Friday, December 13, 2013

Sorority Paddle Tips and Tricks

One of my favorite parts about being in a sorority was making a receiving paddles.  For new
members, these small pieces of decorated wood can seem like daunting tasks.  When I first rushed, I even believed that little sisters were expected to cut and shape the paddle out of wood!  You can imagine how happy I was to find that they come pre-shaped. There are several options you can chose when decorating your paddle.  Some are colorful and sparkly, others are monochrome and chic.  No matter what you are planning to surprise your big sister with, I would like to share with you a few tips and tricks that I picked up on during my sorority days.

First, find out what your big wants.  This paddle will most likely hang on her wall for the next few years so make sure she likes it.  Be sure to find out her favorite colors, patterns, and interests.  If she loves running, think about including a photo of the two of you participating in a 5K or hitting the gym.  If you love watching Glee together, thing about including song lyrics or a quote from your favorite character.  The best thing about paddles is the ability to make them as unique as your big.  This paddle can be purchased from KraftsbyKristie on Etsy.

Second, use materials that will last.  For instance, Elmer's Glue will not hold as long as hot glue. Acrylic paint is my recommendation for both unfinished and finished wood.  The higher the quality of paint, the less coats you will need to apply.  Be sure to take your time when creating your paddle.  Start early and do not be afraid to try new things.  If you do not know how to apply glitter, throw a Paddle Making Party and invite your sisters.  Not only can you ask for their advice while you work, it is a great bonding experience.

Finally, do not forget about other important members of your family including
your grand-big, twin, or pledge mom.  Smaller paddles or plaques can be decorated to match your big's paddle or the recipient's personality, like this one found at TSM.  If your big is the only one who receives paddles at your chapter, think about starting a new tradition.  Running out of time or resources?  Picture frames, handmade gifts, or chocolates can be used to show your appreciation.

Do you have any pictures of paddles you have made?  Share them below!

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