What can you do with an empty Italian cookie tin, a few water heater pipes, spare sprinkler parts, the twisted remains of a disassembled hair dryer, an old leather belt, and two $60 industrial 3-blade steel fans purchased via eBay? Apparently a lot if you're a steampunk-loving DIY'er...
Reddit reader notsure2505 saw an opportunity to diverge from the usual and customize two outdoor ceiling fans with a few faux aged embellishments that harken to an imaginary yesterday. The two outdoor fans are slightly different, but each has a great understated industrial patina to them; he didn't overdo it with the sometimes over-the-top category of steampunk DIYs, and for that reason, they look stylish, not cartoonish.
I made two, mostly the same, but each is a bit unique. I drilled through the cookie-tin, and used a toilet flange on the bottom to secure it to the fan downrod. The water heater pipe (at the top) was secured with liquid nails and I used PVC pipe inserts to make a tight fit between it and the down rod.
Showing better detail of the color and buttons [below]. Buttons were sanded then glued directly on the fan's surface using Liquid Nails. Painting was 2 coats of rust-colored Automotive primer, the a rattle-can Metallic mist which was mostly dark brown with a few copper-y metal flakes in it. I varied the coverage to let a little of the red color through; I was going for a weathered rust with a little bit of sparkle and shine for the final finish.
(Images: NotSure2505 via Reddit)