Blissful and creative high seas DIY sailboat decor

| | | | | | | |

Have you tossed a DIY project in the trash before finishing?  Your thought is, “It’s ugly!”  Or, “That’s not what I was expecting it to look!!”  Or worse, “What will friends think of this thing!!!”

DIY sailboat with drop cloth sail and shiplap | Country Design Style |

These thoughts cross my mind more than I want to admit.  But this time I persevered and I’m glad it did.  I hope you think so too.

DIY Sailboat Decor

This post contains affiliate links. I will make a commission for your purchase at no extra cost to you. Think of it as a friend letting you know where I found a product I use, love or want.  Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

Goofy side story

Many years ago I made and sold home decor items.  To my surprise, my creations sold well.  I created a lighthouse from an old spindle.  Yes, I’ve been obsessed with spindles for years.  Mike is always supportive but he scratched his head over the lighthouse.  He didn’t think it would sell.  I took the lighthouse to a local shop.  Each week my job became to dust the lighthouse and find another way to display it proudly.  This continued for several months.  Then one day I walked in and the lighthouse was gone.  I often wondered if Mike brought the lighthouse.

I’m worried this project is a lighthouse.

The candle holder

Wood wall candle holder | Country Design Style |

I bought this wall candle holder for a dollar at a local thrift store. Only to toss it in my I’ll do something with it someday pile. While looking for something else a lightbulb went off. I have the perfect project idea.

Wooden wall candle holder in pieces | Country Design Style |
I took the candle holder apart and sanded the spindle and base.

Scrap Wood for Shiplap

Stack of scrap wood | Country Design Style |

Next, I dug through the scrap wood pile. Finding several pieces of different widths. I cut the pieces to be different lengths too. A small piece was cut into a triangle.

Sailboat arch on scrap wood | Country Design Style |

Then using the table sander I rounded the end to an arch.

Sanded scrap wood for sailboat | Country Design Style |

Plus rounded the edges all around the boards.

Stacked scrap wood for DIY sailboat | Country Design Style |

Then I used my favorite wood glue and made a sailboat shape. The different widths give a shiplap-look to the boat.

Aging and Painting the Sailboat

Aged wood for sailboat decor | Country Design Style |

Next, I used tea and vinegar to aged the wood.

At the point, I looked at the wired boat shape and almost tossed it in the trash.

DIY-Sailboat-decor-deck-shiplap | Country Design Style |

Do I see this thing to the end or toss it?  I wasn’t sure but decided paint would help.

Before painting, I used dark wax {my homemade dark wax} as a resist to give the boat age and a shiplap deck. Using a small artist brush I made lines on the deck with dark wax.  You can see I predrilled a hole for the mast

DIY-Sailboat-decor-painted | Country Design Style |

Now for the paint.  I used mud paint in Manor white.  I love the color.  It’s like a pure white that has been bleached by the sun.

I painted the boat with a thick layer of paint and placed it outside in the hot AZ sun. Know what it did?

DIY-Sailboat-decor-chippy-paint | Country Design Style |

It turned a chippy paint finish in some areas. This happened in thick areas where the top of the paint dried faster than the paint underneath. It’s a fun thing about mud paint.

Anyway, I grabbed a piece of sandpaper and sanded the deck to reveal the shiplap planks. Also sanded the edges of the boards to enhance the shiplap-look.

I drilled holes in the bottom of the boat….yikes it’s gonna sink! Anyway. The holes are for the base. A dollop of glue holds the sailboat on the base and another dollop holds the spindle mast.

Note: I love then vintage farmhouse look of wood thrift store items with a basic wood finish that has been sanded. It looks sun bleached in areas and darker in other areas.

The Sail and Flags

DIY-Sailboat-decor using metal eyelets | Country Design Style |

For the sail, I cut a triangle piece of drop cloth. Then cut it in half.  I frayed the edges.  Then added metal white eyelets to the corners.   The spindle mast holds the sail with small nails.  I used the threads to tie the sail to the mast. I was going to use small eye hooks for the sail, but I didn’t have any.

DIY-Sailboat-decor making flags | Country Design Style |

Next, I wanted a banner of small flags.  I cut four rectangles from the drop cloth and pulled more threads.

DIY-Sailboat-decor making triangle flags | Country Design Style |

I folded the rectangles and cut diamond shapes.

DIY-Sailboat-decor making triangle flags | Country Design Style |

Then, I used a pencil to draw lines on a couple of the flags.  Then used craft glue to hold them on the threads.

As I’m hoisting the sail and flags I’m starting to smile. Then I giggle. Now, I’m laughing out loud. I like my little sailboat.

I like my little sailboat.

Displaying the sailboat decor

DIY-Sailboat-decor on mantel | Country Design Style |

I gathered seashells and added a chalkboard to the mantel to help show the sailboat against the white walls.  Rope, a spool of twine, an ampersand, and other favorite items that fit the colors finish the mantel.

DIY-Sailboat-decor pin 1 | Country Design Style |

I’m still laughing.

DIY-Sailboat-decor pin 2 | Country Design Style |

It’s the morning of a new day and the sailboat still makes me laugh.

DIY-Sailboat-decor from this to this | Country Design Style |

Love Related Posts | Country Design Style |

You can see the swimsuit chalkboard displayed on the mantel with other nautical decor projects here.

Kimberly M. sailboat closeup

I had to share this photo from a reader who created a sailboat using the steps above…and her’s came out even better!  This is why I love DIY!  😀

Let me know in comments below, is mine a lighthouse??

Join the newsletter

Subscribe to get our DIY HelpLetter each Thursday. Plus grab your Interior Decorating Ideas e-book.

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

Similar Posts


  1. Sylvie Benard says:

    This is a nice project that can be turn for a boy bedroom. Thank you for your good idea!

Leave a Reply