I love Pottery Barn.
Everyone loves Pottery Barn right?
But if you’re reading this (a DIY) blog, then you’re probably in the same boat as I am and don’t really want to pay Pottery Barn prices for projects that seem completely DIY-able.
Like these decorative wooden buoys for instance:
Whew! They’re on sale right now.
On sale for $35 USD for the set…. still seems hefty when I have all of this wood lying around?
Hubby scoffed when I brought these boards home a few weeks ago. A neighbour was replacing their fence and these were some of the old boards they’d pulled out. I asked if I could take a few (they were at the curb on garbage day) and I came home with this glom (because they are all nailed together) of pressure treated.
Free pressure treated.
Okay, hard-on-the-eyes-I-can’t-imagine-ever-using-these pressure treated – but wait!
A tiny bit of sanding and the wood didn’t look nearly as horrible – in fact there was no rot at all. The boards were in perfect condition.
The PB wooden buoys have a square base, which means you need to either buy 4×4, 5×5, 6×6 wood, or ‘laminate’ two boards together to give you a square shape. I had 2×4 boards so I opted to put two together.
I cut one board to give me 2 pieces at 13″ high (per the PB tallest one). I then cut two pieces at 12″ high and glued and clamped the boards together. I did add two deck screws (2 1/2″ long), one through each board to make sure that they were solidly together (I didn’t know if water would lessen the strength of the wood glue).
I marked the centre point on all four sides of the wooden buoys and then marked 1/2″ out on either side of centre. This will give you a 1″ square when you’re finished cutting.
You can choose whatever angle you like to cut these on – go steeper or shallower than I did – but if you want to copy these exactly, set your mitre saw to a 17 degree angle and cut from the marking to the edge.
When you repeat on the next side, make sure you use the marking and line up the bottom of your cut with the previous one. As you get to the third and fourth side, you won’t have as much wood at the guide rail, so lining the bottom edge up is important, and ever-so-slightly dangerous. Clamp the wood to your mitre saw if possible to hold it solidly in place and make sure you are wearing protective ear and eyewear in case anything goes flying. Warning: depending on the thickness of the wood you choose, you may need a 12″ mitre saw to cut all the way through.
If you use larger pieces of wood, you may need to laminate a few pieces together and then cut them down slightly to be square.
If you fill in the gaps with a bit of wood filler, no one will ever know that these weren’t a single board.
Sand your wooden buoys smooth and drill a hole through the top for stringing your rope. (I sanded down the corners
to help hide where my angles didn’t totally line up for a more worn look)
Now the fun part – choose the colour you want the text/numbers on your wooden buoys to be – this is going to be your base coat of paint.
I had a leftover tester pot of indoor/outdoor in grey.
Once this is completely dry, mark off your letters/numbers. I used the Silhouette Cameo to cut mine, but you could pretty easily make a 1, 4 or 7 with just a bit of painter’s tape. Go “777” and bring on the good luck!
My Dad lives at the beach, so I thought that these might make cute ‘danglers’ from his address sign out on the road.
Now it’s time to paint away – stripes, stars, polka dots – whatever floats your boat.
I stuck to 4 colours and repeated them on each buoy in different arrangements for cohesiveness without being matchy-matchy. Paint your flag, your dock number, your initials – anything goes – remember, we are still standing at a grand total of $3 for a bit of sandpaper and some hemp rope.
In order to look weathered and worn, you need to sand down your top coat in areas where the wooden buoys might have bumped against the boat, or fishing nets, or even sand. You know I hate sanding off a perfect top coat, but for this project it’s a necessity – fresh, new buoys just won’t hold the same coastal flair. (See, I totally held off and didn’t comment on how I prefer “dirty buoys” – that’s self-control folks!)
Just in case you’re looking for form and function – they totally float!
Not bad for $3 and this mess:
DIY / Pottery Barn Inspired Wooden Buoys for your Pinterest board:
What I used:
Happy 4th of July to my US readers!
Have a great one!