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Lasko box fan makeover decorated with washi tape

DIY Project: How-to Makeover a Box Fan

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There’s no denying the usefulness of box fans—you can place one in a window to bring in a fresh breeze or exhaust not-so-fresh air from your room. You could place one on the floor to circulate air to help you feel cooler, or simply use your fan for relaxing background noise. As much as we love our box fans, we must admit that sometimes they can look a bit… utilitarian.

Good news! It’s incredibly easy to give your useful box fan a makeover! There are many ways to decorate your fan and give it a unique look that will accent your decor, provide a pop of color, or add some style to your room. We’ve put together 2 projects of how-to ideas for decorating your box fan, in just a few simple steps. Enjoy!

Lasko box fan makeover decorated with washi tape

How to give your box fan a makeover

Project 1: Woven Washi Tape

This project offers tons of options and is completely foolproof; even inexperienced crafters can make their box fan look like a million bucks! Start by choosing your washi tape colors—it’s best to select 2-3 colors, but feel free to use more if you are feeling bold! We chose colors that would brighten up a college dorm room, but you could use the colors of your alma mater, favorite sports team, or those that accent your existing room décor.

Before we begin, it’s important to prep your fan and your workspace. Always unplug your fan and wipe the outside down with vinegar to ensure it’s free from dirt and oils. Then protect your work surface with a drop cloth, newspapers, etc.

 

supplies for decorating a Lasko box fan with washi tape

Supplies

  • 1 box fan
  • Several colors of washi tape in differing patterns and 2 widths (choose one narrow and one wide roll of tape for each color you use)
  • A craft knife or a pair of scissors

 

Lasko box fan makeover with washi tape - step 1

Apply wide tape strips in a diagonal pattern 

Step 1

Using wide strips of washi tape in diagonal lines along the outside of your box fan body, lay out tape strips in a simple, repeating color pattern. Don’t fully press down the tape yet—you’ll need to lift the strips in order to weave in the next layers of tape. Repeat the color pattern all the way around your fan, being careful to work around the handle and control knob.

TIP: Keep the tape strips away from the control knob inner workings to ensure it can turn freely. Lasko’s box fan knobs are removable to make it easier to apply your tape strips.

Decorate your Lasko box fan with washi tape - step 2

Weave thin tape strips through the wide base strips

Step 2

Starting at the bottom of one of the sides, start weaving the narrow tape in same repeating color pattern through the wider strips. Alternate the thin strips in an over-under pattern to create the woven effect. Continue the weaving around the fan’s entire exterior.

TIP: While weaving, try to keep your tape strips as straight as possible. If one gets out of alignment, simply pull it up, straighten, and then reapply.

lasko box fan makeover with washi tape - step 3

Press all tape firmly to the fan and trim the edges

Step 3

Firmly, but gently rub over all washi tape with your fingers to fully adhere the decorative tape to the fan. Be sure to press the edges of the tape around the curves of the fan body. Then, trim the loose ends with your craft knife to create a more finished look. Finally, take a step back and admire your fan’s unique, new look!

Important Precautions

  • Keep your fan’s intake or exhaust grills open and free from any obstructions. Blocked grills interfere with the proper functioning of your fan.
  • For safety reasons, always unplug your fan before working on it.
  • Never operate a fan with a damaged cord or plug.
  • Always plug your fan directly into a wall outlet and avoid using extension cords, power strips, or other cord-connected devices.

Project 2: Decoupage

Lasko box fan decorated with colorful decoupage

How to give your box fan a makeover with decoupage

Related to the French word decouper, which means “to cut out”, Merriam-Webster defines decoupage as the art of decorating surfaces by applying cutouts (such as paper) and then coating with usually several layers of finish (such as lacquer or varnish).

The decoupage is a quick and easy way to create a dramatic change in the appearance of your fan. Begin by choosing your paper colors & patterns—it’s best to select 1-3 main colors and then work others in as accents. In our example, we were drawn to earth tones, particularly brown, orange, and green. You’ll also see a few pops of blue, cream, and even red in our choices.

When selecting your paper patterns, be sure to mix in a few solids to avoid looking too busy. Patterns should vary. For example, combine bold stripes and diamond patterns with more subtle papers with type and/or florals. Be sure to select colors and patterns that will accent your room by either blending into existing décor or adding a bold pop of color.

Before we begin, it’s important to prep your fan and your workspace. Always unplug your fan and wipe the outside down with vinegar to ensure it’s free from dirt and oils. Then protect your work surface with a drop cloth, newspapers, etc.

supplies for decorating a Lasko box fan with decoupage

Supplies needed to decorate your Lasko box fan

Supplies

  • Box fan
  • Decoupage glue (like Mod Podge or DecoArt)
  • Scissors or paper cutter
  • Craft blade/knife for trimming edges
  • 1” foam or bristle brush
  • Various prints & colors of scrapbook paper, cut or ripped into small pieces
  • 400 grit sandpaper, #0000 steel wool (optional)
  • Clear acrylic sealer (optional)
Decorate your Lasko box fan with decoupage - step 1

Work in 1 small section at a time

Step 1

Gather your supplies together and apply a base layer of glue to a small section at the bottom of one side of your fan. Apply various paper pieces to the area, being sure to alternate colors, positions, and patterns. As you complete this section, apply more glue on top of the pieces to ensure they are all smoothly adhered to the fan body.

TIP: Turn the paper pieces in various directions to keep things interesting. Wetting the paper with glue will make it easier to cover edges and corners.

Lasko box fan makeover with decoupage - step 2

Mix paper colors & patterns as you decorate your fan

Step 2

Continue applying glue and paper pieces, section-by-section, around the fan. Mix your chosen paper colors and patterns to avoid repeating the same pieces too close to one another. Bend paper pieces around edges or rip papers to fit in small spaces—even tuck slightly under the grill edges for a finished look.

TIP: You can gently pull off the knob on box fans from Lasko to make it easier to neatly apply pieces in that area. Avoid getting paper or glue on the inner control rod to allow it to operate free from obstructions.

box fan makeover with decoupage - step 3

Trim excess pieces & cover with a coat of glue

Step 3

When you’ve covered the entire outer surface of the fan body, trim any excess pieces around the fan handle, etc. Then, cover over with a full coat of decoupage glue and let it dry.

For a built-up finish, apply at least 5 coats of glue, allowing it to fully dry between layers. Sand lightly with 400 grit sandpaper (wet), polish with #0000 steel wool, and wipe with a damp cloth. If desired, apply an additional coat of glue or a clear acrylic sealer. Finally, take a step back and admire your fan’s unique, new look!

Important Precautions

  • Keep your fan’s intake and exhaust grills open and free from any obstructions. Blocked grills interfere with the proper functioning of your fan.
  • For safety reasons, always unplug your fan before working on it.
  • Never operate a fan with a damaged cord or plug.
  • Always plug your fan directly into a wall outlet and avoid using extension cords, power strips, or other cord-connected devices.

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