Do you ever see those high price catalog home decor items and think “I could make that?” I do it. All the time. This Ballard wooden oars DIY wall decor knock off is for all of you that are in the same boat as me. Make these vintage wooden oars with a few supplies and a little paint. So easy and so darn cute. I took my pictures below laid out on the floor. However, these wooden oars are going to be hanging in my nautical themed bathroom as DIY wall decor very soon!
The original versions come in at $50 each and you can see the pictures here. I did a little collage comparison for you below. I am beyond thrilled with how my DIY wall decor oars turned out!
- 30 Inch Oar(s)
- Americana Acrylic Paints (colors linked to corresponding oar tutorial below)
- Americana Gel Stain in Walnut
- Frog Tape
- Stencil Brush
- Wood Glue
- Number Stencils
I am going to show you a tutorial for each version of my DIY wall decor oars below so if you want to make just one feel free to skip to the version you love below. All of these DIY wall decor versions use this 30 inch oar from Darice.
We will start with the “number 5 oar” at the top and work our way down. Begin by painting the entire oar with a coat of Americana Warm White. After that has completely dried, go over the entire oar with a very dry brush and a light, light coat of Americana Dove Grey. This should leave you with an imperfect surface that is splotchy. That is EXACTLY what you want. You want that old time worn feel on your DIY wall decor oars.
Next use Frog Tape Masking tape to mark off the lines similar to the original. I used a number stencil that matched the scale of the original. Be sure to use the stencil to approximate how much room you need in between your taped off lines. See the splotches of grey in the image below?
The image below is of the entire oar with the masking in place. I used a combination of Americana Payne’s Grey and Americana Ebony Black for the stenciling. Again use a very dry brush and very little paint for this step. You want it to look rustic. I also recommend a stencil brush for this step.
Now for the stained version of the DIY wall decor oar. Stain the entire oar with Americana Walnut Gel Stain and wipe off any excess. Allow this to dry completely before continuing.
Now lets move onto the final two DIY wall decor knock offs. So far this is easy right? I was actually pleasantly surprised that recreating these vintage wooden oars was easier than I expected.
The bottom DIY wall decor version is actually REALLY easy. And it looks amazing! Cut the ends off of two of the wooden oars. Put them together as shown below with a two sided wood screw and some wood glue. Allow to dry.
Start by painting the entire oar with a coat of Americana French Grey Blue. Allow to dry completely then go over the entire surface lightly with a dry brush and Americana Winter Blue. After the paint has dried on your oar, use some twine wrapped around the center to cover the joint. Secure with hot glue.
Last but not least is the “21” version of the Ballard oar. Start with a coat of Americana Dove Grey and allow to dry completely. Then add a light coat with a dry brush on top of that in Americana Slate Grey. By now you are probably noticing a pattern in my method. This dry brush method creates that lovely worn look with little to no effort. It is one of my favorite weapons.
Tape off the lines approximately like the original version. Be sure to leave room for the numbers. I used the stencil as a guide for spacing.
Once again, I used a combination of Americana Payne’s Grey and Americana Ebony Black for the stenciling. I just was not happy with one or the other on its own. Again use a very dry stencil brush for this step to get a rustic appearance for your DIY wall decor.
Be sure to mask off any unused letters/numbers on your stencil if you are using a multiple opening stencil like this one.
You now have four vintage DIY wall decor wooden oars for a fraction of the price of those Ballard Designs originals. I will be enjoying these in my bathroom soon. Where would you hang these Ballard oar knock offs? Oh and my plan is to attach a sawtooth hanger to the back of each DIY wall decor piece for hanging.