How to Make a Greek Paddle

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Paddles are a part of Greek life. According to, 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 labor.

1 Acquire the wood for the paddle

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 Draw your paddle on a piece of paper

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 center 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 Place your piece

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 Cut out your paddle

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

5 Drill a hole in the center of the handle

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

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.

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

Decorate your paddle with items that have meaning to you, the recipient or your Greek organization. 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.

Jamie Farber started writing professionally in 2000. Her work has appeared in several newspapers, including "The Grand Rapids Press," "The Advance" and "The Wooster Daily Record," as well as in several local magazines and on various websites. Farber holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from The College of Wooster.