How to Make a Greek Paddle

Written by jamie farber
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How to Make a Greek Paddle
Greek paddles are often given as graduation gifts to fraternity and sorority members. (Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Paddles are a part of Greek life. According to GreekPaddles.net, the paddles are often created by new members of a fraternity or sorority for big brothers or sisters. Entire members of a new class can also make paddles for the new member educator. The paddles are often portrayed in popular culture as being used to spank new members, but the paddles are more of a decoration or keepsake. You can make your own paddle with wood, paint and some manual labour.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Paper
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Piece of hard wood, such as maple or oak
  • Jigsaw
  • Safety goggles
  • Drill with 1-inch bit
  • Large grit sandpaper, such as 40 grit
  • Medium grit sandpaper, such as 80 grit
  • Fine grit sandpaper, such as 150 grit
  • Wood stain
  • Paint brushes
  • Paint in variety of colours
  • Decorative elements including glitter, fraternity or sorority letters
  • Wood glue

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Acquire the wood for the paddle. Greek paddles can range in size from small key chains to 2 1/2 feet tall. In general, your paddle should be four times as long as it is wide. If your design is 4 inches wide, the paddle should be 16 inches long. The length includes the handle.

  2. 2

    Draw your paddle on a piece of paper, using a pencil. Paddles are usually a rectangular shape with a handle that is thin and comes out of the centre of the rectangle on one of the short ends. You can choose to have decorative edging around the paddle or just on certain parts. By creating it yourself, you are not limited by anything other than your creativity.

  3. 3

    Place your piece of hard wood on a table. Cut out the pattern you made on paper and trace it on the piece of wood using your pencil.

  4. 4

    Cut out your paddle using a jigsaw. Make sure you have safety goggles in place before operating the jigsaw.

  5. 5

    Drill a hole in the centre of the handle, using your drill, two inches from the end. The hole will allow the paddle to be hung on the wall.

  6. 6

    Sand the sides of your paddle with large grit sandpaper. Once you have removed any large imperfections in the wood, switch to the medium grit sandpaper. Continue sanding using the medium grit until the sides are smooth. Finish the sanding process using the fine grit sandpaper.

  7. 7

    Paint or stain the paddle, using wood stain or paint and paint brushes. Allow the paint or stain to dry completely.

  8. 8

    Decorate your paddle with items that have meaning to you, the recipient or your Greek organisation. You can attach purchased Greek letters with wood glue or cover the paddle in glitter. Use phrases such as "big sister" or "big brother" where appropriate.

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