Decorating Tips and Tricks

“Out of the Decorating Box” Thinking For a Win

Back in the spring, when Ed and I were adding white planked ceilings to the guest rooms, we had a slight mishap. At the time, I didn’t think it was anything major, but I soon found out I was wrong. It turned into a months-long quest to find an affordable fix.

Decorating with pops of bright colors in the guest room-

See the pretty Hunter – Hepburn ceiling fan? Isn’t she pretty? I have owned the ceiling fan now for 3 years. I also added the same fan to my studioffice.

Well… when we were setting up to plank the ceiling in this room, I had my tripod and camera in the room to get BEFORE photos. As we were prepping to remove the fan, I moved my tripod out of the way by picking it up and holding it up high to clear a large box on the floor. When I did that the tripod hit the white glass globe and the globe broke. :-(

Of course I was upset, but figured I would just get a new glass globe at Lowes where they sell universal ceiling glass globe light covers in many styles for around $15.

On further inspection of the ceiling fan though, I realized that none of these common glass globes would fit onto my Hunter fan. :-( Again, no worries, I just had to call Hunter for a replacement globe.

Before Hunter ceiling fan with no globe over lightbulb.
Here is the fan without the glass globe.

In the time being, since I had the same fan in my studioffice, I used that globe to replace the guest room globe. That left my studioffice without a globe, but I am the only one that goes into the room, so I didn’t mind it for a short time.

When I emailed Hunter, I was told that I could order that globe for $129!!!!!!! What!! That is half the price of the fan! I was then told since I already owned the fan, they would discount it to $75.

No way was I going to pay that much for a single glass globe. I had to do some creative thinking to come up with my own affordable decorative fix.

Over the summer I played around with a few ideas and found one that worked and that I was happy with. It only cost me $12.00.

I know that most of you don’t own this fan, but I decided to share the story and fix with you. I hope that my “out-of-the-box thinking” and resourcefulness using common household items, may inspire you to find your own way to fix or even innovatively decorate your home.

My first idea was to clip a large drum style shade to the light bulb. The lamp shade would have added to the modern lines of the fan, but after trying 3 shades – no go. :-(

How to replace a custom ceiling fan glass globe for a few dollars.

So here is my $12.00 fix. It looks like I simply clipped a slant sided lampshade over the bulb, but doing that made the shade hang down way too low exposing the light bulb and bottom of the fan.

This didn’t stop me though from continuing to experiment. I bought a few different sizes and types of lamp shades and the same thing happened or the shades didn’t fit at all.

I tried a few ideas using my array of lighting hardware from light bulb rings, finials and socket extenders, but none worked.

It wasn’t until I reached into my desk drawer for a paper clip that I got an idea using one of the smaller slanted shades I bought to try.

Close up of Hunter Hepburn ceiling fan with DIY replacement for a broken glass globe.

3 large paper clips was all I needed for success! Smaller sized paperclips didn’t work. With trial and error, the large paper clips made hanging the shade from the bottom of the fan a workable solution covering the base and the socket area from view.

I know it seems like, “Why didn’t you just clip the shade to the bulb and be done with it?” This would have be the easy fix, but the shades wire frames were either too tall or short and didn’t seamlessly cover the under side of the shade. As I was experimenting, I should have taken photos, but at the time I didn’t think I would be creating a post about the fan and the broken globe.

Close up of new lampshade on Hunter Hepburn ceiling fan.

How to Replace a Broken Hunter Ceiling Fan Globe With a Lamp Shade

Lampshade used to replace glass globe on ceiling fan.

supplies needed:

Time needed: 10 minutes.

How to Replace a Hunter Ceiling Fan’s Glass Globe with a Lamp Shade

  1. Open Paper Clips

    Slightly open 3 large paper clips as shown in photo.
    Tools needed for Hunter Hepburn ceiling fan replacement globe hack.

  2. Thread Paper Clips Onto Fan Base

    Using the open tip of a paper clip, thread it through one of the metal slits on the bottom of the fan base. Then flip it in the slit so the open point is facing down. (See photo below)

    Repeat this with the other two paper clips in the other 2 metal slits, (There are three of these slits where the glass globe connected.)

    Hunter Hepburn Ceiling broken globe hack using a lampshade.

  3. Hold Lamp Shade Under Base

    This can be a little tricky and will be easier if you have someone hold up the shade, while you thread each paper clip onto one of the angled frame wires inside the lamp shade.

    You may have to open the paper clip slightly more and move it up and down along the frame wire to get the paper clip attached to the shade frame wire.

    Repeat for the other two paper clips on the other two shade frame wires.

    Once done, the lamp shade will hang evenly since the paper clips are the same size and just the right length to hold the shade in place while covering the bottom of the fan.

  4. Cut Excess Paper Clip

    Once you have the three paper clips attached to the wire frame of the shade, trim the excess paper clip with wire cutters.

    Optional: Using heavy duty wire cutting snips you can cut off the wire frame ring if you don’t want to look at it when you look up into the fan.

Hunter Hepburn ceiling fan in white with DIY replacement globe made using a lampshade.

This is the view from the back of the room. It is where I placed the seam of the shade. I haven’t cut the wire ring inside yet, but will as it is not needed.

I couldn’t be happier with my paper clip fix for the ceiling fan.

More Common Items To Consider Using When DIY Decorating

Figuring out how to make a shade work on the fan got me thinking about other common household items like rubber bands, safety pins and more that can be used to fix or make decorative items in your home.

I will post about how I use these items when decorating my house in my next post.

As I mentioned above, you may not even have ceiling fans in your house, but you do have many other items that may need to be repaired or changed in some decorative way. When that happens, remember to keep an open mind and try to envision a way to make it work for your needs. Don’t be afraid to experiment to come up with a unique work around or fix.

Being resourceful can also keep your decorating budget in check. :-)

You May Also Like These Posts:

Before and after ceiling fan light cover. Text overlay says Designer Ceiling Fan Globe Replacement Fix

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21 Comments

  1. I love thinking outside the box to make things happen (and yes, so awful when companies want to charge a fortune for a replacement part – it’s almost like they are saying, oh come on, buy something new from us instead). Would something like either of these work? (I am not sure what the inside circumference is of the round part surrounding the lightbulb, but different sizes are available.) Drill 3 holes the size of set screws (they can be a bit long if needed if the lip of the replacement glass is a bit smaller than your opening, but should work and hold the glass up (and spray them gold):

    1. Hi Nancy – You must own ceiling fans. :-) After the fan got going, I did hear a slight vibration. To calm it, I placed foam tape over the section where each paper clip connects with the bottom of the fan base. That made is silent.

  2. The lights on fans often don’t allow for LED bulbs.
    This is a great way to deal with that.
    Well done you.

    1. Thanks Kat – I didn’t realize that about the light bulbs – I guess since they should not be enclosed in a globe. Thanks for sharing that use for the shade.

  3. Your fix is perfect, Diane! I actually prefer the lines of the lampshade to the round globe! Happy Labor Day to you and your husband.

  4. It’s disgraceful how companies do not provide globes at a reasonable price had the same problem with mine in Spain opted in the end for a decorative light bulb not the look I wanted.
    Wish your post was around then so creative!?

  5. Oh my you don’t even know how much I needed this idea! I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out how to make a lamp shade work on my fan. Genius!

  6. Genius, i decided on a new nick name for you Diane, it will be McGyver as you always seem to creatively figure it out and make it work.

  7. I can’t imagine anyone willing to pay that for a replacement globe. How crazy! I do love how you manage to keep thinking outside the box to solve a problem in a budget friendly way. I know you will always have ideas to keep me thinking.

    1. Diane, that looks really good. Very unique too. I’m impressed and now I have something I can do to my ceiling fans. Thanks!!

  8. Good ole feminine ingenuity! Lol, great job and a great reminder to think outside of the box.

    1. I enjoy the finding the fix. I used to work in retail display where we had to come up with fixes on a daily basis using only what we had in the stores prop room. We got very resourceful. :-)

    1. Hi Kathy – Oh yes!!! Bread ties – they are the best. I used them to attach the cocoa liner in my deck railing planters. I like how you call them your DIY Accessory.

  9. There are diffusers you can buy for shades. If you can attach a harp to the bulb support of your shades. I bet get you can add one to yours. Unfortunately those parts can add up if you don’t have them on hand.

    My use: I was hanging some swag pendants with drum shades on a rail. I wanted to be able to pull them out in line with another fixture over an extended kitchen table for one type of lighting or “park” them closer to the wall when the table wasn’t big.
    Anyway your fix looks great with or without a diffuser.

    1. That was the problem – no harp would work or the clip-on extenders with the shade the way it had to be placed. It was mind boggling! Every time I tried something I would think this will work, but no. Paperclips to the rescue. Your swinging pendants sound very versatile. Love that.