$450 Sea Fan Project

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.


45 thoughts on “$450 Sea Fan Project”

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. 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!


  11. 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!

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