How to Make a Fraternity Paddle

Written by teddi ginsberg
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How to Make a Fraternity Paddle
A typical sorority paddle. (;=656)

One of the great honours of fraternity or sorority membership is the ability to share symbols, colours and a crest with fellow members across the globe. A paddle is wonderful way to present this pride. It is also a great gift to give to little brothers, little sisters, big brothers and big sisters, and it can be a special gesture to give one to a close friend. A paddle can be displayed on the wall or stored away for safekeeping and is a nice reminder of membership.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Wooden paddle
  • Wooden pieces to decorate
  • Paint (optional)

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  1. 1

    Choose a paddle. Depending on where the paddle is purchased, different shapes and sizes may be available to pick from. Some paddles have a built-in picture frame, allowing the creator to capture a memory of the recipient and him on the paddle. Not all paddles are traditional shapes---for instance, sometimes a paddle in the shape of a key is used by members of Kappa Kappa Gamma.

  2. 2

    Decide what symbols and decorations will be displayed on the paddle. Most importantly, the organisation Greek letters must be displayed on the paddle. It is best to put the letters in the middle or on the top so that they are prominently displayed. Next come the symbols. Paddles are all about pride. For instance, a Delta Delta Delta paddle should always have a dolphin. Finally, the organisation crest is a must. Many wooden crests have adhesive backs that simply require peeling off the plastic and sticking to the paddle. If they do not, woodcraft glue can be purchased at any art store.

  3. 3

    Choose other icons to add. Aside from letters and symbols, many other icons are appropriate to place on a paddle. If it is going to a member of the executive board, there is often a corresponding symbol to a position, such as a gavel for the president. Another idea to consider is an image of an intramural sport the recipient plays for the organisation. Other symbols, such as hearts, are a sweet touch.

  4. 4

    Include the name of the recipient and, when appropriate, the name of the giver. This makes the paddle more personal. Other word options include "BIG BROTHER," "LITTLE BROTHER," "BIG SISTER," or "LITTLE SISTER." Another idea is to put the current year on the paddle to mark when it was created and given. If the paddle marks an initiation, include the season and the year.

  5. 5

    Do not paint the paddle itself---paint would take away from the nature of the wood. Painting some or all of the wooden pieces will really make them pop, but it is not a required step, because the wooden pieces have some depth to them and will easily show without colour distinction. If you choose to paint the wooden pieces, do so before attaching them to the paddle. Once the paddle is complete, wrap it in clear plastic with a bow.

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