DIY Nautical Name Paddle (3 easy steps!)

Nautical themes are so much fun, and this DIY personalized paddle is perfect for a nursery, kid’s room, or classroom!

When a close friend announced she was decorating her baby son’s room with a whale theme, it was time to get on crafting a personalized gift!

But colors can be a difficult decision, in trying to match their décor.  We knew that the wall colors were gray, with gray & white window treatments.  But the colors of the bedding and other accessories were a little bit of a mixed mystery, so we decided to keep the paddle a simple and classy neutral!

It came together in 3 surprisingly easy steps, for a personalized gift that will grow with the new addition to the family.  While making the paddle, we realized that you could easily put a teacher name on it — like Mrs. Taylor — to hang in an ocean-themed classroom!

And of course, it’s easily customizable to whatever colors you want.

Here’s what we used:

nautical name paddle supplies (531x800)

  • wooden paddle
  • gray or “sunbleached” wood stain
  • paint brush
  • wooden letters to spell out name
  • rope or braided rope ribbon
  • scissors
  • optional: wooden whale cutout or other accessory
  • wood glue
  • not shown: clear tape

1. Stain the paddle.

Follow the directions on the container to stain the wooden paddle (ours said to wipe off excess stain with a paper towel).  You’ll have to see if you want more than one coat to get the look you want.

nautical name paddle - gray sunbleached stain (800x533)

2. Line up the letters and glue them down.

Once the stain is dry, line up the letters how you want them to look:

Using the wood glue, glue each letter in place, along with any other accessories or shapes you choose.

nautical name paddle - glue letters on (800x533)

If any glue squeezes out, you can use a cotton swab to clean it:

nautical name paddle - clean any glue (533x800)

3. Glue & wrap the rope

On the back of the paddle, place a line of glue where you want the rope or ribbon to start.  The end of the rope on the new roll of ribbon was taped, and we left it on to keep it from unraveling.

nautical name paddle - glue rope down (800x533)

Then, wrap the rope or ribbon around the handle:

Once you get to the stopping point you want, cut the rope on the back side.  We taped the end so it wouldn’t unravel, and then glued it down:

nautical name paddle (533x800)

And that’s IT!

DIY nautical name paddle (3 easy steps!)

We loved how it came out, and are definitely keeping this one in mind for any nurseries and kids’ gifts that come along in the future.

And in the meantime, next up will be making one for my classroom 🙂

Live porpoisefully, The Taylors

P.S. – Here’s the pin on Pinterest to save for later!

4 thoughts on “DIY Nautical Name Paddle (3 easy steps!)

  1. Another great gift idea! So personalized and versatile at the same time! I will be looking forward to see what you do for the classroom.

  2. Nice for a variety of needs. Also ensures the recipient will never be up the creek without a paddle!!! : )

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