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DIY Oar Coat Rack


The inspiration for this DIY comes from my love of spending time at the lake!  I’m from a place called Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.  The lake there is gorgeous!  Even though my mom moved to California when I was little, we would spend Summers there, fishing with my grandpa “Poppop”.  That’s probably why I was so drawn to remodel homes here in Big Bear Lake.  It’s a local ski resort but has a beautiful lake! For my wedding, my friends at Home & Family made me a reminder of my time with Poppop.  I currently keep this above my TV and look at it every day.

So, this Oar Coat Rack was dreamt to life. Now if you are lucky enough to have old paddles to use, use those!  This will work on any size and any shaped oar. For me, I purchased some wooden craft oars from Amazon and while they are smaller than actual oars, they will get the job done. Here is how to get started!

You Will Need:

  • Craft Oars
  • Metal anchor robe/coat hooks
  • Acrylic paint (colors you desire)
  • Paint brush
  • Sand paper (any grit)
  • Either a drill with Phillips head bit or a Phillips screw driver
  • French cleat
  • Pencil
  • Rag/Paper towel
  • Tape measure
  • Self-adhesive vinyl letters


  1. Taking your acrylic paint, add paint to your oar with a dry-brush technique.I used a light brown for the handle part, and blue and white for the paddle part.  Set aside to dry.
  2. Since we want these to have a weathered/used look, take some sand paper and rough up the area you painted. Wipe down with a damp rag to clean the dust.
  3. Measure the length of your oar. Since mine is a craft oar and only 36”, I will only be using 3 robe/coat hooks on each oar.  You want to use the “handle” part of the oar as the coat rack, and the “paddle” part as your message.
  4. Now measure just the “handle” and shaft of your oar. Taking a pencil, mark the area you would like each hook to go (so that they are evenly spaced).
  5. Attach your hook to the handle/shaft of your oar with a drill/screw gun and screws. If you are using a real oar, you may need to pre-drill first so that they screw will go in nicely.
  6. Attach all of your hooks. Wipe off any dust you made from the screws.
  7. Head over to the paddle part. This is where you can get creative.  What do you want it to say?  Welcome? Your last name?  A cute quote about the lake?  I decided to do two oars.  One says “Welcome” and one says “Home & Family”.
  8. Add your vinyl letters to the paddle section.
  9. Hang on the wall with a French cleat.
  10. Sit back, relax and admire your adorable oar coat rack!


  1. Why use a French cleat? I personally would since it will evenly displace the weight of your coat rack. This might not be a big issue when there are no coats hanging, but once you have a variety of coats (with a variety of weights), you want to make sure that your rack is sturdy.  If you don’t want to use a cleat, I suggest using two large screws and drill directly into two studs on either side of your oar.
  2. If you don’t want to paint your oars you can totally leave them as they come in their natural wood state, but I would add a sealant over the top. If you apply a full and thick coat of paint, more than just the dry-brush technique, it can act as it’s own sealant but I think it is always a good idea to add a polyurethane sealer over the top. I like using a spray paint sealer.
  3.  Personalize your oars to fit you and your home. They can say whatever you want them too. You could even freestyle if you want your own handwriting. If you don’t trust your handwriting skills then the vinyl letters make it super easy and you look like you are a pro.
  4. You can find all the things you need online through amazon or at your local craft store!

This DIY is perfect for your summer decor and will give you that lake house/cabin holiday vibe! For more summer DIY inspiration make sure you visit us at Home & Family and share with us all of your crafts and DIYs on Instagram and Twitter @paigehemmis 



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