Monthly Archives: April 2015

Painted Fish Clock

New Hobby – Beach Wall Art

Beach Wall Art – What’s This? New Hobby?

Not to panic – photography is still number one, but in an effort to broaden my interests, I am now making things out of wood. In fact, here is a link to my latest post on Facebook:

Beach/Wall Decor on Thursday, May 28, 2015

Did you ever hear anyone say that a job should be something that is so enjoyable you would do it for free? For me, that job is working with wood and creating beach wall art out of nothing but scrap wood. And then being able to practice my product photography on it.

It did not actually start out as fish, whales, and dolphins. The first effort to find a productive hobby was to find old furniture at thrift shops and try to make the pieces beautiful again. A relative of mine mentioned that there are stores that offer rental spaces for vendors at reasonable prices, so I opened a booth.

Several months after opening, my wife suggested that I make some items for the wall. I started by “copying” things I liked that seemed popular in our chosen store.

This was less than a screaming success… until I came across an idea for painted wooden fish. It started as a joke. But, to our surprise, the fish sold almost immediately. I made another, and it, too, sold right away.

14" Painted Fish
This is the original style painted fish.

After the third sale, we decided to expand from just painted fish to whales. Each one is made from discarded wood, either pallet wood or old fence wood. The shapes are fairly random, letting the lumber do the designing, because not all pallet wood is made the same.

The results have been really great. Our store eventually evolved into just a wall because the furniture was not selling as well as the painted hanging fish and other nautical décor.

Then, I heard from the parent of a 5th grade student that she was selling items on Etsy. That inspired me to open a shop there. Again, we were surprised to find that this is a fantastic place to sell weird stuff like hand-made rustic items for the coastal cottage.

It has only been two months, and my earnings there have greatly surpassed those of the vendor’s booth at the store. I have a national audience of folks who are looking for one-of-a-kind beachy artwork to hand in their beach house, lake house, or on the walls of their beach themed room.

The store is called Beach Wall Decor – located here on Etsy (lots more of my product photos for sale items to view here as well).

Update: expanded again to beach wall clocks. I even made a video to share the technique. Please click the YouTube link at the bottom-right and share a comment. I would love to hear from you.

I highly recommend finding a way to get your hobby to help pay the bills, and I am hoping to soon be able to quit my day job to have fun and make money while doing it.