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Beautiful Repurposing!

dsc_4976CREATE has the privilege of teaming up with our local Habitat for Humanity ReStore several times each year to host a Ladies Night of purposeful repurposing! Our combined goal is to create something beautiful from objects that might otherwise find their way to the landfill. Earlier this spring, we designed a colorful dragonfly made out of a spindle and four cast-off ceiling fan blades. This is a step-by-step process to how we created this adorable little guy!

1. Sand both sides of the fan blades and wipe the dust away with a damp cloth. We started with an unfinished spindle, so there was no need to sand it. If yours has a finish on it, you will want to sand it too. These are the fan blades once they have been sanded and wiped clean.
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2. Paint a coat of primer on all five pieces. Allow to dry. I only needed to add one coat of primer to each and it was enough.
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3. Now the fun starts! Choose your color scheme! We used all-purpose acrylic paints. I chose to paint the spindle chartreuse, two of the blades white, and two a deep turquoise. I really wanted them to be bright & cheery!
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4. Once you start painting, you will want to apply 2-3 coats, allowing each coat to dry THOROUGHLY between coats.
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5. Now that all the pieces are dry, it’s time to decorate! I added in a bright yellow and hot pink to my color scheme. We used a combination of stamps, stencils, and free painting to create the details on our dragon fly. Have fun! I used a chevron stencil, a flower stamp, and the end of my paintbrush to make polka dots on the fan blades. I did the same design on all four, just changed up the colors on the the white pair and the turquoise pair. On the body, I used a small swirl stamp on the three sides that show on the finished product.
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6. Once all the components are painted, you can embellish with eyes and antennae. I used large goggly eyes and a black pipe cleaner. I attached the googly eyes with hot glue and used a staple gun to attach the pipe cleaner. You could also bottle caps or buttons for the eyes and wire or painted dowels for the antennae. Use your imagination!
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7. Next, I laid out all the pieces so I could see how I wanted to line everything up for the finished product. You’ll see in the following pictures I ended up needing to spread the wings out a bit to get everything to attach properly.
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8. Now it’s time to get out the drill, a 5/32″ drill bit, and 4-6 threaded screws about 1 1/4″ in length. I recommend doing this portion of the project with someone else. I found it VERY challenging to try to hold everything in place AND drill at the same time. So I enlisted the help of my handy husband!
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9. Turn everything over and line up the first set of wings to the body. I slightly overlapped the wings on top of the body so there ended up being three layers. Drill a hole through the the first wing, the second wing and into the body. Switch out your drill bits and drill a screw into the hole, fastening everything together. Repeat the process so you end with two screws holding the first set of wings to the body. Next you will do the same with the second set of wings, angling them the opposite way of the first pair. Your dragonfly will be nice & sturdy and all one piece now!
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10. He’s done! How cute is he?!
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If you are going to display your dragonfly outside, perhaps hanging on a fence or shed, make sure you spray him thoroughly with a weather -resistant outdoor sealant. It would also be adorable suspended from the ceiling in a craft room! He can be hung easily by attaching a picture hanger to the back of the body, near the top of the head or using clear fishing line. We hope you have enjoyed our tutorial!

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