Something fan-tastic, that’s what! (You know we love a good pun!)

But seriously, we’re always looking for time savers when it comes to DIY, so we naturally went head over heels for color mixing. Just by blending two complementary colors together, you can create a brand spanking new third! It’s a brilliant and totally easy process that maximizes both your time and materials.

Ever since we used this technique to turn cork trivets into color block clocks, we’ve been looking for ways to take it up a notch. Now instead of mixing two colors by hand, we’re letting the swirling blades of mini USB-powered fans do the work for us in this Pinterest-inspired project: making color block fans. Simply plug these into your laptop or monitor, switch to on, and your desk will likely be the envy of the entire office! And as if we weren’t geeking out enough with the USB component on these fans, we included a couple of animated gifs in this post to showcase the finished product in all its whirling glory :)


– Mini USB Fans (via Amazon)

– Liquitex Basics Acrylic Naphthol Crimson ($4 on Blick Art Materials)

– Liquitex Basics Acrylic Phthalocyanine Blue ($4 on Blick Art Materials)

– Americana Acrylic Lemon Yellow ($4 on Amazon)

– Liquitex Basics Acrylic Bright Aqua Green ($4 on Blick Art Materials)

– Liquitex Basics Acrylic Light Blue Violet ($4 on Blick Art Materials)

– Liquitex Basics Acrylic Quinacridone Magenta ($4 on Blick Art Materials)

– Paint brush


– Screwdriver


1. Remove the cage of your fan with a screwdriver.

2. Paint each fan blade the color of your choosing. Add two coats if necessary and allow to dry.

3. Reattach the cage of your fan.

4. Plug your USB-powered fan into a laptop or monitor, switch on, and watch the colors blend together while you keep cool!

We removed the cage of these fans ahead of time – we just couldn’t wait to get started – so we dove head first into painting the fan blades. We thought light blue violet and magenta would create a pretty lavender hue whizzing behind the red cage.

Next up on the black fan, bright aqua green and lemon yellow! We wanted the blades to have more of a lime green color when they spun, so we added one extra panel of yellow to lighten up the mix.

A few coats later and we’re practically done! Just make sure to let the paint completely dry before you test them out. We learned the hard way that fast spinning fan blades + wet paint = a splatter-painted face!

Now you’re ready to put the cage back together. Use a screwdriver if you need some extra help getting the tiny screws back in place. Once they’re set, you should be able to easily spin the back on tight with your fingers.

Ta-dah! They came out looking fan-tastic! Don’t you think? ;) But there’s just one more thing to do before the full reveal…plug ’em in!

The USB plug might be our favorite part of these mini fans. It makes them super portable, so traveling tech junkies or cubicle-bound workers can easily cool off in style from 9 to 5 and beyond. OK, you’ve waited long enough. Let’s plug this bad boy in and see the results…IN ANIMATED GIFS!

Right on! This is exactly the zesty color we were looking for. Who wouldn’t want a little lime in their life?

The light blue violet and magenta make such a gorgeous shade of purple. Now get ready to deck out your desk.

This mostly white office space definitely needed a pop of color. And now it also has a refreshing breeze!

Or double up on those extra hot days you’re stuck inside. You’ve got two USB ports for a reason, and now you know why!

Would you give up a dock to plug in these colorful USB fans? What colors combos would you use? Tell us in the comments below.