directions or read them too quickly. The trick with stuff like this is to take your time! So read the instructions and follow them!
Helpful Hint: Make sure to apply the paper to the right side of the blade! I might have put it on the wrong blade once or twice. Ok twice.
Step 7 (optional): Now that the paper is on the blade, you can trim a little more if necessary but make sure not to over-trim.
Step 8: Okay here is the only tricky part. The fan blades curve so that's where wrapping the paper is a little bit of a pain. What I found that worked well was to snip the paper just before the blade starts to curve at the top and bottom. That allows you to be able to wrap the paper over the edge of the blade easily without worrying about the curves just yet. Note: the photo is only to show where I cut the slits; it was taken after I finished covering the blade so don't let that confuse you. Also, you can see that I cut slits on either side just before the fan curves at the top--I also did that at the bottom which the photo doesn't show. So basically you'll cut 4 slits (2 on each side) and wrap the paper over the straight edges. Clearly I didn't take enough photos!
Step 9: At this point, the blade is covered with the contact paper on one side and the paper is wrapped around the middle of the blade on the other--just the ends aren't wrapped yet. Next, I trimmed the paper around the ends into a little bit of a curve; you still want to keep plenty of paper to wrap over. Note: Because of my pattern placement I barely had enough to cover the ends of the blade. You will/should have more contact paper to wrap over the top and bottom of the blade.
Step 10: Then I snipped the paper down to the blade (be careful not to cut too far) so that I could pull and wrap at an angle. This is really tough to explain but I think the picture gets the point across.
Step 11: Do that for both ends and you're finished with the hardest part!
Step 12: Repeat for all blades.
Step 13 (optional): Since my paper was a bit short I reinforced the back in some areas with plain old scotch tape.
Step 14: Put the hardware back on and put the fan back together. Note: I didn't mark where the screws were but just felt through the paper and used my scissor tip to poke a hole and push it through. It was easy, though a sharp craft knife would work even better.
-This sounds harder than it is; I promise! Contact paper is fairly forgiving (much more so than modge podge in my opinion) so you can tweak until you get it right.
-Each blade gets easier! Don't panic :)
-This project took me maybe a little over an hour. To put it in perspective, it's not out of the ordinary that months lapse between when I begin a project and when I finish it so that should tell you something.
-The wrapped edges are the trickiest part but don't have to be absolutely perfect! Fans are high and you can't really see the detail!
-If you wanted to take this a step further you could spray paint the hardware a fun color to match your contact paper. I skipped that but was tempted.
This project only cost me $5 since that's what I paid for the contact paper! So what do you think? Easy? Too many steps? If you try this, I'd love to see it! Comment with a link to your blog (if you have one) or send a photo to email@example.com!