After your big has showered you with gifts during big/little week, it makes sense that you would want to make your big an awesome paddle that she will love, hang up in her room, and keep forever! Here are the steps you need to take to ensure your big will tear up when she sees her beautifully painted paddle:
Go to the Greek Store on Baltimore Ave and get a paddle, your sorority’s wooden letters, the big and little wooden blocks, and the small wooden letters the spell out your name and your big’s name. The Greek Sore is open from 11 am – 7 pm Monday through Friday and is open from 11 am – 6 pm on Saturday.
Make sure you get these supplies way before your paddle reveal. You want to be able to spend enough time on your paddle to make it perfect.
If you don’t already know your big’s favorite color and style, ask your grand big or your big’s friends. They know your big better than anyone and will be able to offer you a great place to start on your paddle.
Now that you know what colors your paddle should be and if it should be preppy with a Lily Pulitzer pattern or hipster with a more tribal pattern, you can look on Pinterest for inspiration. There are thousands of patterns and paddles on Pinterest that can inspire you. If you find an intricate pattern that you know will be hard to paint, buy tracing paper at a craft store so that you can print out the perfect pattern and trace it onto your paddle.
If you don’t already own the paint colors that you need for your paddle, you can go to Michael’s or Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store to get the paint and paint brushes that you will need to complete your paddle. There is a Michael’s on Baltimore Ave in Laurel, MD and a Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store in Greenbelt, MD.
Put primer or a base coat of paint on your paddle
Paint your paddle the solid background color that you intend your paddle’s main color to be. Make sure that you are painting the front AND back of your paddle.While your paddle is drying, begin to paint the wooden sorority letters and the rest of your wooden blocks you will eventually glue onto your paddle. These wooden letters should probably be a different color than the main color of your paddle.
If the solid background color is a little streaky or too light, paint another coat on your paddle. Do the same on your wooden letters.
As mentioned in Step 3, if you have an intricate design or pattern that you are putting on your paddle, use a pencil and tracing paper to get the design on your paddle perfectly.
Once your design or pattern is on the paddle, you can use paint pens or a thin paintbrush to paint the pattern on.
Print out a picture of you and your big that you can use Mod Podge to paste onto the back of your paddle.
Use a paint pen to write a quote or letter to your big on the back of your paddle to make it extremely personal.
Use hot glue to glue the wooden sorority letters, the big/little wooden blocks, and the letters that spell out your name and your big’s name on the front of the paddle. You can arrange these letters however you want. It would make the most sense to put the “big” wooden block above your big’s name and the “little” wooden block above your name.
Now that your paddle is basically finished, put ribbon through the hole at the top of your pattern so your big will be able to hang her paddle up easily.
Give your big her paddle and make sure she Instagrams a picture of your hard work for everyone to see.