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How to Create a Simple, Beautiful Nautical Anchor

Updated on February 28, 2018
Charlotte Doyle profile image

Charlotte is an artist, freelance writer, wife, homeschooling mother, and college student pursuing a Master's degree in psychology.

An anchor Craft
An anchor Craft | Source

Create a Beautiful, Beachy Craft?

I was able to create a gorgeous, customized piece of wall art that I am quite proud of. It hangs prominently on my wall in the living room, and looking at it induces memories of the beach. I love the ocean, and if you're anything like me, aquatic decor in the home is reminiscent of good memories and future trips to a beautiful place with sand, sea glass, shells and the blue-greens of the sea. I felt great that I was able to recycle a piece of wall decor in a way that completely gave it a new life. Instead of being a dull anchor in a washed out color, the anchor is now green, blue and riddled with sea gems and sea shells in a way that reflects my personality and style.

Required Items for Nautical Anchor Craft

Many of these items can be found at craft stores, or online. Many can even be found at local dollar stores. To create this nautical wood anchor, you need the following items:

A Wooden Anchor
Glue Gun
Glue Gun Sticks
Sea Glass
Sea Shells
Aquatic Acrylic Colors
Gesso
Paint Brush for Acrylics
Large Paintbrush or Foam Brush Gesso
Hanging Apparatus

Explanation of Materials for Nautical Anchor Craft

Wooden Anchor

The Wooden Anchor can be bought at favorite craft stores. You can even find them online here: https://tinyurl.com/ybb5kfts or here: https://tinyurl.com/y9xn4w7c. The second choice is the one I used for a few reasons. It's thick, so it was a nice three-dimensional effect. It also comes with a nice length of nautical rope that can be removed and added back on later, after the anchor has been customized and embellished.

Sea Shells

I feel like it's a unique touch if you can use sea glass or sea shells that you found on a beach trip. If this is not possible, it's possible to find seashells online or at a craft store. The seashells should be medium ones, not large or tiny. I used white wedding seashells that I found online. The white wedding seashells are bleached and glossed. If you prefer a natural look, that perfectly fine too!

Sea Glass

If you can't find sea glass, you can use those 'bubbles' that are found in craft stones. They resemble a marble that's cut in half and comes in various colors and sizes. I recommend getting blues and greens for this project, but again, the choice is ultimately up to you. Another name for the bubbled glass with a flat bottom is cabochon. If you prefer the look of natural sea glass, like me, you can find them here https://tinyurl.com/ya6fbgef or here https://tinyurl.com/y9w2aal3. For my project, I used a mix of blue and darker blue sea glass, some were flat, and some were chunky.

Gesso

As you can see from the anchor, the anchor itself that I used was initially unattractive, washed out, slate color. I suppose it works for vintage nautical themes, but I wanted a more vibrant, beachy anchor. Before painting with acrylic paints, it's imperative to paint the anchor with gesso. Gesso gives the wood more 'tooth' and texture to hold on to the paint. It prevents the flaking of the acrylic paint while decreasing the amount of paint that gets absorbed into the wood. The gesso should be white.

Acrylic Paints

Try to use acrylic paints that are not too runny. Those craft paints found at stores like Michaels, Walmart, and Hobby Lobby work great. For my project, I used a sea green paint and a cerulean blue paint.

How to Create a Customized Anchor

Step One: First, completely remove any rope or netting from the anchor. Save it aside, as it will be used later.

Step Two: Paint the entire front and sides of the anchor with white gesso, using the larger paint brush or foam brush. Let it dry completely.

Step Three: Pick one or two colors that are beachy and paint the entire anchor, even the sides. Use the smaller brush. To create a blended effect, paint one color in random spots on the anchor, then before it dries, add the other color in random patches, then use a clean brush to blend all the colors. You can always just use one color and paint the entire thing a seafoam or cerulean blue. Let it dry.

Step Four: Heat up and load the glue gun. While it heats up, pick what sea glass pieces, and seashells, you want on the anchor. To make it easy, pick one seashell for each tip of the anchor, and then three seashells to go on the neck of the anchor, like in my picture. Glue each piece in a pattern, or randomly, on the anchor. You can copy my image if you'd like. I glued the smaller pieces of sea glass around the anchor handle and randomly added the flat and chunky fragments while strategically placing the seashell pieces. Let everything dry.

Step Five: Add the length of nautical rope in any way that seems right. Use glue gun to secure the ends of the rope on the sides of the anchor, in a way that is not completely visible or obvious.

Step Six: When everything is dry, add a hanging apparatus. You can even use those wall glue sticks that easily release without damaging the wall, as the anchor won't be completely heavy unless you're using a huge anchor. In the case of a massive anchor, you'll need a heavy duty hanging attachment that requires nails.

Make Your Own Wall Decor

Ultimately, you'll have a gorgeous piece of customized nautical art hanging on your walls. With a bit of creativity, patience, and love, you can create a lasting art piece, even if you don't consider yourself artistic. Just use motivation, colors, feelings, and memories from the beach to help guide your creative eye for this anchor project.

© 2018 Charlotte Doyle

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    • sparkleyfinger profile image

      Lynsey Harte 

      6 months ago from Glasgow

      Hi, I love the finished Anchor and this is a great hub. I think it would be even better if you could share step by step photos, especially for any non crafty people, who maybe need more help and visual instruction. Just a suggestion to make your hub "pop."

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