$450 Sea Fan Project

by Sherry
I want to thank everyone that left such kind notes on the post where I
mentioned my health issues.  I have faith that 2012 will be a good year!
I have been trying to get a start on my long list of projects to complete in 2012.  Today I wanted
to paint a small table and make a new chalkboard but the weather is not cooperating.
You may have seen the picture in my sidebar of the Dyed Sea Fans I have for sale on
Etsy.  I have framed four of the blue sea fans in clear illusion frames and they now
hang in our family room.  With the illusion frames the color of the wall becomes
the background.

Last year while visiting the beach I wandered into a very high end decor shop. This
was the kind of shop where I rarely buy anything but I do get some great ideas for projects.
The shop had a wall of blue framed sea fans that I fell in love with.
Are you sitting down?  You had better be sitting when I tell you the price was $450 each!. 
No, that is not a typo…$450 for ONE  framed sea fan.
If you have been reading my blog for any time you know I love a challenge and this
project had my name all over it.  As soon as I got home I ordered several sea fans
and bought Rit dye,  thinking this would recreate the beauties I saw in the shop.
Strike one. 
 The Rit dye barely changed the color of the fans and left it really blotchy.
There was very little color change even after soaking overnight.
Strike two
Back to the craft store to buy two other brands of dye.  No better results.
Strike three
The dye didn’t work so lets try spray paint.  Not good,  the paint clumps
up in the holes and the fan gets stiff and brittle.
Not a person to give up, I tried many methods, finally making my own dye.
The fans you see below were dyed using a three step process I developed.
After much trial and error I am thrilled with the results you see below.


Here are some other photos I found of dyed sea fans.

Karen Robertson

Karen Robertson

The fans look beautiful sitting in a vignette or displayed inside a clear glass lamp.

Love the white fans on the blue bead board wall.


My fans sell unframed for $31.00 each on Etsy.  The illusion frames are from Michaels and
using a 40% off coupon cost around $21.00.  The total cost of this project is
 $52.00…sure beats $450!
This is just one of the many projects I have planned for my Etsy shop in 2012.  I am
now working on creating other colors for the fans
Any Suggestions?

Thanks for visiting and I would love to hear your feedback.

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Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions January 9, 2012 - 10:49 pm

They certainly are very beautiful, Sherry! I have not seen these before; they look lovely framed the way you have them.

Designs By Pinky January 9, 2012 - 10:56 pm

I only own ONE sea fan and now I want MORE!! These are beautiful! How about black??? Against a colored wall they would be gorgeous! Now I will go to your Etsy and look around. XO, Pinky

Kim January 9, 2012 - 10:56 pm

Sherry, these are magnificent. You've done an awesome job of re-creating the "look". I, too, have seen the very expensive ones in high end shops. I have also used the illusion or floating frames before and they have such a sophisticated presence.

♥ Sonny ♥ January 9, 2012 - 11:01 pm

Those are beautiful.. I bet they'll be the rage and sell well for you.

Olive Cooper January 9, 2012 - 11:04 pm

Hard work pays off. Beautiful.

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style January 9, 2012 - 11:06 pm

I love sea fans and the dyed ones look fantastic. Love them framed.

ℳartina @ Northern Nesting January 9, 2012 - 11:08 pm

Sherry they look beautiful framed!!

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) January 9, 2012 - 11:16 pm

Sherry, your sea fans are stunning. I love how rich the color is and you have them framed so beautifully. I especially love that mirror too. Where did you find that piece. Love it. Hugs, Marty

Andrea January 9, 2012 - 11:19 pm

beautiful fans, and such a unique thing to sell-I'm sure they'll sell very well!

NanaDiana January 9, 2012 - 11:26 pm

OH GORGEOUS! You can sell them for $449.50 and beat the competition. GREAT job- xo Diana

Susan January 9, 2012 - 11:26 pm

These are all so beautiful Sherry!

Gina January 9, 2012 - 11:35 pm

Your sea fans are beautiful! I love the blue you chose.

Penny @ The Comforts of Home/Flea Market Makeovers January 10, 2012 - 12:39 am

Wow! How wonderful that you found a way to recreate them for so much less! They are beautiful!

AntiqueChase January 10, 2012 - 12:43 am


debbie refresh restyle January 10, 2012 - 1:18 am

Your fans look great! I love that you don't give up, you keep going until you find the solution that you want! you go girl,

[email protected] Charm January 10, 2012 - 2:20 am

First…love your new header! Second…your fans are stunning…maybe try green or coral. Thanks for sharing these pretties at my NIFTY THRIFTY TUESDAY PARTY.


Kelly January 10, 2012 - 2:39 am

I love those! How neat. I have a black sea fan and I painted another one white. They add so much texture to a room, don't they? I like them framed like that too.

Sarah January 10, 2012 - 2:53 am

You are one clever and talented lady, Sherry. These look fantastic. ~ sarah

Karena January 10, 2012 - 3:18 am

Sherry I think they are simply gorgeous and very unique. A deep coral would be beautiful as well as the blue!

$450!! Unreal!


Art by Karena

Honey at 2805 January 10, 2012 - 3:33 am

Your sea fans are absolutely stunning! They are gorgeous with your mirror! All of the inspiration pictures are fabulous!

Jo's This and That January 10, 2012 - 3:57 am

Beautiful! Great idea!

Becca January 10, 2012 - 4:31 am

I love these! I want grey ones, a la Restoration Hardware. Do you ever do grey?

Kellie Collis January 10, 2012 - 4:49 am

They look gorgeous! Have a beautiful day, Kellie xx

Erin {Lavender and Lemon Drops} January 10, 2012 - 5:37 am

Love all of them! They area lovely 🙂

la Brocanteuse January 10, 2012 - 7:14 am

Sherry I L O V E these!! You have opened my eyes to something new…best wishes for your health
Hugs and XXX Colette – Afrique du Sud

Erin of Salvaged Whimsy January 10, 2012 - 11:53 am

Beautiful – I love beach stuff, but I've not seen these before! It's almost amusing to look through catalogs or websites and see some of the crazy prices for things, knowing I can make something I like better for less. I often think to myself, "even if I had money to spend on unnecessary things, I still don't think I'd spend $100,000 on wedding flowers" or $450 on a sea fan 🙂 Thanks for sharing this great idea!

[email protected] Designs January 10, 2012 - 1:33 pm

Definitely need to pop over to your site..they are beautiful!

Karen January 10, 2012 - 2:07 pm

Your wall grouping looks fabulous. I really like the sea fans and some of the images you posted make me wish I had a coastal-feeling room.

[email protected] coastal-colors January 10, 2012 - 2:19 pm

Sherry, your fans are lovely! I have always loved them in decorating! Your fans look so expensive and are gorgeous!

[email protected] The Vintage Nest January 10, 2012 - 2:38 pm

Somebody has been doing some renovating over here. Looks great Sherry and so does your knock-off. You always do the best things!

Savvy Seasons January 10, 2012 - 3:21 pm

Ok, I'm in love!! Your fans and grouping look A M A Z I N G!!! Way to go on the price. $450 is outrageous for one, wow! I am going to attempt this for my bedroom, love it! xo ~Liz

Kristin @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia January 10, 2012 - 4:41 pm

WOW, that is crazy expensive! So glad you came up with an alternative!!! I'm looking forward to seeing them in your shop this year! Hope you have a great week!

A place 2 call home January 10, 2012 - 4:42 pm

Gorgeous. I love going into those types of stores, but I hate the prices. I mean come on? Love that you created this look for so much less!

Leslie January 10, 2012 - 5:32 pm

Sherry! These are lovely!
I can see how these would be hard to dye.
My hubby and I brought one of these home from our honeymoon in Jamaica many years ago…so I am partial to them, too.
I am cranking up my etsy shop again (after I sold everything from my shoppe last year) in a week or so myself. I suppose I ought to give myself a "re-start date". But, you have inspired me to get going again.
Blessings and good health and peace to you, sugar!
Happy New Year!

Pauline January 10, 2012 - 5:57 pm

Sherry, your sea fans are BEAUTIFUL! Good thing you hung in there and kept trying!

sabrymagic January 10, 2012 - 7:41 pm

Sono molto da effetto!!

Sally Lee by the Sea Nautical Cottage January 10, 2012 - 7:42 pm

They really can be unreasonably expensive and yours are just as, if not more, pretty! I love what you've done with them. Thanks for linking to our Pinterest page too :O)

Hope you have a good week.


Debra from Bungalow January 10, 2012 - 11:03 pm

They are so beautiful! Good luck selling them, they are certainly unique :>)

Becca January 11, 2012 - 12:21 am

What BEAUTIFUL sea fans, Sherry … they look fabulous against your wall color! And, the inspirational pics are stunning, too! Makes me want to frame of few of mine, too. Thanks for the inspiration.

Pat's Pink Apron January 11, 2012 - 5:14 am

It all looks so very sharp and beautiful. Pat

At The Picket Fence January 11, 2012 - 9:38 pm

You just amaze me Sherry! Your ingenuity and creativity are are inspiring. Your fans are just gorgeous and the price difference…wow! I know they'll be flying off the "shelves"! I am so sorry I missed your post regarding some health issues. Going to go find it. Praying for you my friend!


Honey at 2805 January 12, 2012 - 11:47 pm

These are just so fabulous! Thank you for sharing your lovely post and creativity at Potpourri Friday!

classic • casual • home January 16, 2012 - 4:59 pm

Sherry, you are so brilliant. I love this look. I want it!

SHERRY HART January 29, 2012 - 1:20 pm

Incredible Sherry…I have seen Karen's fans at the mart. She is not very friendly either. Yours are gorgeous and I have in mind to order some!!! Good for you to figure that process out!

Deena February 1, 2012 - 10:32 pm

Sherry, love your house. Very beautiful. I just launched by new blog. Please stop by if you have time. Thanks. Deena


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