The Original Table Leg Dragonflies with Ceiling Fan Blade Wings

This post has been crazy popular over the internet, and these are the originals!

I created dragonflies with the spindles and table legs for the bodies YEARS ago.
At that time I was making them with wire wings wrapped in hand painted canvas.
The addition of ceiling fan blades for the wings was my latest idea...read on!

table legs and spindles for dragonfly bodies
The bodies of the dragonflies are table/furniture legs and spindles

dragonfly wings with scrolled design made with rotozip
For some of the wings in this batch, I used wood that I cut with a jigsaw
into a wing shape then used my Rotozip saw to cut the scroll design.

thrift store ceiling fan blades for dragonflies
When I came upon this box of ceiling fan blades at the thrift store,
all I saw was dragonfly wings!

table leg dragonfly with ceiling fan blade wings
I cut some of the ceiling fan blades down into more of a wing shape
 by clamping 4 together at a time and using the jigsaw to make the cut

ceiling fan blade dragonfly wing
I painted with various distressed finishes and added a little dimension by gluing other 
wooden pieces and parts on the wings.

I added finials to the ends of some of the table legs, 
this one was a single ottoman leg I had...I knew I was saving it for some reason.

ceiling fan blade dragonfly wings
I used scraps of molding on other wings

table leg dragonfly
The patina on this baluster piece is perfect!
I left it as is and tried to match the wings to it with paint

table leg dragonflies
These two I did a little differently

macrame beads on dragonfly body
I screwed those huge wooden macrame beads 
...that you see in thrift stores but don't know what to do with them... 
to the front in a zig zag pattern, then gave them a glazed turquoise finish

paint finish using your fingertips
For their wings I used thinned paint and my fingertips to create the pattern

tortoise shell paint finish using fingertips
Pictures don't really do it justice, it looks pretty cool in person

table leg dragonfly
The eyes are little metal pieces from the back of some brass knobs.  
For the antenna on this one, I used metal hooks.

table leg dragonfly antenna mixed media
These antenna are rusted wire that I curled on the ends...

These large whimsical antenna are made from copper metal plumbing strap. 

Yes, I know dragonflies have tiny barely noticeable antenna. 
These are art, out of my head, fun, crazy creations... I'm not making lifelike dragonflies. 
Please don't email me about my antenna faux pas :))

using plumbing strap in mixed media art projects
Speaking of plumbing strap... I love this stuff!
It comes in galvanized or copper and it's so fun to work with.
Above photo is the front of a bakery counter where I used it to make a lattice pattern.

If you are on Facebook at all, I have Bakery Photos and even a 
few more Bakery pics of my art work there that you can check out.

original table leg dragonflies
Did you know dragonflies are the symbol of renewal?
It's actually a perfect fit using recycled materials to create them.

table leg dragonfly garden art
There is a lovely story called Waterbugs and Dragonflies by 
Doris Stickney that is a children's story explaining death.

I've lost count of the emails I've gotten from people telling me how
dragonflies have such a special meaning to them and their lost loved one 
and they aren't even familiar with the story.
They truly are symbol of rebirth and renewal.

repurposed recycled table leg dragonflies by lucy designs
Hang indoors or out! I seal with liquid Minwax Polycrylic

Keep in mind they are painted wood and they are going to weather 
like any painted wood will if left outside...the paint can start to look dull. 
The finish will last longer if displayed in covered area outdoors like a porch or patio.

If you want them in direct weather and want to prolong the painted finish, 
you can always recoat with a spray of clear poly about once a year.

But really, doesn't recycled and repurposed go along with the vintage
distressed look anyway? :)

Please don't copy my designs exactly, get inspired, have fun with it
and get that imagination going, the possibilities are endless! 

Don't want to make them?...hop over to my Etsy Store
and buy them already made, I have lots of fun designs.
Join me on Facebook and Pinterest too!

77 comments :

  1. What a great idea! First time viewer. I too ruffled through a box of wooden bits a couple weekends ago at an estate auction! Ending up bidding and got them! Lots of fun, choosing what to create. I made a welcome sign which was in last weeks DIY link up. These dragonflies are just beautiful and I love all the extra bits! Just perfect. Yvette x
    http://yvettesblogs.com/2011/03/28/salted-eggs-easter-tutorial/

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  2. OMG! I love, love, love, this idea! It is sooo great! Thanks for sharing it! Awesome.

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  3. Those are so great. Love the idea of using all the pieces to make such a wonderful project. TFS
    Rebecca

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  4. I really love these, but I want to hang them on my privacy fence just like you did. What would you recommend spraying them with so that they could be in the weather?

    Miranda
    www.justdrinkacoke.blogspot.com

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  5. Oh, BTW, I'm going to feature these on my blog today! I want everybody in my bloggy world to see them, too! :)

    Miranda
    www.justdrinkacoke.blogspot.com

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  6. WOW!! you are one talented girl. I love these dragonflies,,especially the one with fan blade wings and the one you painted with your fingertip. Very pretty.

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  7. These are absolutely adorable!! I LOVE them!

    Lou Cinda

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  8. what delightful backyard art! You are very clever to make use of other surplus material in such a creative way and I like how you have accessorized them with other bits of hardware too. I've never seen anything like it. Awesome!

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  9. This is absolutely amazing! How clever you are!! I just can't get over how beautiful these are!

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  10. I am in LOVE with these!!!! I love things that are pieced together like this - from old seemingly useless stuff.
    Thank you for all the wonderful pictures! So creative:)
    Lindsay

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  11. I absolutely love these! I know you don't recommend for outside but I have a horrible fence that I stare out at from my kitchen table and I am going to put a few of these that are sealed with deck sealant. They might not last forever but I would be overjoyed just to distract from the horrible fence. THANK YOU SO MUCH!
    Stephanie at Full of Great Ideas

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  12. Love this! I can't wait to try this! I promise to link back

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  13. Lucy, this is such a great idea! I love how you turned table legs and fan blades into dragonflies! I never would have thought to do that. So glad I came across your blog. I'm a new follower.

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  14. So many creative ideas, so inspiring. I am passing along a Stylish Blogger Award to you! Stop by to see my latest post for details.

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  15. Totally in love! New follower for sure!
    Jerri
    Www.thrownandfired.blogspot.com

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  16. geniales las libelulas!!!!
    las amoooo
    margui

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  17. How fun are these! Now I want to make some! I'm kicking myself because I just donated an old fan. I could of used those blades. I'll be on the lookout at garage sales now. :) Great job!! Thanks so much for linking up to Terrific Under Ten!

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  18. OMG!!! Lucy those are soooo cute.

    ~ Lorena ~

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  19. Those are fantastic! I love your ability to look at a pile of "trash" and see eyes and antennas!

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  20. Thank you for letting me know they can be used outside. I am going to make these as Mother's Day gifts for my mom and aunt. So excited..thanks!

    I am just finishing one month of no spending on crafts/decor and am hosting my first link party to showcase mine and others ideas. If you have anything that you used on hand materials I would love for you to share them this Friday. Hope to see you!
    Stephanie at Full of Great Ideas
    Full of Great Ideas $0 Craft/Décor Budget Party

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  21. This looks lovely. Hope to see you at My Dream Canvas!

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  22. That is soooo clever, i love them they are gorgeous I want some for my garden

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  23. I am here from Under the Table and LOVE these! They are so clever and whimsical! Thanks for sharing.

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  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  25. There is a store in Baltimore that makes furniture and accessories out of salvaged material. They had dragonflies just like yours, except they painted them in bright colors, hanging on the walls in their shop. I loved them!! Thanks for posting your Dragonflies, I can't wait to try to make a few of my own!

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  26. Visiting from Funky Junk Interiors. LOVE The dragonflies!!!
    So excited about them I may have to attempt to make one of my own... hope you don't mind.

    Cherie
    http://dragonfliezcreationz.blogspot.com

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  27. I featured your dragonflies on my blog today. Come grab and I'm featured button!

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  28. These are so fabulous! I love them,you are such an artist! Connie
    http://thecrafterbug.blogspot.com/

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  29. These are adorable. Oh yes, I get so excited when someone gives me something or I find something that's not easy to come by. You had a new stash of parts and just had to build more dragonflies; I get it! Love what you did with the eyes. Too cute!

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  30. You've got a real hit here! I love these - hope I can get a couple made up to dress up my garden area soon.

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  31. Wow! These are AMAZING! I love them ~ and not just because I'm partial to dragonflies! Thank you so much for sharing ~ please stop by and say hi sometime!

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  32. You could use outdoor decking stain or paint if keeping out in the full force of the weather. Love the idea. Have a friend whose son loves dragonflies - it's his thing to give as a present for teachers etc. Cathy from Australia

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  33. hiya , i'm visiting from catch as catch can and am your newest follower x wow what a fabulous project i love them and thanks for the detailed tutorial too , you are very talented x tfs ,
    xmaggiex

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  34. I love them all, these are amazing! I'm like you, a box of parts is enough to make my heart skip!
    I followed your link from Gail's Catch as catch can party.

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  35. This is a fabulous idea and I love that you used fan blades! I am going to have to show you off somehow soon. I invite you to my blog to see my 'crappy' birdhouses. Maybe you'll find a new use for nuts and bolts for your designs.
    -Bethanie

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  36. Ok. Me again. I had to tweet and FB you!
    I was thinking...can you cut them in half, like the thicker ones? Less weight and more $ , or does it compromise stability then?
    -Bethanie

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  37. I love, love, love, LOVE these!!
    Midge

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  38. Are you selling these? They are awesome!

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  39. Wow! I would have never thought of making dragon flies! You're so creative! Love them.

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  40. LOVE them!! How creative you are. Would love to have a couple of these for my yard.

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  41. Just found your blog. Very creative. Cannot wait to look through all of your posts.

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  42. another new comer love your dragon flies!

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  43. This is probably one of the most clever ideas I have ever seen and believe me I have seen alot. I live near one of the biggest flea markets in the USA and have seen anything from flyswatters to toilet lids decorated! How many times do we see ceiling fan blades and wonder what we can do with them? Such a great recycling idea too! Just love it. I may have to give them a try.

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  44. These dragonflies are just amazing! I am truly inpired by the design, the work you put in and the repurposing! Amazing! I have featured themm over at Extreme Personal Measures. I also made note of your shop!

    Denise
    Extreme Personal Measures

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  45. OMGosh! I'm so in love with this! I have to make some for my mom! Thank you so much for posting!

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  46. Love these! how awesome. I have so many "parts" I could make tons of these!
    thanks for linking up.
    "catching" you this week
    gail

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  47. My heart just skipped a beat when I saw these!! Great job repurposing! These are insanely cute and fun and funky!!! love them!

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  48. Oh my goodness! You must have been so giddy in planning these, and finding the perfect wings! And then eyes, and then antennae! such a fun and creative process. Fabulous outcome. :) (Wow, I wrote a lot... guess it was exciting for me too.)
    Popped over from Beyond The Picket Fence.

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  49. Absolutely wonderful! What a great idea! Thanks for sharing.

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  50. Thanks for your share! very impressive!

    aroma therapy

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  51. Very creative!
    Beautiful!
    Awesome job!

    Visiting from My Repurposed Life.

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  52. Found you through Gail at My Repurposed Life. These are absolutely fantastic! Trying to figure out how to find those bits and pieces over here in Sweden! Look forward to 'following' you and peeking at your other projects. Hope you'll check out my blog one fine day when you have a few minutes.
    Cheers.
    Michael
    bluevelvetchair.blogspot.com

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  53. Great work keep it coming, best blog on earth

    clomid

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  54. Such talent! What great work you do :)

    I have featured you over on my blog and would love for you to stop by!

    Amanda

    Frillsandfrolic.blogspot.com

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  55. I love your dragonflies, they are wonderful

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  56. This blog is bookmarked! I really love the stuff you have put here.

    cheap nolvadex

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  57. These are so cool! My mother would love one of these for Mother's Day. Thank you for sharing.


    Blog giveaway for three antique blue half gallon mason jars at www.theoldblockhouse.blogspot.com

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  58. Was looking for a project the hang on the shed walls. And this might be it. Now to find the parts! What a perfect excuse to go yard sale-ing!!!

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  59. süperr...hem yaratıcı hem şık hem çok güzel.bravo

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  60. GENIUS! Love all the upcycled items you used! Totally love it!

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  61. Oh my goodness. You are SO creative! LOVE this!! SO fun!

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  62. Oh, these are CLEVER! What a fabulous idea.

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  63. Your dragonflies look great. They brighten up a plain old fence.

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  64. I just love this idea! Amazing. And I pinned it!

    :)

    Linda

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  65. What a wonderful way to upcycle these parts. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  66. You are such an inspiration Lucy!!! I so loved your dragonfly work that I had to try one for myself. I now have ten and sold my first one today! Thank you so much for sharing your passion with everyone!

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  67. Been wanting a monster sized dragonfly on my back fence, but wasn't too sure how to put it all together. I think I figured it all out now with different types of recycle materials. Thanks for some great up coming ideas!

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  68. Been wanting a monster sized dragonfly on my back fence, but wasn't too sure how to put it all together. I think I figured it all out now with different types of recycle materials. Thanks for some great up coming ideas!

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  69. Lucy, I have been wanting to use a porch baluster for the body/tail section mostly because of the really thin point of the tail area. The square mounting area is only about an inch and three quarters so regular fan blades are too large. Got any suggestions on what to use?

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  70. I am so excited...I scored fan blades from five old fans on the side of the rd today !!! I finally get to use my little sample cans of paints and put several of these great dragonflys together in time for summer ! Yippee ! Thank you for sharing this lovely craft design. :)

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  71. That's awesome Dee! Glad you were inspired!

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  72. WOW!!! What a fabulous idea. I just share it with my son and told him to start collecting.... I AM going to have dragon flies. Thanks for sharing this project with the world.

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  73. These are so pretty! Great inspiration for all those "bits" hanging around to make beautiful art. Thanks for sharing.

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Questions? Email me at Lucy@LucyDesignsOnline.com

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