This Goes Out ‘Toile’ My Fans


October 18, 2012 by Decorum DIYer

Man, these post titles are killer.  I feel obligated to come up with something witty, (“I feel witty, oh so witty, I feel witty, and silly, and gay!” – sorry, went off on a tangent there), but usually draw a blank.  So, you will just need to settle for the best I could do for a ‘toile’-covered ceiling fan project.  Okay, when I was sprucing up the old laundry room to make it Claire’s toddler room, I hadn’t planned upon replacing the ceiling fan.  Well, not quite.  I did plan to spray paint the metallic bits and paint the blades.  That was it, end of story, maybe a $5.00 investment.  But no, I saw it on Craigslist and had to have it!

Dreamland Ceiling Fan by Hunter (this model now discontinued, but it was still being manufactured when I purchased it)

For $50.00 and from a seller in my neighborhood, it was perfect.  A better scale for the room and certainly more feminine than this beast:

But yes, you saw it, didn’t you?  Is was PINK.  And not just pink, but





Well, I had a plan.  I turned the blades over to the ‘only pink’ (not flowery pink) side and painted them the same color as Claire’s ceiling, Behr’s ‘Celery Ice’.  It is a subtle contrast to the white, metallic frame of the fan, but noticeable.  So, this is what I was left with:

Still had those pesky PINK shades. I wasn’t digging them at all.

See, still just too pink.

What’s a girl to do?  Well, a girl that doesn’t like pink, anyway.  Since I was already into the fan for $50.00, which was an expense I hadn’t planned, just an impulse, I needed a cheap solution.  I searched Craigslist for a few days for chandelier shades, but didn’t like the style, price, nor color, so that left me to resort to what I know best – painting.  I got out my trusty primer and went to town.

The chandelier lampshades all primed up. I was going to paint them with Behr’s ‘Cottage White’, but then I had a better idea…

Can you guess what was next?  That’s right, some of my now infamous extra Central Park Toile sage fabric.  If it didn’t work, no biggie.  I could give it a try, because hey, it’s free!  So, I traced the lampshade, leaving about one half-inch margin on top and bottom.  I made sure that the pattern lined up as best as possible.

Here is how I traced the lampshade onto the fabric:

1.  Simply layout your fabric, pattern side down, place the lampshade on its side, seam down.

2.  Roll the lampshade from one side of the fabric to the other whilst tracing the top and bottom (you will need to go slowly and trace a little at the top, a little at the bottom, and repeat several times).

3.  Stop tracing once you have returned the seam face down again. Your trace marks should resemble a squared-off smile.

4.  Simply add the one to two-inch border (the fabric that will fold over the edge and slightly into the interior of the shade).

5.  Cut out your shape.

Because the lampshade is essentially a truncated cone, the fabric piece just looks like a big, old smiley face! 🙂  Okay, maybe that is just me.

I used fabric glue and carefully adhered the fabric to the shade.  I think priming the shade (outside only) mostly prevented the pink color from shining through.  I did have concern about the fabric glue not holding, or melting, next to the heat of the light bulbs, but my fears have so far been unfounded.  Here is the lampshade after I adhered the fabric and rolled down (or up, depending how you are looking at the shade) the edges into the interior of the shade.

One down, two to go.

A closer view. (And yes, this was taken well after everyone else was asleep.)

Really, there wasn’t much else to it.  I reattached the lampshades to the bulbs, after the glue had dried.  There is still a bit of pink glowing through, but nothing like the original lampshade color.

Looks so much better. I really do love this fabric, can’t you tell?

And a little closer. I made sure the image of the children playing was centered outward towards the room and the seams inward towards the fan. I’m a little OCD like that. No, really.  (Case in point, I neglected to paint the ‘edge’ of the fan blades when I painted them in the ‘Celery Ice’.  It was really bothering me.  I have since painted the edges to clear my head.)

And then, there are these little puppies that mocked me every time I entered the room. So, I wasn’t done, not quite yet.

Ugh! The pink is EVERYWHERE, I tell you! So, guess what I did?

That’s right, I covered the pink by insetting tiny scraps of the Central Park Toile sage fabric. The fabric contained a few farm animals, in addition to children playing. So, I used a quarter, which happened to be the same diameter as the inset, and traced it around the picture of a little pig (think Wilbur from “Charlotte’s Web”) and a cherub (shown in photo above), as there are two pulls.  One for the fan and one for the light. They just look darling, cover the garish pink, and really add charm to the whole ceiling fan.

Seriously, this was the easiest and cheapest ceiling fan update I have ever done.  After purchasing the fan, all of the other items were things I already owned.  I am really happy that I decided to change out the ceiling fan.  Well, I decided, my husband did the hard labour.  So, there you have it, another quick fix that makes the laundry room one step closer to Claire’s finished toddler room.

Until next time…, happy Craigslisting and painting!


2 thoughts on “This Goes Out ‘Toile’ My Fans

  1. Suzz says:


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