Ship Wheel Crafts

Written by brooke bowers
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Ship Wheel Crafts
Crafts with ship wheels evoke oceangoing adventure. (Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Ship wheels are a must-have decorative object for any enthusiast of sailing or maritime history. Restore or reuse antique wooden wheels and make them into decorations for a nautical nut's office or den or use them to announce your affinity for all things seafaring to all that "come aboard."

Wheel Clock

Create an unusual desk or wall clock for your sea captain using either a full-size or miniature wooden ship wheel. Take a round clock about the size of the centre of your wheel, cut out its centre in the same diameter as the clock using a router, and insert the clock. Make sure that you can get to the back of the clock to change the batteries after installation. Add mounting brackets to the back of the wheel to hang it on the wall. For a desk clock, create a base from driftwood and stain it to match the wheel.

Painted Wall Decoration

Paint an antique ship wheel to give it a clean, refreshed appearance before hanging it on your wall. White and blue evoke a traditional nautical theme. For additional class, cover the hand grips with brass caps or paint them with a metallic spray paint. String ropes or nets through the gaps in the wheel and glue on shells or starfish. Add mounting brackets to the back to hang it on the wall.

Desk Ornament or Headboard

Create a simple desk or headboard ornament using a large ship's wheel. Wheels commonly come in sizes ranging from 18 to 48 inches--choose the size most appropriate to your space. Cut the wheel in half using a table saw. Sand the cut edges. Add a layer of stain and polyurethane to give the overall wheel a uniform appearance. Set half of the wheel onto the top of a desk or hang it behind a bed to create a nautical-theme headboard in a beach cabin.

Coffee Table

Cover a wooden ship wheel with a layer of a dark stain. Seal it with a polyurethane to resist fading. Create a box-shaped base using a finish-grade plywood and stain it the same colour as the wheel, or use an inexpensive wooden storage cube. Attach the wheel to the base with liquid nails, ensuring that there is no glue visible. Cover the wheel with a circular piece of glass to create a flat surface for cups or magazines.

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