Love skis for Christmas or winter decorating but can’t always find some? Learn how to DIY your own wood ski decor with reclaimed wood planks!
I was sharing some painted ski decor in a Facebook group, when a friend mentioned, “I can’t find any skis in my area!”
Hmmm! Being from the west coast of British Columbia, I would have never thought landing used skis from a thrift store would be hard to come by!
Why decorate with skis?
I personally love decorating my home with skis (and snowshoes for that matter!) for the holiday season. They are easy to customize, fit nearly anywhere and give off that winter vibe so well!
I’ve painted red skis in the kitchen HERE, blue skis when it was winter HERE, and painted them green in last year’s Christmas kitchen tour HERE. And these pretty antique wooden skis are parked beside my flocked Christmas tree.
But what about those who can’t find skis easily? That’s when I thought, I wonder if I could create DIY wooden skis out of boards that could look somewhat realistic…
After some trial and error, I do believe I came up with a way to make a couple of planks look like real skis! You honestly don’t even notice that the tips aren’t curved from a distance.
But there’s a few tips I have to share to get the look JUST right, otherwise may end up with a couple of boards that look like they came off a very tall picket fence! LOL
So! Want to decorate with skis too? Here’s how to turn a couple of wood planks into faux vintage skis so you can decorate your indoors or outdoors, customized any way you wish!
Here’s the instructions:
How to make wood ski decor from planks
Wood planks (the same width as a real ski)
Choosing and preparing the planks
Using real wood antique skis for reference, some reclaimed wood planks were chosen that were the same width.
3.5″ wide, ¾” thick, and one complete ‘ski’ 75″ long.
I ended up joining two shorter picket fence planks. But if you can find the right length, it’ll save you a little work.
The planks were flipped over to the wood side, then lightly sanded.
Creating a ski tip shape
Using a real antique ski, a paper rubbing was created along the tip of the ski top copy the shape.
If you don’t have a ski to trace, scroll down and perhaps try sketching a tip that mimics the shape I used.
The shape was cut out, then used as a template to pencil-in the shape onto the board.
The edges of the cut boards were lightly sanded with an orbital sander until the board resembled a real ski. Or as close as I could possibly get!
Joining shorter planks
Since I used two shorter planks, they needed to be joined. A Kreg Jig pocket hole maker was used as well as metal brackets to help make the joins as stable as possible.
Join using a Kreg Jig
- Adjust the jig to your size of board.
- Clamp one board into the jig with the wrong side facing the drill holes.
- Drill 3 holes to create the most stability.
Kreg Jig video
Click above to watch a short video on how a Kreg Jig works. It’s very easy to use!
Learn all about how to use a Kreg Jig in THIS POST.
Hold drilled plank against an undrilled plank you wish to join.
Secure the boards together by screwing them together through the pocket holes.
Installing mending plates for more stability
I’m pretty sure there are a few metal brackets one could use to stabilize this join, however I ended up using the long straight mending plates shown at the top of the above photo. I found the added length offered more stability.
And here’s the assembled faux wood skis. Don’t they look great?!
Now let’s add some detailing so they resemble antique skis moreso!
Staining the wood skis
To create more of an antique ski look, the wood planks were stained in a deeper tone.
I found the deeper stained evened out the wood tone, and made them look less like reclaimed wood planks.
I used a mix of Fusion Mineral Paint’s Stain and Finishing Oil in mostly Golden Pine, with a little Cappuccino added.
The stains were mixed together, then painted on the skis with a chip brush.
Once applied, the stain was then wiped off using a rag.
Adding antique stripes with stencils
If you look at most antique wood skis, many have black stripes on them, like the ones I already own. So I decided to mimic that look using a stencil and Fusion’s Coal Black.
About the Grain Sack Stripe stencils
Creating stripes on the faux skis can be done with either masking tape or stencils. I prefer to use stencils because it’s quicker and easier to accomplish.
I used Grain Sack Stripes G5L.
How to stencil the stripes
- Position the stencil down the middle of a ski board.
- Load a stencil brush with paint, then off load most onto a rag.
- Holding the stencil in place, make long painting swipes along the length of the stencil. Reposition to continue.
Attaching ski bindings
I had an old pair of skis where the bindings could be unscrewed. So I attached those bindings to the wood plank skis. What luck they fit so perfectly!
If you don’t have real ski bindings for your wood ski decor, you could mimic the look by visiting a hardware store or rusty junk salvage yard and hunt for pieces that resembled real bindings.
And with the DIY wood skis now complete, here’s how they turned out!
Video of stenciling Grain Sack Stripes
Click above to watch a short video on how I paint Grain Sack Stripes.
The finished DIY wood ski decor!
Aren’t they the cutest?!
The key to having the skis look so realistic is all about the size boards you choose. I tried wider boards but they ended up looking like parts of a very tall picket fence!
These sized boards really resembled real skis.
And unlike real antique skis, I certainly don’t mind leaving these in an outdoor space because I can always make more if they weather! Just call these worry-free skis. However you could also use an outdoor wood sealer to make them even more durable if desired.
I really love how the stenciled grain sack stripe added just the right amount of detail without overpowering the skis.
Other ways to decorate the skis
- Cross the skis by removing the bindings from the back ski, then screw them together.
- Hang an evergreen wreath with a ribbon.
- Attach an evergreen swag with Christmas ornaments to the bindings.
- Try adding some of THIS SKI DECOR
Make ski signs to chime in
And don’t forget about whipping up a few ski signs! Here’s a few I’ve made:
And even though these DIY skis are flat, they still look really good! You don’t even really notice they aren’t slightly rounded at the tips from a distance!
If I can turn a garden shed into a ski chalet high up on the slopes in Vermont (LOL) with just a couple of wood planks, I think that makes this project a win!
But this isn’t the final resting place. These skis have a special place to call home in a Christmas living room, so stay tuned for where they finally end up!
And the shed will get a new look too, turning it into a Vintage Sled Company. I’m already lining up all kinds of borrowed antique sleds from neighbours to get the look. That should be fun!
Think you’ll give this wood ski decor a try after seeing how easy it was?
Other ski decorating ideas: