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Reusing a Broken Fan

Category Reusing
Once the motor goes in your electric fan, there are creative ways to reuse its parts for other things. This page is about reusing a broken fan.


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By 21 found this helpful
July 26, 2010

I hate to throw stuff away. I always try to find a secondary use for it. Today, throwing out an electric table fan that was no longer functional, it dawned on me that the face cover was a very versatile item.

Glue a flanged base to the "nose" and you have a footed bowl. Add hook basket handles and you have a hanging basket. You could turn the fan cover into an egg basket, fruit compote, hanging sphagnum moss basket, dish cover (protection for sleight of tongue pets, or cover with gauze for fly control), young plant protector/bare spot protector, small items holder-table top, sink cover for hole in ground (but fill the hole when you get a chance), cover for old stove-pipe hole, mouse hole cover, drip-dry basket for lingerie or small wash items, doll clothes, or plastics, display stand for jewelry, tie rack, sorting rack, frame for a ferret nest, frame for art work, paper mache', etc.

I'm sure there's plenty more uses, so don't toss those fan covers, keep them out of the landfill and re-use them over and over.

By Cornelia from Oregon

Comment Was this helpful? 21

By 2 found this helpful
October 26, 2006

Don't toss that broken fan until you've removed both parts of the round wire blade cover and cleaned them well, for two of the finest and sturdiest patio table/garden baskets, chip servers you will ever find for free!


One always has a small hole, but the other does not. Some have a cover on the small hole that could be removed to make a larger hole so that a thin patio umbrella handle could be placed inside then pushed on into the patio table hole, creating a nice wind-resistant basket. They're tough and washable for many years of use.

Depending upon the size of the fan, they are often oversized, just the right depth, and tough enameled painted wire of various patterned mesh. Add a large paper napkin or colorful cloth and they're really cool for frugal living! They can even be painted a bright color should they be stained or marred by anything, so slow down and take a good long look using your imagination and right tool for removing.

It isn't the least bit hard, only a tiny bit to wash for such great and useful recycled items. I've already used them to sun-dry a number of extra large seed pods, and wet pine cones as well. They make excellent strainer baskets for most anything and even unbreakable tailgate party/picnic servers. I am amazed that I haven't thought of this before with all the electric fans I've tossed in the past.


By Lynda from TX

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By 0 found this helpful
September 30, 2009

I have an electric desk fan that has broken well beyond repair. I was wondering if I could line the wire covers with newspapers or cloth or something (for drainage) fill them with compost, and use them for sowing mint (which is very invasive). Does anyone have a better idea of what I could do with them before I decide to toss them out and regret it afterward when some great idea dawns on me but its too late! Thanks for any suggestions.

By cettina from Malta, Europe


September 30, 20090 found this helpful

I'm not sure how big your desk electric fan is, but, last year when I woke up and the standing fan blades had broken, and thank goodness that the fan coverings kept the pieces of blades from hitting my pet, myself, or breaking something. I keep the two pieces of the covers for the fan, and they are shallow and I use them for drying my mints and other plants for teas. They are great for drying them.


You also could use them for drying food in your oven, or inside your car in the sun. Put something under the drying food, so nothing drips, but, otherwise, it's not too hot, the mesh is great for drying food because air can reach all sides. Mine is white painted metal, so I mostly just use mine for drying plants outside in a dry sunny day for tea. I have spearmint, peppermint, chocolate, lemon and orange mints. I also have catmint, lemon balm, bee balm, anise hyssop, and various others for teas. :) So, I do like my larger mesh "baskets" for them to dry in them from the former broken fan.

You also mentioned that yours are metal too, there are a lot of plastic ones available, and those could be usable for drying things outside, but, probably not in an oven.

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September 30, 20090 found this helpful

If you have a pond, you could use one of the metal coverings on the fan and attach to a long pole and use to clean fallen leaves from the pond. My husband made one from an old fan and he uses it every fall to keep leaves out of it.

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October 1, 20090 found this helpful

Line well, attach ropes or chains, and use as a hanging basket. You would have to use trailing plants so they hang over the top.


I did this with old metal lampshades so could plant through the sides as well. They need a lot of watering though. Marg from England

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October 1, 20090 found this helpful

A thought is to turn it bowl side up and hang stuff from the bottom and make a round wind chime with stuff you have on hand; mismatched spoons,forks, knifes, fishing weights, metal thimbles, metal bobbins, etc. It would be unique and interesting. Possibilities are endless. If you do make something please post here so we can see it! Thanks

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October 2, 20090 found this helpful

My backyard is very small so the idea of a hanging plant is excellent! Just one more query, what do I line the inside with, to prevent the soil from seeping out when I water it? I have a lot of old t-shirts, would they do?


Thanks for all your suggestions. Any more ideas out there, please? I have two covers. One will be a hanging basket for sure, no room for a wind chime, unfortunately, and they are way too big to fit in my oven. Thank you all so much.

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October 4, 20090 found this helpful

Try lining with an old plastic bag with a few holes poked in it, then a t-shirt and then soil. Or felt might do instead of bag and shirt. Hope it turns out well. Marg from England.

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October 4, 20090 found this helpful

You can also use the blades in a recycling project.

You can take it apart, paint the blades and put a metal rod thru it & use in your garden as a pinwheel! You could paint it to resemble a sunflower, etc..

Just use a metal rod with a bent top that can go thru the hole where the screw attached it to the fan body & use a "wire nut" glued over the end of the bent wire, it should hold. {you could also use a straightened wire coat hanger for that part and just tape it to a wooden dowel}

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October 5, 20090 found this helpful

Thanks so much for your ideas. I'm keeping the blades as well since I didn't realize that I could recycle them, too.

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