You can hang oars on a wall in two basic ways: visible and invisible. Visible brackets hold an oar like a curtain rod. Cut-down oarlocks make terrific brackets for decorative oars and keep the nautical theme consistent. A single oar hung in a hallway and studded with coat hooks looks best in brackets that are tarnished, verdigris or repurposed from oarlocks. When the coat hooks on the oar are sail cleats, the local pirates will happily hang their foul weather gear up rather than dropping it on the floor. However, when you want something more subtle and elegant, hide the hooks so the oars seem to be floating without support.
Bracket-Hung Decorative Oars
Position the oars on the wall, and mark the placement lightly with a pencil. Measure, if necessary, to level the angles of the oars. Place the brackets on the marks, and trace the screw holes with the pencil point.
Drill holes for the brackets, and tap in wall anchors with the flat side of the hammer. Wall anchors are sleeves for the screws that reinforce the hole in the wall and hold the screw. They slide into the drilled hole and are tapped in snugly until they are flush with the wall.
Screw the brackets into the wall anchors, tightening them until the brackets fit flush against the wall. Set the oars into the brackets.
Invisible Oar Hangers
Hide the supports to make oars seem as if they are floating against the wall. Drill very small starter holes in the backs of the oars at either end of the poles, not the paddles.
Match the starter holes to the wall where the oars will hang, and pencil a mark on the wall for each hole. Drill holes in the wall at the marks, and tap in wall anchors. Screw brass screws into the wall anchors, leaving a quarter-inch or so sticking out from the wall.
Screw brass screws into the oars at the marks. Cut short lengths of flexible wire, and twist the lengths into loops. The size will depend on the size of your oar handles. The loops will not be visible once they are fastened to the back of the oars.
Slip the wire loops over the screws on the oars, and twist each one around so that each loop is wrapped tightly around a screw with a small open circle of wire above it. Tighten the screws to secure the wire against the oars.
Hang the oars from the wall by slipping the wire loops over the wall screws, so that the oars hang flush and the wires and screws are hidden.