An easy way to make a driftwood pendant light shade that will stretch to go over a glass shade of various sizes. The secret is simply using “stretch” bead and jewelry cord purchased from Michaels or from Amazon BEADNOVA 1mm Clear Elastic Stretch Jewelry Roll.
If the top of the glass shade is narrower than the bottom – you can tighten the driftwood row at the top and leave the bottom looser. However, you don’t want to use a shade with more than a 2-3 inch circumference difference between the top and the bottom. Having said that, a creative mind could easily create two separate rings of driftwood one to fit around the top and the other to fit the bottom.
Materials You Will Need:
1mm Clear Stretch Beading or Jewelry Cording
1/8″ drill bit
Pendant Light Shade to be covered
Driftwood Pieces preferably 1/2″ or more round, and straight
Pencil to mark drill holes
Ruler to measure and mark for drill holes
Marking and Drilling your Driftwood Pendant Light Shade
Place a driftwood piece against your glass shade, figure and mark 2″ from the bottom of your driftwood piece. Then measure another 2-3″ from the first mark and make a 2nd drill mark. You want the holes to line up as much as possible on each piece of driftwood. Drill at hole at each mark.
Once your pieces are all drilled, start threading the stretch cord through the holes. Tie knots about every 4th piece to keep spacing a little more equal when the shade expands. Pull the stretch cord to tighten the rows.
Make Your Circle
Occasionally place the driftwood row around the circumference of the glass shade to check the fit. When you have the row the length you want – tie a final knot or two. DO NOT CUT THE CORD. Form a circle with the driftwood row and continue threading the cord through 3 or 4 driftwood pieces from the other end. Knot the ends. You can add a little bit of hot glue to the end knots or lightly melt the stretch thread with a match.
Finally, slide the driftwood over the top of your glass shade and attach the assembly to the hanging rod.
You need not be confined to just using the driftwood on pendant shades – try using the same technique to go over an existing table or reading lampshade.
And don’t forget this stretchy driftwood surround makes a great candleholder or planter. Use them for special events, weddings or just liven up the garden.
5 Easy Creative Driftwood Projects that you Can Do At Home
Driftwood seems to be all the rage right now – it’s everywhere. Driftwood finished furniture is in all the high end stores along with great driftwood accessories. Everytime I turn around, some very creative person has come up with yet another great idea using driftwood. And, although driftwood by itself can be a beautiful accessory, it’s not that difficult to create everyday objects using driftwood. Here are just a few simple driftwood projects to get you started.
Driftwood Projects #1 – Driftwood Wall Garden
By attaching picture hanging wire around a favorite piece of driftwood and creating a loop on the back you can create a beautiful and unique driftwood planter that you can hang indoors or out. Once you have your wire attached, creatively adhere one or more airplants or bromeliads to the driftwood using a multi-purpose epoxy (it won’t hurt the plant) then suspend it from a nail wherever you want a delightful reminder of the great outdoors. You have now created a natural piece of living art. Remember to water the plants with a mister regularly so as to foster their growth. Hang one or get creative and hang many.
Driftwood Projects #2 – Driftwood Lamps
To do this correctly one has to have creativity skills and patience so as to come up with a perfect design that will not only compliment but blend with other interior home decorations. In this project, all you have to do is fix the driftwood pieces on the lamp base then use electrical connecting wires to connect the lamp to the main electricity power socket. In case you intend to make a permanent lamp, a quality adhesive will help keep all the wood pieces intact for longer. For directions on how to make three different lamps, including a floor lamp, see How to Create a Driftwood Lamp; for step by step directions with corresponding pictures, view Step by Step Directions for Making a Driftwood Lamp
Driftwood Projects #3 – Driftwood Candle Holder
Candle holders are compatible with virtually all home interior decor designs. Like driftwood lamps, there are many creative ways to make unique driftwood candle holders using very large pieces or even very small pieces, but they are all easy to do. Fill your candle holders with special candles scented with coconut or seabreezes to add that spa-like atmosphere. Driftwood candle holders make wonderful gifts and can be very inexpensive to make. For three different style driftwood candle holders can be found here.
Driftwood Projects #4 – Driftwood Mirror
If you have access to many small similarly sized pieces of driftwood, you can create a simple but stunning beachy mirror. This one is for a circular mirror. A nice size is about a 12″ diameter mirror. Try a craft store for an unframed circular mirror. Trace your circle onto a piece of paper. Now place your driftwood pieces around the circle with one end an inch into the circle and the other pointing out. Lay out your pieces until you have the design you want then begin gluing the pieces together using a multi-purpose epoxy or gorilla glue. When you have glued all the driftwood pieces together around the circle – you can center the mirror and attach it with glue to either the back or the front of the driftwood circle – whichever you prefer. Attach a small screw to the wood, wrap wire around the screw and create a loop to hang to use for hanging.
This is mostly suitable for businesses that sell various jeweleries. It will help create an attractive business environment that will lure customers due to the fact that the contrast between the jewellery and the wood is quite conspicuous and attractive. Simply place the driftwood in your display case as a creatively place your jewellery around the driftwood. Add some seashells and sand and you have a unique and beautiful display to help sell your items. Don’t limit yourself to just jewelry – many items will look good displayed against a backdrop of a beautiful piece of driftwood. And don’t just limit yourself to display cases – this is a great way to display beach inspired dishes inside a china cabinet.
There’s no limit to the creative uses for driftwood and it certainly does not appear that the current craze for driftwood inspired furniture and accessories is going to be ending anytime soon so get out your tools, find a great piece of driftwood and let your imagination take hold.
A step by step tutorial for creating a driftwood pendant light. Pendant lights – they’re everywhere in all shapes and sizes and I’ve seen a driftwood pendant light or two, usually very expensive, so I wanted to create my own and see just how easy or difficult as the case may be to make one. As it turns out, it’s not that hard although it takes a little practice and the right tools but once you get that down, it’s fairly simple.
To start this project you are going to need a good piece of driftwood and while the driftwood pendant light I’m showing here is a triple light, you can get kits for singles or doubles. You can use a kit if you wish, which is what I used here, this made it a little easier the first time around. You can buy kits at Home Depot or Lowe’s and they include all the electrical – you just need to have a nice piece of driftwood and choose your light covers from an overwhelming and vast array of beautiful pendant covers. You are bound to find something to compliment a driftwood pendant light and any decor. See below for several options as I had a hard time choosing. Thankfully, they are easy to change out and you can change them with the seasons like you do throw pillows!
If you don’t want to use a kit, it’s also fairly easy to use mason jars or wine bottles as shades and you can purchase threaded base sockets for housing bulbs and attaching your cords; purchase electrical cording and design your own ceiling mount to attach to your driftwood.
For my project, I started with a piece of cypress driftwood I found in the swamps of Florida and had to soak it for about 4 days in the bathtub using the How to Make Your Own Driftwood method and then letting it dry in the sun before I could use it.
Here is a list tools and items you will need for this Driftwood Pendant Light Project:
Pendant Light Kit (3 lights)
Ferrules sized to fit your wire (16)
3/16″ x 3″ Toggle Bolts (2)
3/16″ x 3″ Eye Bolts (2)
Screw Eyes (2) Large ( I used #206 size)
Wire cut to length (I used heavy duty wire but you may want to try heavy duty picture hanging wire)
Spray Paint to best match your driftwood (this will be used to paint your wire and eye bolts)
Drill & Bits
Ferrule Crimping Tool
These instructions are for a purchased pendant light kit.
1. The first step is to separate the electrical wires and pull them back through the fixture.
2. Drill 2 holes on each end of the light mount close to the holes for the electrical cord and just big enough to pass your wire through. If you decide to use heavy duty wire and not picture framing wire – be very careful not to fray your ends as you will have a difficult time passing the ends through the ferrules unless you have a very good wire cutter on hand.
2. Line up the holes in the “light fixture mount” to your driftwood piece and drill holes in the driftwood. Then pass the electrical cord through starting from the bottom of the driftwood.
3. Because the driftwood will require additional support to hold the weight, you will need to place two screw eyes on each end of the driftwood piece. I placed them as near as possible to the electrical cord so that I could wrap the supporting wire around the electrical cord in order to camouflage the wire. I also pre-drilled the holes before screwing in the screw eyes and spray painted them a color as close to the driftwood as possible.
4. At this point, your need to attached the supplied metal bracket to the electrical box per the instructions. Please be sure to turn off the electricity when working with electrical wiring and test for live wires.
5. Using the lighting fixture mount as a guide, mark the ceiling where you’ve drilled the holes in the lighting fixture mount for inserting the wire. I used an old artist’s paint brush and put colored wax on the tip, then insert the tip through the hole to mark the ceiling where I needed to drill the hole to insert the toggle bolts. Drill the holes and insert the toggle bolts but use 3″ eye bolts in place of the screws that come with the toggle bolts so you have an eye bolt in the ceiling. These eye bolts will be covered by the lighting fixture mount so you won’t see them.
7. There are different ways to support the weight of the driftwood. I used wire which was extremely difficult to cut and this made it impossible to get a clean edge to insert into the ferrule once the ends began to fray. I even went back to Home Depot and asked for a tool to cut the wire and they tried several and they had no tool that would cut the wire so the next time I will use something else like maybe picture hanging wire which I find easier to cut and much more pliable.
You may need two or three people to help you as you attach all the electrical wires and support wires.
8. Tentatively attach a length of wire onto each eye bolt in the ceiling and measure out the height of your fixture adjusting the electrical cord and support wires accordingly. When you have figured out the height you want, secure at the top only, by threading the wire first through two ferrules then through the eye bolt loop, loop the wire through the eye bolt a second time and then back through the ferrules before pinching closed with a good ferrule crimping tool. At this point, you’ve only attached the wire to the ceiling eye bolts and they’re still not attached to the eye screws on the driftwood piece.
9. If you haven’t done so already, thread the wire down through the holes in the light fixture mount before attaching the light fixture mount to the metal bracket using the two long screws provided.
10. Wrap the wire slowly around the electrical cord as you bring it down to the screw eye in the driftwood then pass two ferrules through the wire, pass it through the screw eye twice and then up through the ferrule stops before securing with a ferrule crimping tool. Cut or hide any excess.
12. Now let it hang and make any needed adjustments.
Step by Step Directions for Making a Driftwood Lamp
A driftwood lamp is one of the simplest things you can make with driftwood – don’t be intimidated. You would really have to work at it to make a driftwood lamp that DOES NOT look good. It’s a matter of placing and attaching the driftwood pieces in a position that you find pleasing to the eye. But, first things first – find yourself a lamp base that you want to use or buy a kit with all the necessary pieces.
1. Gather your Driftwood. If you don’t have a local source, we have driftwood available in varying sizes. There are also other sellers on Etsy with varying prices.
2. Find your Lamp. For the lamp I’m working with here, I found the lamp at a thrift store for $8.00 and tested it before leaving the store to make sure it still worked. This particular lamp was an easy one to work with as it was just a metal rod sitting on a metal base. What I particularly liked was that it had a pull chain on/off switch. Find a lamp that is the right height for the pieces of driftwood that you will be working with and one that you can easily take apart down to the rod. Some lamps will not have a rod but that’s okay – a creative mind will be able to use driftwood pieces to create a base. In that instance, you could use long thin driftwood pieces like we are using here or you could use unique and bulkier pieces to create your base and you won’t have to try to hide the rod. Just make sure your driftwood lamp base is stable.
Glue – I used Aleene’s 7800 Adhesive which I purchased at a big chain hardware store. Choose a glue that will adhere to both wood and whatever your base is made of, in my instance it was metal. The glue needs to dry clear and it’s really helpful if it bonds quickly.
Masking Tape – any painter’s or masking tape will do – you just want to secure the driftwood pieces in place while the glue dries.
4. Start Gluing. Get an idea of what driftwood pieces you may want to use and how you want to place them around your base. Start gluing one by one.
5. Wrap with Masking Tape. When you’re finished gluing, carefully wrap with masking tape to hold you pieces until the glue dries. Overnight is good. In my case, I glued one round of pieces and let dry overnight. The next day, I decided to add more pieces.
6. Final Touches.
If you didn’t like the metal base or just wanted to add a little something more, here are a few ideas to personalize your driftwood lamp, but remember “less is more”. Simple driftwood lamps are quite beautiful with just the driftwood.
Sand – Use a white glue such as Elmer’s and brush it all over the base. Pour fine white sand onto the glue until the base is completely covered. You can build up the sand by layering, letting dry and then coat again with glue and sand until you’ve build up several layers.
Sea Glass – Glue sea glass pieces onto the base with a clear drying glue.
Shells – Dig out that shell collection you’ve had for years and start adhering shells with clear drying glue. Keep it simple and don’t go overboard.
Moss – Find a moss that you like and glue the moss in between the driftwood pieces all around the base. This adds more of a “woodland” look rather than seashore but still has a nice natural look to it.
Now that your lamp is finished, you need to find a lamp shade. I’m on the hunt for the perfect white shade for my new lamp as I think it will look better than this patterned lamp shade.
For more driftwood lamp styles check out create a driftwood lamp and simple candleholders using driftwood. It only takes a little imagination to put some eclectic lighting into your living space. You’ll save hundreds of dollars on what it would cost for a similar driftwood lamp and you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you can create a driftwood lamp yourself.