Refurbished Mid-Century Fan Turned Lamp

I’ve recently acquired a true appreciation for the look and feel of vintage, mid-century items, especially those made of metal and the one thing which encompasses these characteristics are the old table top fans from around the 50’s and prior. It’s one of those things where you realize you like something and then you start seeing it practically everywhere.

I’m not quite sure what came first, the fan or the idea. Who knew we’d start revamping these beautiful, heavy, pieces of the past into functional, beautiful works of art. When I say we, I totally mean Joe. Sure, I’ve been the one who’s found a couple of them and I’ll probably be the one to find more in the future but, he’s the one putting in all of the time and work into making them new again.

I will say this post will not go into the how as much as it is about what these old fans can be turned into. This wasn’t our first fan turned lamp and it won’t be our last. I’ll be sure to be precise with documentation and pictures next time around.

As you can see, the rust on it was horrendous. Before I decided to buy it, I felt around the rust spots to make sure it hadn’t actually eaten through the base which it hadn’t. Here it is in bits and pieces.

Repurposed Jack Frost Fan Turned Lamp ~ Ambient Wares
Rusty base

Repurposed Jack Frost Fan Turned Lamp ~ Ambient Wares

Repurposed Jack Frost Fan Turned Lamp ~ Ambient Wares

Repurposed Jack Frost Fan Turned Lamp ~ Ambient Wares

Repurposed Jack Frost Fan Turned Lamp ~ Ambient Wares


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I found a similar one, if not the same, on Ebay…just so you can see it as a whole. It seems to be the same original color as ours too.

Similar Fan Found on Ebay ~ Ambient Wares
Original Image: Ebay

Joe sanded and cleaned up the entire fan and the rusty parts turned out so much better than I expected. He painted it with, what we think, is the color of all colors; RUST-OLEUM’s Protective Enamel in Turquoise.

Repurposed Mid Century Modern Jack Frost Table Top Fan Turned Lamp ~ ambientwares.com

He purchased an old vintage styled twisted cloth cord similar to these. He also ordered a cluster body with 3 sockets to hold 3 bulbs which were 25 watt incandescent Edison bulbs with a candelabra base.

We had some trouble with the original bulbs we ordered in that they did not last very long at all and 2 bulbs blew out waaaaaay too soon. The 2nd batch of bulbs we ordered are not handling the dimmer option well and jump from very low to very high with no in between. We’re still trying to find a good, quality supplier of these candelabra styled bulbs.

Repurposed Jack Frost Fan Turned Lamp ~ Ambient Wares

We wanted to keep the round emblem untouched and in original condition if at all possible and this fan’s emblem originally had 3 metal tabs that clamped into the center of the fan blade but, since that’s gone, we drilled small holes along the edge, then fed wire through so we could attach it to the front center of the cage instead.

Repurposed Mid Century Modern Jack Frost Table Top Fan Turned Lamp ~ ambientwares.com

As I mentioned before, I’ll get a much more thorough how-to in creating these beautiful fans turned lamps the next time around. While straightforward as far as wiring goes, each fan offers up a different set of challenges that need to be figured out.

Isn’t it fun to think of these old, usually worn down and/or broken fans being made into something so functional and useful?

Repurposed Jack Frost Fan Turned Lamp ~ Ambient Wares


PINNY PLEASE!

Look at what an old rusty table top fan can be turned into! ambientwares.com

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27 thoughts on “Refurbished Mid-Century Fan Turned Lamp

    1. Hi Derry! I’m so glad you like it and I’m going to have to see what the trouble could be with pinning 🙁 I greatly appreciate you letting me know! Thank you so much 🙂

    2. Hello again Derry, we did some digging into why you can’t pin, and we couldn’t figure out what the issue could be. Here’s a direct link to my pinned image on Pinterest. Hopefully this works!

  1. This is just darling! If I ever come across anything similar I am going to make one! Love your color choice. Would look great in my “water color” bedroom. Thanks for sharing. 😀

    1. Thanks Naomie! I can’t seem to resist shades of blue and this is one of my faves. Love that you have a water color room. Sounds like a fan lamp would fit in beautifully! Thank you for visiting!

  2. There is a company, Always Lit Lamp Co LLC. who also makes these fan lamps and other industrial style lamps, they are on Instagram @alwayslitlampco. There is also another company called East Works Detroit who makes them and his lights go around like a fan!

    1. Hi T.S., both companies do some great work. I did look into East Works Detroit because I wondered how they got their lights to go around. I did see their statement saying “These are lamps only and do not spin.” Hopefully one day we’ll figure something out to make that happen though.

  3. Need some advice, we are trying this with our vintage fan. I can’t get the 6 lead wires through the hole to body of fan. May I ask what gauge wire you used for the leads? I’m so close but no cee-gar yet. Thanks for your input! Love the fan!

    1. Hi Julie! I used 18awg stranded copper wire in the lamp. It’s the kind of wire you would find inside a new ceiling fan or light fixture with a thin, soft and flexible insulation. Six wires will not fit through the standard lamp tubing as you mentioned. To get around this, I only ran a set of 2 wires from the cluster body (where the bulb sockets attach) to the original fan base. Inside the cluster body, I connected the neutral from each socket to the neutral coming from the fan base and the live wire from each socket to the live wire coming from the fan base. Each set of 4 wires were soldered together and covered with heat shrink tubing for protection. It’s a tight fit inside the cluster body, but is do-able.

      Another option would be to use a cluster body that has a larger hole to connect with the fan base. Something like this. That cluster body has a larger 1/4IPS hole and I would expect to fit 6 wires through (don’t quote me on that as I haven’t actually tried :).

      Hope this helps and thanks for stopping by!

    1. Hi Melanie! Thank you very much! I hope to get a more thorough how-to on the next lamp. The original contents of the fan were removed and the center was replaced with a cluster body in which you could then attach however many sockets the body allows. This particular body allowed for 3 sockets/bulbs but, there are other bodies offering more sockets.

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