We’re excited to share our Cincy adventures (we laughed! I cried! we got something confiscated at the airport!) and we’ve already started our Pinterest challenge project along with having a pretty cool before & after that’s almost done (just have to take pics and write that post for ya) so there’s lots going on in our casa – both duck related and beyond! I say duck related because, well… I snagged this odd little wooden duck for $4 at a thrift store here in Richmond (Diversity Thrift). The date? Oh, about a year ago. Yes dudes, I’m about to get on something after twelve solid months of the “thinking about getting on that” stage (you can read more about my weird little Dude, Get On That Already challenges here). So you can file this under fast and *almost* free (thanks to relying entirely on materials that we already had). Or you can just call it fly. Get it? I quack myself up. Ok, I’m stopping now.

It’s hard to tell the duck’s scale in the pic above, but it’s about 8″ long. Here it is with a whole bunch of craft paint that I had on hand from previous projects like this and this. And see how I used masking tape to make stripes on Mallory (she’s a mallard, right? I hope she is, since I picked her name based on that not-substantiated fact). Anyway, those masking tape stripes were because as soon as I saw her in the thrift store I thought it would be fun to stripe her with a bunch of crazy colors. I know that sounds nutty, but to me it felt sort of Jonathan Adler-ish and happy-go-lucky. I mean if you can’t have fun with your wooden duck decor, where can you have fun?

It’s hard to picture, but I loved the idea of a stripes like this dachshund pillow from here (<– please click that link just to see the name of that site, which made me snort water out of my nose). And this awesome post about actual painted ducks from here definitely fueled the “paint it, paint it, paint it” chant in my head.

I’m not gonna lie. About ten minutes into my project I was staring at this hot mess. And I thought this might be one of those “you know we share the good, the bad, and the ugly… and boy do we have an ugly one for you!” posts. The first coat definitely didn’t have great coverage, so it actually took a few of them for it to look not horrendous (hindsight = 20/20, I totally should have spray primed this guy before taping off the stripes).

But in the end, after I removed the tape and free-handed the unpainted areas with differently colored stripes, I was left with this dapper little duck-friend. She’s adorable and perfect for a nursery/kids room/playroom, but I wanted to photograph her in the kitchen so you could see that she actually can live in adult spaces too. You know, like how this happy rainbow Jonathan Adler pillow could totally look awesome in not-just-a-kids room. At least for color-lovahs like me. But if it’s too much for you, you could just spray paint your own wooden duck a solid hue like glossy white or lime or navy for a fresh spin. You know, because every house needs at least one wooden duck.

I actually like the added flair of the stripes. I think she’s cute with the spiky yellow vase and colorful art on the top shelf. And of course the fact that she’s neck in neck with a pig cutting board in a race towards the stove cracks me up. Who knows where she’ll end up though. Little items like this tend to move all around the house, so she might be on the kitchen mantel next and then end up on the console in the living room.

Goose, there it is.

Ok, I know that one’s a stretch because it’s clearly a duck, but I just had to try. What have you guys been getting on lately? As a side note, I don’t actually suggest getting on a duck. One bit my mom’s hand when we were young so I don’t think they like to be ridden (just to be clear, my mom wasn’t attempting to ride it when the incident occurred).


  1. Steph H. says

    I could totally see you have a post where you make us ‘find the duck’ (or another little animal). I think it would be hilarious to see her hidden somewhere obscurely! We once did this with a stuffed pig in my art class in high school. It sat atop the intercom speaker a whole semester before the teacher noticed.

  2. says

    Ha! That website contacted and asked me if they could sell my dachshund baby bibs on their site and I totally thought they were some perverted dudes trying to be funny! I went to the site and saw that they were real! Hilarious name! I can’t even bring myself to tell people the name of the website to buy the bibs from! Makes me blush! :)

  3. says

    Up close I was a little “eh” about Mallory but from far away I just love how fun and happy she looks. Also, I love ducks. Ducks are the bomb. I have to agree with someone above, I bet she’d look awesome glossy.

    I hope this weekend to “get on” putting up shelves all over my hizz-ouse. (Yeah, I just did that. I am delirious today.) There’s not a lot of storage up in this joint (seriously what’s wrong with me?) so I’m trying to create it.

    I bought a couple of adorbs plates from the Collections at Target (Curiousity Shop, I think. They are orange, green and blue with a big ? on them!) that are begging for some open shelf showcasing. They’re kinda attention-whores.

  4. Katie Rose says

    Is it weird that we have 3 wooden ducks in our house? Well make that 2 ducks, 1 giant goose. The ducks are painted like yours were originally but the goose is solid cream (and in a sitting position, unlike the plastic-y ones you put outside). They come out for display in the spring. Never thought about painting them – but the little ones might go cream soon to match their mama!

  5. Krista says

    I liked it so I put a PIN on it……ok, really I just pinned it to Pinterest, but I’m trying to throw in a song like you guys do. Creative duck-work!!

  6. says

    How cute…no more ugly ducking!

    I’ve got a couple fish that need a face lift…you got me thinking!
    Perhaps stripes…and a little sparkle, too!
    Over the top is how I roll – haha.

    Thanks for the inspiration!
    :) Anna

  7. says

    That is really fun!! My grandpa had a ton of these, and I want to keep one to remember him, but want it to fit in with my house too – thanks for the idea!

  8. says

    Love the duck! She is so bright and cheery. And I like it in the kitchen, but I have to be honest, I was a little confused when you said you were going to shoot it in the kitchen. Why would you want to shoot the duck? Is that part of the design? Then I realized you meant shoot as in camera not shoot as in gun. I’m a little slow today!

  9. Michelle says

    Very cute idea, but I’m so sad you painted over such a beautiful decoy! He would’ve looked awesome in his $4 glory in my house! Bummer for me I didn’t pick him up!

    • says

      So sorry Michelle! On the upside, there were tons more! In the last year I’ve probably seen about ten in thrift stores or secondhand stores – even at Salvation Army!


    • Michelle says

      Just reading comments and I’m honestly so surprised how many of your readers don’t realize how valuable their hand-me-down decoys from their grandfathers are! Antiques Roadshow, anyone? Ebay??? I’m your in your “in-your-30’s” reader and I guess I’m showing my age, but Save The Ducks!!

    • says

      I think some might be worth more than others (maybe signed ones or special edition ones?). I see so many thrift store ones (and even some for cheap in antiques stores) so I think the antique vendors would be savvy about not pricing them under $5 if they’re worth more. Maybe the rule should be “no painting ducks worth over $8”? Haha!


  10. Barbara says

    Have you two seen the write up about you in the latest Country Living magazine yet? Just recieved mine yesterday.

    • says

      Aw thanks Barbara! We added that to our press page but didn’t write it up or anything. We’re shy about that stuff usually unless we have a particularly funny story or behind the scenes pics to share.


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