Help Hanging Oars for the Decor Challenged

chicagoansApril 24, 2014

Disclaimer: I'm decor challenged; my home style is "teenagers and a dog." Having established that, I'm looking for some feedback re: hanging some oars and pictures in my family room.

A camp my family has attended since I was a kid (and I worked there in college) is closing. I'm heartbroken about it but am trying to make the best of it. I got two oars from the camp that I'm going to hang on a wall with some pix from camp that I had printed on canvas.

My question is about the best way to hang the oars.

The oars are 8' long and about 1 3/4" in diameter at the widest part where a hook would go.

Here are the oars and pictures laid out on a table. (There are pads on the table - it's much prettier than it looks!)

I bought some wide hooks from Lee Valley; I like the rusticity but I'm afraid they're too wide and will look odd. What do you think?

FWIW here is a picture of the wall where the oars and pictures will go. The space between the window at left and angled wall at right is 13' 6" long; I'm replacing the picture that's there now. (It was the classroom project for my son's 4th grade class and he's a freshman in high school now. Yes, it's time.)

For context, here is a wider shot of the room (and the dog.)

Should I stick with the hooks I have? I haven't found any others that I think would work.

Should I use brackets for hanging 2" diameter curtain rods? I don't like the size of the big wooden brackets, and don't think I can use the closed circle brackets (I don't have room to maneuver the oars that much.)

Curtain tieback brackets are also too big, I think.

I considered drilling into the oars to screw in picture hanging wire and hang them from hooks - basically making the oars look like they're 'floating' on the wall. But I'm worried I might split the wood.

Sorry this is so long... I've you've stuck with me, any ideas? Oh and to make things interesting... I'm hoping to hang these before May 3 because I'm having 60 for brunch on May 4, so if I order something it has to be fast.


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Here are some options.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 12:35PM
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Maybe hang them in an X?

Also, see what this person used to hang her pair...Command Hooks,

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 12:40PM
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Thanks Beverly and chijim!

Criss cross is an interesting option; I was thinking I couldn't do that because one would have to be on top of the other and therefore unstable, but the block of wood idea solves that.

And the Command Strips... that would be great! Those would eliminate drilling, which I dislike. (The anchors always seem to get loose on me, even when I make small holes.)

Any opinions on the hooks I have? Too big?

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 1:11PM
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Google oars hanging on walls. Lots of images. They seem to use your hooks. Command strips might not support the weight.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 1:31PM
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I like the hooks you have. They look "authentic" in the sense of how my Grandpa would have hung them at the cabin. The hooks would not have been small. Also they give your arrangement some dimension because the oars won't be flat and tight against the wall. You don't want them to look like reproductions that look just like decor. You've got the real deal.

Hey---I have oars I kept from my Grandma and Grandpa's cabin. Spent a lot of time with the oars growing up. It's a great memory.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 1:32PM
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Why not use actual oarlocks?

This post was edited by Tibbrix on Thu, Apr 24, 14 at 13:54

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 1:42PM
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Thanks for the thoughts everyone!

Tribbix - using real oarlocks was my first idea, but I couldn't figure out how to fasten them to the wall so that they'd be sticking out the right way. I guess if I used either of the styles circled in yellow, below, with the 'top mount' hardware screwed into the wall, that might work. (Have the stem of that top mount thing sticking out from the wall and slide the stem of the oarlock into it.)

I also considered buying 4 boat cleats (like the one at the bottom center of the picture), hanging them vertically, and lashing the oars to them with heavy twine.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 1:58PM
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Maybe either drill holes into studs that the oarlock pin can fit in snugly, (pin should be long enough that it doesn't slip out, and make the hole small enough so you have to hammer the lock into it, i.e.: so that it's in there very tightly.

Or, get a top mount that has a hole deep enough to hole the entire pin. I don't think you'd' want the lock sticking too far out of the wall, right?

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 2:05PM
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I'm leaning towards using your hooks. Simple,easy and they'd look realistic. The oarlock idea also sounds great, but I would not want to make holes to fit them if it were in my walls. Whichever way you do choose, though, I hope that you'll take pics and show us the finished results. Your idea is wonderful!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 3:40PM
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I use command hooks, but I'd never hang something with them above someone's head. Don't use them over the sofa.

Love the oars! After you get them hung, add some pops of red in the room.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 3:48PM
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I like the oars ! Suggest you google Hawaiian Paddles - lots of people here hang them for display, as the older ones were often made of valuable woods like koa.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 4:30PM
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chicagoans, was the camp on Lake Michigan? Is it the one in Saugatuck?

Nice oars, but I have nothing to offer about hanging them. Is your furniture brown? I can picture some lighter blue denim pillows working nicely on the furniture and plus maybe some white pillows with navy blue stripes to tie the nautical look together.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 6:53PM
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jujubean: that's the one! Have you been there? My kids and I are so sad about the camp closing, as are my sis and her kids and many of our friends. We've been going there every year since forever, it seems. I was a life guard there in the '80s. It's such a beautiful slice of heaven.

My DD and I stopped by to say goodbye a few weeks ago after doing some college visits in MI. It was freaking cold but we went down to the beach and she wrote a goodbye message in the sand. We were both crying as we drove out the out road.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 10:57PM
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