Friday, September 24, 2010

DIY Oars, Pottery Barn Style

You may have already learned that raising children is not cheap.  First there are the diapers.  And the clothing that they outgrow every month or two.  And the food that they consume -- I swear, the amount my children eat rivals that of large teenage boys.  And then there's the daycare issue.  So when we decided that it was time to get Charlotte and Gavin out of their toddler beds and into "big kid" bedrooms, we knew we wanted to do it on the cheap.

Michael and I love working on a project.  In fact, I often tell him that I think our marriage is best when we are working towards something.  It could be anything: picking out a new perennial for our garden, looking for Christmas decorations, whatever.  We love having a goal.  So the two of us (okay, mostly me)  were giddy with excitement at the thought of decorating the kids' rooms.  A project!  And a fun one!

I've been spending the last few months scouring flea markets and Etsy looking for treasures to make the rooms perfect.  I definitely could blow hundreds of dollars, easy, on Pottery Barn quilts and bookshelves.  But that doesn't fit with our whole three-kids-in-daycare situation, so it was important to do it on a shoestring budget.

Neither room has a "theme", exactly.  Gavin loves being outside, so we decided to decorate with things you might see at a summer camp.  I decided that I really wanted a pair of oars hanging over his bed, like these from PB:

But Pottery Barn is not cheap (side note: how do they get away with those shipping charges?  Ridiculous!).  So after a few months of looking (I never thought it would be so difficult to locate a pair of old oars!) we scored a pair for $18.  Here they are as they looked when we bought them:

We are using primary colors in Gavin's room, so I bought some Rustoleum spray paint in white, navy, and red.  I painted the larger oar white:
And then I added some blue painter's tape so I could paint some random red stripes:
I wanted to personalize the smaller oar a bit.  First I painted it navy, and then made a stencil of the number 5 to paint on the paddle.  I printed a 5 I liked on the computer, cut it out, and then traced around it with pencil:

Then I painted the five with yellow acrylic paint.  The nice part about this is that I knew I wanted to distress the oars, so I didn't worry too much about paint drips or perfect lines:
 After the paint dried, I got out some coarse sandpaper and went to town on those babies.  Here are my little beauties now:
We're heading to the Depot this weekend to find appropriate hooks to hang them with.  I can't wait to see how they look on the wall!  And we're one step closer to finishing the room...can't wait to show you!


  1. Amy-- The oars came out GREAT! I like your DIY ones way better than the original Pottery Barn ones!!

  2. Amy-- The oars came out GREAT! I like your DIY ones way better than the original Pottery Barn ones!!

  3. These turned out great, can't wait to see the finished room!

  4. You did a fantastic job - and go you for thrifting instead of giving into those BIG prices!

  5. I have also been searching for a pair of oars for my son's room. Where did you find some so inexpensive?


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