I have this thing about about sea fans. They’re just so beautiful to me and seeing them framed on a wall reminds me of seeing them snorkeling at the bottom of the ocean, waving back and forth in vibrant colors. In fact, I adore them so much that I have been dyeing them beautiful colors for over two years now and I have them framed in several places throughout my home.
Sea fans are so elegantly coastal to me and when they are dyed or painted, they can infuse a pop of color into a room in such a dramatic way. Since there are no two sea fans alike, they look amazing framed next to each other in a collection like these spectacular framed sea fan collections that I have found online:
The best thing about sea fans is they are inexpensive and run about $4.00-$12.00 each and you can buy them easily online here. If you’re planning on visiting the beach, look for them in shell stores as well.
Framed fans can work in any decor depending on the style of framing. I can see them in a white washed frame for a shabby look or rather a sleek modern frame for a contemporary look. My framed indigo blue colored fans are framed in more traditional in style:
Two years ago, I shared a tutorial on how to dye sea fans with RIT fabric dye that you can find here. Dyeing the sea fans is my favorite technique to add color because it gives the fans the most vibrant and organic look. However, last week, I stumbled on a quick spray paint technique that gives the fans the beautiful color but with a minimal/plastic look sheen, as an alternative to dyeing the fans.
Here are the two different techniques shown side by side for comparison:
There are subtitle differences but it’s not that significant. The color seems much more vibrant and organic to me with the dye but framed and up on a wall, I’m not sure the differences would be as noticeable.
The spray paint technique is pretty simple but the key is to only use a satin paint. The gloss finish gives the fan too much sheen and makes it look plastic. The second important thing to do is to spray the least amount of paint possible and from the furthest distance. In other words, the second the fan starts showing that it is covered in color, stop spraying! It’s really takes about 10 seconds for an average size fan. The more spray paint, the less organic the finish looks.
Here is a close up of my spray painted fan:
Not bad, huh?
After I spray painted my three fans, I picked up a large mat at Hobby Lobby and cut the mat to fit my three frames. I also had to use wire cutters to cut the big stump off of the end of each frame so I could frame it:
I used ready made frames from Hobby Lobby and attach the fans to the mat with a very small amount of hot glue. Just enough to keep it in place. I then put the sea fans on the mat in the frames and while it’s a tight fit, I just close the back of the frame the best I can. Sometimes I have to add a couple small little nails to hold the backing on:
If you’re interested in dyeing the fans, you can find the tutorial here for dyeing them.
I am in the process of dyeing a large collection of fans in a gorgeous light turquoise color that I will post when I get them finished. This is such an easy and inexpensive way to add color and something spectacular to wall. So many possibilities!
On a side note, this summer I will be opening my online store and one of the items I am planning to sell will be dyed sea fans in various colors. I hope to have the store launched by mid to early summer and it will be connected with this website. I am so excited about it and I will keep you posted. I know the “Shop” tab at the top of my page that has been up for almost a year has everyone wondering. Yes, it’s finally going to happen!
I hope you all have a wonderful week and be sure and check back Friday morning for Friday Favorites. This week I am sharing some amazing furniture revamps and tutorials that I think you all will love and hopefully be inspired. See you then friends!