Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Making of a Paddle

As I've talked about a lot, I'm in a sorority. And in sororities, it's extremely common and super exciting to make paddles for each other.

Now I know what you're thinking...that paddles are used for not so nice things. But that couldn't be further from the truth. Paddles in sororities are kind of like one of the biggest, most special, heartfelt presents a sister can give. They are usually given for the Big/Little Pillow/Paddle exchange (Littles make their bigs a paddle and bigs make their littles a pillow!).

But as a cute in-house bonding thing, my sorority decided to do it just for the girls that live in the house. And of course, I was excited. See, I love love love crafting. And there are so many different paddle ideas that I want to try! And not nearly enough occasions for it either.

For reference, last November, this is the paddle I made my big! She loves snowboarding and skiing, so I decided to do a snow theme!

So when I learned that I had the opportunity to do another, I jumped on the chance.
My secret sister that I was given only gave me one thing to work with, and that was her favorite color: red. Which is pretty easy since it's my favorite as well!
I knew that I wanted to use pearls and lace. And my masterpiece was created!!
This paddle was so much fun to make and was really easy actually. And it was a hit with my secret sister and the rest of the sorority (both paddles that I've made have been on display for recruitment, which makes me beyond happy).
So in case you are wondering, some paddle making tips I have:
-Have a plan in mind! It sounds simple, but it's easy to get overwhelmed at Michael's or Hobby Lobby. So draw pictures, spend hours on Pinterest, and think about what you want to do.
-Making "pretty" paddles are fun, but the ones that impress people the most, are the personal ones. So if you're big loves giraffes, slap some cute giraffes on it! If she loves cupcakes, do that! Don't just do a simple paddle that's not personal. If you're big loves Snoopy, she'll be more impressed with Snoopy than some pretty fabric.
-Give yourself plenty of time! Make sure the paint is dry and the glue has settled before you present it to your sister.
-Do it with your strengths. I'm not a painter, so I'm not going to paint a mural of the Rocky Mountains on my big's paddle. I'm good with more crafty/scrapbooking things.
So there you have it! If you have any questions or want me to go more into depth about the paddles I've made, let me know! But overall, once you get started, you'll get the hang of it! Plus, it's so much fun!!


  1. Hi Becca,
    Here's a step by step for the lace one:
    1.) First I painted the paddle. I painted the front, back, and sides all red.
    2.)I bought a yard of lace from JoAnne's, but I had a lot leftover.
    3.)I took spray adhesive and sprayed the entire paddle, and quickly lined up the lace to it (at this point it was still completely whole, because cutting out the lace before to the exact shape of the paddle didn't work).
    4.) I then took scissors and cut the lace to the actual shape and size of the paddle. It doesn't have to be perfect if you do the pearl outline.
    5.) Because the edges were having a little trouble sticking, I took fabric glue and used it in the trouble spots. This really worked!
    6.) I did all the other decorating! I glued individual pearls to the sides, added the woodedn ASA and her name and the crown.

    Hope this helps Becca! Thanks for reading!


  2. Hi Caitie! What kind of glue did you use for the pearls?

  3. Hi Brittany! I just used hot glue! It held up pretty well, though I did have to make a few touch ups along the way. What helped me get them to stick was making sure to put the pearls down when the glue was still really warm and then apply pressure for about ten seconds to make sure it sticks well! Hope that helps! :)

  4. So cute! What kind of pearls did you use and how many did it take? Thanks:)

  5. Thanks! I used pearls from Michael's that were just in the bag (I think they are usually done the bead aisle). I think I only use about one packaged bag for this :)

  6. Hi Caitie! I just got all the information about every detail my big wants for her paddle :) She wants it painted ombre from a white to a dark purple! Then, she wants white lace over it. I was wondering what you used to attach the black lace you used to the paddle. Let me know if you have any other tips as well! Your blog is a great help :)

  7. Hi Catie! I was just browsing google for the best ways to put fabric patterns onto a wood paddle and this blog popped up...I'm in ASA too! Theta sigma chapter <3 Your paddles are beautiful, if you have any suggestions for a fellow sister let me know! :)

  8. I made a project like this and I bought my stuff from . My kids loved my art. I am also going to blog about my art projects. Its so much fun

  9. I would like to appreciate the author for coming up with such a well written post.

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