How to Decorate With Boat Oars

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For a nautical theme, combine boat oars with a canoe or a display of sailor’s knots. You can also use boat oars in a mountain cabin, beach cottage or your home by the lake. Boat oars are appropriate in a variety of ways, both subtle and not-so-very, as staircase wall railings; a focal-point bedroom headboard, in conjunction with a wall-mounted canoe; or even as a curtain rod. Wooden oars, painted oars or stained oars -- use the ones that work with your home’s design scheme. Measure oars by length including their bladed ends.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Curtain rod mounting brackets
  • Stud finder
  • 8- or 10-foot long boat oar
  • Curtain rod fasteners
  • Two-by-four board, the width of the bed
  • Drill and bits
  • 3 1/2-inch wood screws
  • 2-inch wood screws
  • Staircase railing mounts
  • Fasteners
  • 1-inch wood screws

Boat Oar Curtain Rod

  • Measure the distance across the window or opening where you plan to use the boat oar in place of a curtain rod. Mark the locations on the wall.

  • Secure the brackets to either side of the opening so that the curtain moves unhindered across the boat-oar rod. Use anchor or toggle bolts or secure the brackets into studs after locating them with a stud finder.

  • Thread the curtain onto the oar.

  • Mount the oar on the brackets above the window, securing them with wood screws or fasteners.

Seaworthy Headboard

  • Measure the width of the bed and cut a two-by-four to this length.

  • Locate the studs behind the bed in the wall into which to secure the two-by-four to the wall with 3 1/2-inch-long wood screws.

  • Transfer the measurements to the lumber. Drill through the flat side of the lumber first with a small drill bit to fit the dimension of the screw shank. Drill out this hole with a bit slightly larger than the screw head, leaving 1 inch of wood. A two-by-four’s small side is only 1 1/2 inches thick. Secure the lumber to the wall.

  • Mount oars at alternating heights on the lumber so that the flat heads are standing up, with the shanks running behind the bed: a tall, then a short, tall, then short, repeated across the length of the board with the 2-inch screws, fastening them in two places on the lumber to keep them tight.

Nautical Railing

  • Add staircase railing mounts to the wall through studs or with anchor bolts to keep the railing secure against the wall.

  • Install the boat oar on the wall of a staircase to act as a railing.

  • Secure the oar to the railing mounts using the 1 inch or smaller screws; you don’t want the screws to pierce the oar.

Oar Decor Art

  • Locate the studs in the wall with the stud finder or move to Step 2.

  • Use toggle or anchor bolts to secure oars to a wall to create a focal point above a fireplace, a television or elsewhere in the living space or bedroom of a home.

  • Mount the oars so that the flat sides angle up, but crisscrossed to form an X-shape on the wall.

Tips & Warnings

  • The best oars are wooden -- unless you prefer plastic ones -- but you can stain or paint them to match your decor scheme as desired.
  • You can also layer more oars behind a headboard if you add a second mounting board above the first. Use oars of similar lengths and shapes for a uniform look.
  • Scullery oars are much longer.
  • Decorative boat oars make for interesting towel racks in the bathroom.
  • Always secure heavy objects or unwieldy ones such as boat oars firmly to the wall using anchor or toggle bolts or mounted through wall studs. As a railing, you don’t want someone pulling on the railing as they climb the stairs only for it to pull from the wall because of faulty mounting.

References

  • Photo Credit JudyDillon/iStock/Getty Images
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