DIY Nautical Paddle for Boy's Room

Hello lovelys!

Today I have an easy DIY project for you that I completed a few weekends ago.

Seeing as though our one and only son is now a toddler and no longer a baby,  I've been slowly removing the "baby" decor from his nursery and adding some "big boy" touches here and there.

When it's time to move him to a "big boy bed", I'd like his whole room to have a nautical/outdoors-ish theme.  The crib he is in now converts to a toddler bed so I have to stay in the gray family in terms of colors.  (which I planned on doing anyway)  If you missed a picture of his crib/nursery you can see it by clicking here.

So keeping the gray in mind and wanting to add some nautical elements to his room, I made this paddle to hang on the wall next to some sisal fish, decorative bouies, and a sailboat painting but after playing around with it, I kind of like it here in this little basket vignette...

basket-Paul Michael
decorative bouies-Patina Interiors Consignment Store (originally Homegoods)
octopus pillow-Target
sisal fish stringer-Kirklands
net-found in our garage (Academy)

To complete this project, first I had to find the right paddle.  Academy had several to choose from.  I picked the 3' wooden paddle for $9.99.  They also sell a 4' for $12.99, 5' for $14.99, and an even bigger size (not sure of the length) for $29.99.  They all look like this just different sizes...

So I started by mixing 1 tbsp of Graphite with 1/2 cup of French Linen Chalk Paint (both by Annie Sloan).  I wanted to paddle to be gray, but I wanted it a different gray color than what was already in the nursery.  I painted the entire paddle with 2 coats of this mixture.  Some areas needed touch ups because they weren't covered all the way by both coats but for the most part 2 coats did the job...

Then I got some Sisal rope to add to the handle.  I decided to go with the 3 ply Sisal instead of twine because I liked the look better.  Sisal is a little bit lighter in color than twine.   I found it at Hobby Lobby for half off of $3.99 and had a TON left over by the time I was done.

Before cutting the sisal off of the roll, I first wrapped it tightly around the handle exactly how I wanted it to look.  Then I cut the sisal and attached it to the paddle with hot glue.  sidenote* I only hot glued beginning and end of the sisal because I didn't want a bunch of sticky strings hanging through the sisal when I was done.  Just a little on the beginning and ending pieces was plenty.  Here's a close up of the finished handle...

Then I decided that the paddle would look better if it was wrapped with sisal around the top and bottom.  So I added more sisal to the very bottom of the stick in the same way.  And the finished product looked like this...

After adding the sisal I thought I was finished, but once I started looking at these photos, it sparked another idea in my head.  What if I added a monogram or name to the bottom of the paddle?  I didn't want to just start stenciling and risk messing it up so I uploaded a closeup to my favorite FREE photo editing website and began to play around with different fonts to see what the paddles would look like with added monograms.  I had fun playing around with different designs and colors. 
Here are a few of the options I came up with.  

I think the last 2 are my favorites!?  

You can print almost any stencil that you like off of the internet and/or purchase one at Hobby Lobby, Michael's, or  There are A LOT of inexpensive options out there!

I love how this paddle turned out and feel that it adds that nautical element I was looking for without being too "baby" or "little kid".  Also it only cost me $13 because I had left over chalk paint from another project and I now have extra sisal to play around with!

If you make your own paddle similar to this one, send me a picture!  It doesn't have to be necessarily for a little boy's room!  It could be for a lake house, camp, or even a little girl's room!  With all of the different color options out there, your possibilities are endless!

Remember, when life hands you lemons, turn them into something lovely!

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