Make A Driftwood Sailboat

Make a Driftwood Sailboat

This simple tutorial will show you how to make a Driftwood Sailboat.  It’s actually pretty simple and they make really cute and beachy accents to any room where you want to add a beach or natural weathered wood theme.  They also look great as a juxtaposition to a sleek and modern room where you want to create some unexpected visual interest.

driftwood-sailboat-6b

What you Need to Make Your Driftwood Sailboat:

  • Driftwood piece that is linear shaped.  If you need driftwood pieces, we have driftwood in stock. 2-6″ pieces or 5-12″ pieces.
  • White Embroidery Thread
  • Embroidery Needle
  • Old Handkerchief
  • Singer’s “Fray No More”
  • Dowel or Stick of Driftwood
  • 2 Small Eye Screws
  • Drill
  • Scissors
  • Wood Glue

1.  Select your driftwood piece.

I glued together these two pieces as I thought the smaller looked great on the nose of the sailboat.  You can use a dowel purchased from the hardware store like I did or you can use a driftwood stick.  Since my dowel was too pale, I used Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish to get a weathered wood look on the dowel and I also used it to touch up any areas that may have broken off or where I drilled to keep the weathered wood look.

Driftwood Sailboat

2.  Create Your Driftwood Sailboat Mast.

Cut your dowel or driftwood stick to approximately 12″ although this will depend upon the length of your boat base.  Use your own discretion as to what looks best.  Then drill a hole deep enough in the center of your boat base to hold your mast.

Driftwood Sailboat

3.  Eye Screws.

Insert your eye screws in the boat base at the front and back.  These will be used to hold the sail in place.  On my first sailboat, I actually used glue instead and curled the sails before tacking them in place with glue but on the second sailboat I held the sails in place with the embroidery thread and eye screws.

Driftwood Sailboat

4.  Prepare Your Driftwood Sails.

Layout your sail and cut it to form two sails.  I had discovered an old box filled with and assortment of antique lacy and printed handkerchiefs in the attic which inspired me to do this project.  I just thought they would make such pretty sails and a great decorative focal point especially if I made three.  Here you can see my dowel piece is still a little bit too long for this handkerchief so I either need to cut it shorter or choose a different handkerchief for the sale.

Driftwood Sailboat

 5.  Create Your Sails.

Cut your handkerchief to form two sails.

Driftwood Sailboat

6.  Stop the Fray.

Once you cut your sail, you will want to use “Fray No More” by Singer to stop the edges from fraying.  Just run a bit along each cut edge.

Driftwood Sailboat

7.  Attaching the Mast and Sails

Glue your mast in place.

Use your embroidery thread to attach the sail sections to the mast – first the top and then the bottom.  Then attach the sail to the eye screws in the front and back if you want the sail to stay displayed.  I also starched the handkerchief so they would be nice and stiff.

Driftwood Sailboat

 

See how simple that was?  Now enjoy your sailboat – heck, make a fleet of them!

 

 

 

 

 

Make a Whimsical Driftwood Birdhouse

Make a Whimsical Driftwood Birdhouse

How to Make a Whimsical Driftwood Birdhouse

Make a Whimsical Driftwood Birdhouse

Simple tutorial will show you how to make a whimsical driftwood birdhouse for indoor or outdoor use.  Add charm and character to your garden with a whimsical driftwood birdhouse you make yourself.

Supplies

  • Driftwood pieces – 5-12″ round and flat plus assortment of other pieces. If you need driftwood pieces, we have driftwood in stock. 2-6″ pieces or 5-12″ pieces.
  • 18 oz. oatmeal carton or similar cardboard carton
  • Titebond WW30 or WW60 (for use with HiPur Adhesive Applicator) or Ad-Tech Wood Glue Sticks or All Temperature Wood Stik (look for glue sticks that will hold up in all temperatures)
  • Heat Gun such as HiPur Adhesive Applicator by Stienel or Professional Glue Gun
  • wooden stand (optional)
  • wooden round 5″ – 8″ (optional)

Make a Whimsical Driftwood Birdhouse

 

Make a Whimsical Driftwood Birdhouse

I used an 18 oz. oatmeal box but pretty much any similar cardboard box, round or square, will work.  Remove the advertising so you just have the brown cardboard.

Make a Whimsical Driftwood Birdhouse

Cut out a hole for the door and any additional “windows” you might want.

Make a Whimsical Driftwood Birdhouse

Then just fit and glue your pieces around your form.  You can use flat or round, long or short – just cover your form.

Make a Whimsical Driftwood Birdhouse

 

Make a Whimsical Driftwood Birdhouse

Once the form is covered on the sides, you can start on the top.  I wanted mine to be off-centered and longer on one side which would give it a more whimsical look so you can see I started with a long piece on one side propped up by a shorter piece on the other.  From there I just started filling in areas.  It’s like a puzzle where you find the best pieces to fit and pieces that will add some character here and there.

Make a Whimsical Driftwood Birdhouse

Here is a view from the back.  Once again, I just started layering smaller, flatter pieces on the roof until I had it completely covered.

Make a Whimsical Driftwood Birdhouse

In the front top I added a post that protruded out so the birds would have a perch and other little unique pieces that just fit well on the top.  I then added a “front porch” so to speak and a piece on the right that ended up looking almost like a handle.  I found a unique driftwood piece that was like a curly little pig’s tail and added that coming down from the top and one more piece to balance the left side and I was finished with my whimsical little birdhouse.  It was hard not to keep going by adding more little pieces here and there. 

Make a Whimsical Driftwood Birdhouse

The final thing I did was use the Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish on the base so it would look more weathered.  You can see the difference in the very top picture where it blends in very well with the regular driftwood.

And there you have it.  So cute in a garden or just on display.  Since I used Titebond WW30 HiPur Hot Melt Adhesive, I can use my birdhouse outside. 

Make a Whimsical Driftwood Birdhouse

 

Ideas for Landscaping with Driftwood

Landscaping with Driftwood Archway

Landscaping with Driftwood

Landscaping with driftwood starts with a good plan and a some imagination. Since driftwood is already a work of nature, it’s not difficult to cohesively work it in somewhere as either a focal point or complimentary element with your existing natural environment.

Driftwood can easily be carved, sanded and finished to get the shape, texture and look you’re after or just leave it as is. Whether using smaller-sized pieces for projects like birdhouses or larger pieces to make sculptures or lawn and garden furniture, you’re guaranteed to end up with items that are completely unique since no two pieces of driftwood will ever be alike in shape, texture and color.

For instance, if you want to give visual height to an area, create planters from a combination of driftwood and airplants, orchids, succulents or bromeliads then attach them to a wall or tree and watch your new plants happily make themselves at home in the cracks and crevices of the driftwood. Your wall will soon be teaming with carefree greenery, shoots and flowers and become a focal point.  The same idea can be used to create a horizontal focal point.

driftwood fencingLandscaping with driftwood can add visual interest and a focal point to areas that are frequently overlooked or otherwise seem to lack purpose and have no existing appeal. Imagine a large piece of driftwood where others might plant a tree or embed a large boulder – then surround your new sculpture with sea grass or wild flowers.

Think about adding a large driftwood pieces to a pond or other water feature you may have for a natural look. Driftwood on its own could make a unique and beautiful water fountain with the right tools and a little imagination.

Bind together long pieces of driftwood and attach a box to the top for a one-of-a-kind mailbox or create a driftwood Landscaping with Driftwood Benchchandelier for outdoor hanging in a special garden nook. Use it with candles or drape it with pretty flowers or vines.

How about creating driftwood retaining walls for flower beds or around trees by using 8″ linear pieces and sinking them into the ground. You can also create a heavier retainer wall with larger driftwood logs set end to end.

Thick, solid pieces of driftwood make wonderful benches or quaint chairs for sitting in unexpected places. Add a handcrafted driftwood table and you have yourself the perfect place to read a book and enjoy your garden while sipping an ice tea. Insert logs into the ground for natural fence posting.

There are a myriad of possibilities for landscaping with driftwood to create interest in your outdoor space. How will landscaping with driftwood inspire you?

Beach Style Decorating Ideas

Beach style decorating isn’t just for coastal beach houses and cottages by the seashore. It can be incorporated absolutely anywhere to soothe the nerves, provide positive energy and lighten the mood. Some simple beach style decorating tips can bring the therapeutic benefits of a vacation at the beach right into your home.Driftwood chair

Start by installing an interior louvre door and painting it a vibrant Caribbean blue or a deep aquamarine. Louvered doors automatically stir thoughts of old casual beach cottages. Next, install some horizontal planking across one wall of the living room or a whole ceiling and whitewash it for an overall beach house ambiance. Continue the aqua colors in accent pillows, comfy throws and an area rug. Toss in the bright orange of a warm beach sunset.

Go boldly into beach style decorating with unusual and unexpected color in the kitchen. Paint the kitchen island an eye-catching sea green and repeat the color in the window treatments. White or shell cabinets and a sea glass backsplash provide just the right amount of contrast while giving you that sand swept beachy feel.

If you’re not that daring, go to the opposite end of the spectrum and make nearly everything stark white. Then paint the wooden floor and the

cabinet doors a subtle sandy color. Easily add some sophistication with the texture of stainless steel appliances and accents. Purchase or create your own accessories with a nautical or coastal theme with using driftwood, shells and sea glass to create the feeling of being near the sea. Hang some artwork depicting the seaside and fill some shelves with picture frames and treasure boxes bordered in delicate shells. Translucent blue glass accents bring the sea inside.

Wall decor made of woven sea grass and random room accents made of wicker strengthen the aura of a retreat by the beach. Driftwood, when adapted as a home decorating accessory, is extremely versatile and lends itself to endless creative ideas. Weathered driftwood can be hung on a wall as is or insert a simple airplant and use as a planter. Equip it with some small hooks and dangle some souvenirs from the beach. Pick up an inexpensive wood-framed mirror and attach small pieces of driftwood around the border.

Gathering several pieces of driftwood that are all near the same length, tie them together with sea grass or nautical rope and stand them on their ends. Use this as the base for holding dried wild flowers. If you have a large section of driftwood, secure it to a wall, attach some hooks and use it as an unusual hat rack. Try making one of our suggested driftwood candleholders or driftwood lamps. Refinish a great flea market find with a driftwood finish by using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish or one of our alternative homemade techniques.

If you have a pool, construct a backyard open-air cabana. Basically, this consists of nothing but a simplistic frame and a roof-like covering. Add floor to ceiling canvas curtains tied back to each post and create a look that’s as soft as a sea breeze. Add some more lush plants. Fill it with accent pieces that have seaside motifs like palm fronds, shells or marine life.

Outdoors, landscape with solar lighting as a reminder of the sun’s subtle energy. Indoors, adorn a few side tables with a grouping of sand candles.

Lighten up your mood and your atmosphere with beach style decorating. It’s the next best thing to being there.

Creating a Driftwood Finish

If you’re anything like me, you love the look of driftwood furniture. The aged and worn look just appeals to me although most of the pieces I see for sale in the major stores are not actual driftwood but wood that’s made to look weathered, usually with painting techniques.  So I began a quest to find out how I could get that same look at home.  After all, I was experienced at refinishing furniture, painting, staining and distressing – why not try my hand at this driftwood finish look.

And there’s nothing more satisfying than finding a beautiful piece of furniture in a thrift store that someone else has discarded – no longer useful to them.  I’m one of those that can see its possibilities and I’m quick to snap it up, take it home and give it a whole new life.

I found myself a gem of a side table at one local thrift store.  It was perfect.  I stripped off the old stain and finish and had initially decided that I wanted a distressed white look.  After about four months of this distressed white table, I decided I wanted it to look more like a driftwood finish.  I was seeing driftwood tables, beds and lamps, etc. everywhere and I wanted it.

An indepth search on the Internet revealed some very interesting processes that others were using to achieve that driftwood finish.  Some with paint (which I also did and it came out great and you can read that post – Creating a Driftwood Finish With Paint), others with concoctions of vinegar and steel wood and still others using baking soda, tea and coffee.

Along the way, I discovered my own mixture, which I call Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish, and to my surprise, it worked beautifully on that little white table once I had stripped and sanded it again.  But I still wanted to test the other methods I came across so below you will see a video of the five different methods I used on 3 different types of wood – oak, pine and birch.  I will show the initial application and the outcome 24 hours later.

The five methods I use to achieve a weathered wood driftwood finish are:

#1 – Tea – Steeped green tea in 1/2 water for several hours.

#2 – Coffee – Steeped coffee grounds in 1/2 cup water for several hours.

#3 – Vinegar & Steel Wool (3 Cups White Vinegar and 1 steel wool pad – soaked for 45 days, although you really only need to soak it for 24 hours – I just happen to still have a mixture still around from another project);

#4 – Baking Soda & Water (1/4 Cup water to 1/8 Cup baking soda); and

#5 – Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish – which you can now buy here on our website or through Amazon

Watch Video

How to Clean Driftwood

You’ve been lucky enough to find a unique piece of driftwood that you want to use for a project but now how do you clean it?  The forces of nature may have already removed much of the debris and hopefully,  left you a nicely weathered and smooth finish to start with but you still need to be able to remove the dirt, mold, parasites and other critters that may be lingering in your driftwood.

If you’re using your driftwood for an aquarium, you will need to use a natural process to clean driftwood without any chemicals.  If your pieces are small enough, you can boil them but you may split and crack the wood.  A better way to clean driftwood, and one that you can use regardless of whether you use the driftwood in an aquarium or not, is the slow soaking method using distilled water.Clean driftwood

Clean Driftwood Using the Distilled Water Soaking Method

Scrub your wood with a sturdy scrub brush to remove loose debris and surface dirt.  Fill a large container with enough distilled water to cover your wood.  I suppose one could use a bathtub if you don’t have a large container but I’m not sure what may be left behind in your tub once the process is finished.  

The driftwood needs to soak, fully covered, in the distilled water for at least two weeks, and you will need to change the water several times when it becomes dark with the leached tannins.  The tannin is what gives the wood its color and we want to get rid of as much color as possible in this process, along with any other critters.  You can place a large rock or something heavy to hold down your driftwood while it soaks.

After two weeks, remove the wood and place it somewhere where it will be able to dry undisturbed in an environment with low humidity.

Once it is dry, you can use it for whatever driftwood project you wish.

Clean Driftwood Using the Disinfecting Method 

Mix a solution of one part bleach to nine parts water and fill a large container so that there is enough solution to completely submerge your driftwood.  Place your driftwood in the solution.  Soak your driftwood for 3 or 4 days, changing out the disinfecting solution each day.  

Remove your driftwood and let it dry undisturbed in an environment with low humidity.  

You should not use clean driftwood that has been chemically bleached in an aquarium with live plants or animals.

Also see Refinish Driftwood

How to Create a Driftwood Candleholder

Three Simple Driftwood Candleholders You Can Make Yourself

Driftwood Candleholder Style #1Driftwood Candleholder

You will need:

  • enough cleaned driftwood pieces to fit around your glass candle container
  • multi-purpose epoxy glue
  • glass contained candle
  • raffia or twine (optional)

Directions:

For this style driftwood candleholder, you will want to have enough clean driftwood pieces to go around your glass container candle – 10-20 pieces to chose from depending on the size of your glass container . It’s best to use 1″ thick linear pieces rather than awkward shaped driftwood pieces.

Determine how tall you want the height to be. Some prefer the height to be just to the top of the glass while I’ve seen others extend it 2-3

inches taller than your glass container. Either way looks great.

  1. Saw off the ends of each piece so they will line up evenly at the bottom around the your glass container while still giving you the height you want.
  2. Now one by one, line up a piece with the bottom of the glass container and begin gluing. Continue until you have completed the circumference.

Wait until the glue dries according to the package before using.

You may wish to dress up your container with raffia or twine.

A great decorating tip is to create three of these candleholders of various heights for use in displaying.

 

Driftwood Candleholder Style #2Driftwood candleholder

You will need:

  • Driftwood
  • candles in glass votive holders or tea lights in tin holders
  • drill
  • 1  3/4″ (44 mm)  hole saw – which is a type of bit that will fit on a drill and create the holes (available at Lowe’s and Home Depot)

Directions:

Suppose you have a wonderfully unique piece that is too big to use for the first style candle holder but you really want a driftwood candleholder. If you have a piece that will sit solidly on a flat surface without being “tippy”, then this is a good option for making your unique driftwood candle holder.

  1. Lay your driftwood piece on a flat surface and determine where you might want to put one or more candles. Space them out so they won’t cause a fire hazard when lit.
  2. Once you have identified where you want the candles, mark the center.
  3. Now secure your driftwood and drill your holes using the hole saw drill bit to match the size of your votive or tin candle holders. Drill no more than 1/2″ for tin tea lights. You can drill deeper for votive holders. You want to make sure that the hole is not so deep that a lit candle will catch the surrounding edges of the driftwood on fire.

I’ve seen this style used with elaborate pieces and many candles, as well as with one hole and one simple candle – and they are all beautiful.

Driftwood Candleholder Style #3Driftwood candleholder

You will need:

  • thick cut of driftwood (4″ or more circumference)
  • drill
  • 1  3/4″ (44 mm)  hole saw – which is a type of bit that will fit on a drill and create the holes (available at Lowe’s and Home Depot)
  • glass votive holder or tea light tins

Directions:

  1. Cut both ends of your driftwood so both the top and bottom are flat.
  2. Using the hole saw drill bit, drill a hole in the center of the top deep enough to fit your tin or votive holder.
  3. Insert your votive or tin.

This style looks best when the votive or tin sits almost level with the driftwood surface.

A great tip is to make three of this style in various heights for a great display.

There you have it – a driftwood candle holder style for everyone!

Other projects to try: Driftwood Lamp; Driftwood Sailboat; Driftwood Christmas Tree, Driftwood Windchime, Driftwood Clock

Driftwood Bergere Chair Project

Driftwood Bergere Chair Refinishing Projectcat on Bergere chair

This is one of those projects I started over a year ago – yes over a year ago.  It took me that long to remove all the staples (if you’ve ever done a re-upholstery job then you know what I’m talking about); decide on a fabric; make my own piping and then summon up the courage to actually attempt the re-upholstering and applying piping.  And, in between there was a move to a new house so yes, this was a long time in the making.  Amazingly enough, this is one of those projects that came out so beautiful when it was finally finished that it was well worth the time it took and I now have a beautiful driftwood Bergere chair.

Driftwood Berege Chair

This is the chair I started with – picked up at a thrift store for a mere $25.  Pretty ugly but the style is exactly what I was looking for.  I knew I wanted a Bergere style chair to use the Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish to create a driftwood finish on the wood and recover it with some fresh new updated fabric most likely in gray tones.  When the time came to choose a fabric, it took forever to decide and I actually purchased three different fabrics.  I ultimately decided it was time to just pick one and move forward – anything was better than this hideous blue and pink fabric.

Driftwood Berege Chair

The first step is removing all the trillions of staples.  I used a pair of needle nose pliers.  You want to save all your pieces of fabric, including the lining pieces as you will use them as templates for cutting your own fabric so don’t get impatient and start tearing and ripping.  You’ll also want to take good closeup pictures of every angle of the chair to show how the fabric folds and the piping flows.  This really becomes helpful as does using the old fabric as a template to cut your new pieces.  Pay attention to the layers and sequence of batting, webbing, canvas and any other pieces that make up the underlying structure of your chair as you will want to duplicate it as much as possible and use the same pieces when possible.  Take pictures and make notes – you’ll be very glad you did.

 Driftwood Berege Chair

 Since I was going to use a paint stripping solution, I needed to tape off the areas I wanted to protect.

Driftwood Berege Chair

Then I started the very messy project of stripping this bad boy before applying the Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish that would give me the driftwood finish I was looking for.  Once the old paint was removed, I mixed a packet of the Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish powder with a cup of water and started applying with a brush.  Driftwood Weathered Wood FinishAnd of course, because I’m so impatient, I don’t test it first and I get a very dark color – darker than I really want. But I keep going anyway because it still looks good even though it’s darker than I want.  What I should have done was test it first and I would have known to dilute the solution.  This would have resulted in the lighter finish I really wanted.

 

 

 

Driftwood Berege Chair

Now starts the hard part of re-upholstering.  But this poor little chair sat like this for over a year before I picked up this project again.  Now, a smart person would have applied the Driftwood Liming Wax at this point certainly before recovering the chair with fabric but not me.  I was still okay with how dark the wood was so I began the re-upholstery.  Here’s where researching the internet came in very handy.  I researched many videos and websites on re-upholstering chairs and gleaned a lot of good information.  I am a fairly good seamstress so sewing the cushion didn’t scare me.  Cutting and making my own piping was just time consuming but ended up not being that bad at all.  Even applying the piping was pretty easy using Magna Tac glue. 

Driftwood Berege Chair
Following the advice of one website – I actually used a spray glue to fuse and apply the webbing and batting to the chair.  This eliminated the need for using too many staples in the areas where the wood was already worn out. Using the old fabric pieces as my templates, I cut all my new pieces in my nice new fabric.

Driftwood-Berege-Chair

Once I applied the batting to the front, back, arms and seat with the spray glue, I started stapling the fabric in place using an electric staple gun.  This is where I learned a very important lesson that helped me a lot and made a world of difference so I want to pass it on.  I initially started by pulling the fabric taught on all sides and stapling as shown on the left below – then I saw a video of someone who suggested folding the fabric under before stapling and I literally pulled out all my staples and started over with rolling under the hem before stapling.  You can see how much neater and cleaner it looks and I can tell you it will save you time as you will not have to go back and cut away the excess and you will not have hanging threads.  And it’s so much neater and easier to cover with either a single or double row of piping. 

 

Driftwood Berege Chair

Using Magna-tac glue I applied my single row piping.  Here is another big tip I’d like to share.  Measure and sew your pieces of piping together to create more than enough length to cover the area you are working on.  Trying to piece together two pieces of piping because you come up short just makes it very difficult and usually ends up looking sloppy.  Plus it usually ends up with trying to piece it together in an awkward place like smack in the front where it will be quite noticeable.  It’s so much easier if you have the right length to fully cover the area right from the start. Here you can see I’ve glued on the piping on the arm and tucked and glued the ends.  Start and end in the most inconspicuous area possible. Start with small sections first until you get comfortable with it though it’s not that hard. Just make sure to cover your staples.

  Driftwood Berege Chair

Weeks after the chair was completed, I decided to attempt applying the Driftwood Liming Wax to lighten the finish.  Not an easy task and not one I recommend.  Trying to avoid getting the wax on the fabric was difficult at best but with a lot of effort, I managed.  I do like the finish so much better.  You can see the difference below.  This is the driftwood shade I was looking for and if I had just taken the time to test the Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish I would have known to dilute it and would have gotten this color without having to add the Driftwood Liming Wax.  But I will say it again – this is one of my favorite projects and it came out so well.  I finally have my driftwood Bergere chair.  This chair would sell for an easy $600-$700 in the stores and it’s going to look amazing in my sunroom as soon as I can get that room finished.

Driftwood Berege Chair

Driftwood-Berege-Chair

Driftwood-Berege-Chair

 

 

Driftwood Aquascapes

I recently came upon a a beautiful piece of driftwood that a gentlemen was advertising for sale for use in an aquascape.  Now I had no real idea what he meant by an aquascape but the driftwood piece was very interesting and had me intrigued.  So much so, that I decided to do an internet search on the term “aquascape” to get a better understanding of an aquascape and how driftwood was being used in driftwood aquascapes.  It seemed obvious enough – a scene featuring water instead of land and using driftwood, but there seemed to be something more to it.  One look at the images I was finding and I was totally hooked and wanted to know even more.

whisper-of-the-pines
2013 Planted Aquarium Design Winner, Serkan Cetinkol of Istanbul Turkey with his Whisper of the Pines

Wikipedia describes Aquascaping as:

  “the craft of arranging aquatic plants, as well as rocks, stones, cavework, or driftwood, in

bonsai-driftwood2

an aesthetically pleasing manner within an aquarium—in effect, gardening under water. Aquascape designs include a number of distinct styles, including the garden-like Dutch style and the Japanese-inspired nature style.[1] Typically, an aquascape houses fish as well as plants, although it is possible to create an aquascape with plants only, or with rockwork or other hardscape and no plants.”

Here is a picture of the initial piece of driftwood that caught my interest.  Pretty cool right?

Apparently, there is a whole group of devoted and very talented Aquascapers who spend painstaking hours creating absolutely stunning aquascapes that are nothing short of “unworldly” in their presentation.  If you can imagine fish swimming through a forest or passing you by on a rolling grassy hill, then you have a pretty good idea of what some of the scenes can look like.  Some are very fairytale like while others capture and imitate their counterpart landmarks.  All are made using driftwood, sand and natural elements and take 6 months or more just to establish.

Morning-Forest
Planted Aquarium Design entitled “Morning Forest” by Pavel Bautin of Saint Petersburg, Russia – exquisite – an underwater forest.

And there are worldwide contests featuring the best aquascapes with quite a large following of aquascapers.  It seems to me that it would be a very calming hobby and that one would like to sit back and enjoy these beautiful aquascapes once they are fully established but, from what I’ve read, these professional aquascapers usually finish one and then dismantle it and on to the next one.

Aquascapers look to include stones, sand and driftwood to create the most natural looking aquascape and finding just the right piece or pieces of driftwood is crucial.  You want to make the scene look as natural as possible.  Consider varying sizes, height and width of your driftwood and the type of scene you are looking to create.  Manzanita and Malaysian oak are two good choices in driftwood for aquascapes. 

country-of-soul
“Country of Soul” aquascape by Tatiana Timirbulatova of Samara, Russia that just looks like more like a sunset at the beach – amazing.

 

Form the size you want by breaking the ends of branches – not sawing or using any tool.  Breaking will create a more natural look.  Soak your driftwood pieces for at least 2 weeks or more in plain water to remove the tannins which will otherwise discolor your aquascape.  Change out your water every few days until you no longer have any change of color after soaking for a few days.  Only then will your driftwood pieces be ready for your aquascape.

I can appreciate this creative hobby for it’s use of driftwood and it’s obvious skill level.  Personally, I would want to enjoy one of the established underwater gardens once I had it created.  It just seems like it would be so calming and mesmerizing.  To me, they are absolutely beautiful.

 

Lost-beach
“Lost Beach” by Mustafa Sezgen of Kocaeli, Turkey – can you believe this is an underwater landscape? Amazing. Notice the driftwood trees?

 

  If you would like to learn more about Aquascaping in general and driftwood aquascapes, here is a good link. AquaScaping World Magazine.

 

Driftwood Highboy Refinishing Project

Over the past 2 months, I’ve been slowly working on my driftwood highboy refinishing project which meant stripping and refinishing an antique highboy piece and then refinishing it with the Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish.  Well, I’m happy to say it’s finally done and I couldn’t be happier with the results.

driftwood highway
Finished Highboy using Driftwood Weathered Wood Finish

I purchased this highboy piece over 30 years ago at an antique store.  At the time I purchased the highboy, it was a hideous orange toned stained wood but it was a bargain at $375.00.  I distinctly remember that once I had stripped the orange stain, I had made a mental note that the bare wood had a beautiful distressed look to it and even back then I was tempted to leave it that way.  I also remember that I had done a major faux pas at the time I stripped it by using a steel wool pad to remove the finish and it had left little black specks everywhere.  But this had actually contributed to the weathered look in a good way.  I ended up staining the highboy in a dark mahogany color to match the other furniture in my room at the time.  I also remember that the stain did not take very well and I literally had to apply the stain and leave it on the piece without wiping off the excess.  This was the only way I could get the stain dark enough over the maple wood.

Original antique highboy
Original piece

Above is the piece before stripping and sanding.  It has always been a beautiful piece.  Below, I have started to strip and sand and needed to remove some of the more intricate pieces in order to get the finished removed.  I did this work outside in the Florida summer heat – not exactly the best conditions to be doing this type of work and that is why it took me 6 weeks to fully complete this project.  Some days it was just too hot!
Driftwood Highboy

Driftwood Finish Highboy

 

Driftwood Weathered Wood Finish applied to top drawer but still drying
Driftwood Weathered Wood Finish applied to top drawer but still drying
Antique driftwood highboy
Stripped and sanded; application of Driftwood Weathered Wood Finish.

The original hardware was brass and my original intention was to create a “rusted” finish.  I thought driftwood finish would be a nice backdrop to rusted hardware.  I attempted many solutions to create a rusted finish including soaking the hardware overnight in baths of vinegar and baking soda; vinegar and salt; and ammonia.  While I didn’t get a rust finish, I did get a somewhat verdigris finish.  After soaking the hardware pieces overnight and letting them air dry, I then applied a product by Modern Options called Verdigris with a paintbrush and dried it using my heat gun.  This seemed to increase the verdigris finish somewhat although I did not use the product according to their directions.  I did not apply their base product.  I have since found that the hardware’s verdigris finish has continued to turn quite a bit.

distressed hardward
Distressing the hardware
finished driftwood highboy
Finished driftwood highboy

 Driftwood highboy

So there you have the final driftwood highboy refinishing project.  It came out even better than I had expected and I’m in love with this piece but now my bed no longer matches.  Just when I thought I was done with refinishing projects for awhile…

How to Make a Driftwood Windchime

How to make a driftwood windchime using driftwood pieces and inexpensive silverware,  sea glass and marbles.  Here’s two different easy driftwood windchime versions – both make delicate chime sounds in the wind and either take just a few hours to make.  You can get creative and use seashells or other items that might inspire you.

 Driftwood Windchime

Here’s what you will need:

  • driftwood pieces (4-5). If you need driftwood pieces, we have driftwood in stock. 2-6″ pieces or 5-12″ pieces.
  • silverware (4-6 pieces – use soft pieces for easy flattening)
  • 14# fishing line
  • 24# beading wire
  • ear hoops from the beading department
  • flat drain from Wal-mart
  • sea glass pieces (available at Wal-mart)
  • Aleene’s Jewel It glue to glue fishing line knots
  • drill and drill bit for silverware
  • regular and needle nose pliers to mold wire around sea glass and bend fork
  • scissors
  • saw for driftwood pieces
  • hammer to hammer all the silverware pieces until flattened

Driftwood windchime

driftwood windchime

1. First use a hammer to flatten all the silverware pieces.

2. Drill a small hole at the top of each piece in order to pass the fishing line through.

3.  On one fork piece, using the pliers, twist each prong in each direction and curl under the end to form a small loop as shown in the picture below.  You will use each loop to string fishing line from the fork to loops on the strainer.

driftwood windchimedriftwood windchime

driftwood windchime

4.  Add an ear hoop to the underside of the strainer and using the fishing line, attach your choice of silverware as the centerpiece to your windchime.  I like to use a large silver spoon only because it tends to “hit” more of the other pieces moreso than a narrow knife or fork.

driftwood windchime

5.  Add 4 more ear loops to each opposing sides of the strainer.  These will be for the driftwood pieces.

6.  Add 4 more ear loops in between the existing ones.  These will be for the sea glass pieces.

7.  Now add 4 more ear loops in a circle half way between the outside rim and the center. These will be for the additional silverware pieces.  Add as many loops as you have silverware pieces.  You should now have 12 loops in additional to the center loop.

driftwood windchime

8.  Now cut your driftwood pieces to the lengths that you want.

9.  Drill holes in one end of each piece.  Insert a length of fishing line and tie off.  Just estimate a length of fishing line as you don’t want to put it together quite yet.

driftwood windchime

driftwood windchime

10.  Using the images above, wrap the wire around the sea glass pieces to hold it in place and form and loops and shapes shown.  These will hang easily onto the ear hoops.  You just want to make sure the sea glass is wrapped securely.  You can make it as long and elaborate as you wish – wrap two or more if you want.

11.  Now you want to put it all together.  It’s easiest if you can put a fishing line loop from the fork handle and hang it from something before you start to hang and knot each piece.  Start with each fork prong loop and attach fishing line (about 8 inches) from the loop on the fork  to a loop on the strainer and repeat for each fork prong loop – making sure it hangs level.

12.  Then decide how long you want each piece of silverware to hang and attached each piece.

13.  Now attach each piece of driftwood.

Driftwood Windchime

14.  Attach the seaglass pieces.

15.  Finally, go back and apply glue to each knot to make sure they do not come apart.

2ND DRIFTWOOD WINDCHIME VERSION

Below is another version using a different strainer, clear marbles (also from Wal-Mart), a dime store windchime I took apart, and driftwood pieces I made myself following this method How to Make Your Own Driftwood.  I actually like this second version better.  I ended up using a small baby spoon in the center and glued several of the marbles on the top of the strainer.  The strainer was larger.  I also used a stronger beading wire.  There’s so many options you can use to make your own version.

driftwood windchime

driftwood windchime

Dimestore windchime I took apart and used the chimes

driftwood windchime

I found two different versions of this strainer – the wooden one obviously cheaper and easier to take apart.  This worked great.  Just follow the same instructions for version one but use this second, larger strainer as your base and take apart the dime store windchime to use those chimes in place of the silverware.  I did however use one silverware fork for the top piece and another spoon for the very center of the chime.   And finally, I used marbles in place of sea glass and attached 5 marbles as a decorative element on the top of the strainer which I thought added a nice touch.

 

Creating a Driftwood Finish With Paint

Creating a Driftwood Finish With Paint

Driftwood Finish with Paint

I used this technique for creating a driftwood finish with paint, which I confess I garnered from another website some time ago and unfortunately, I do not remember where.  But, I do remember the process and it worked quite well for me in getting that driftwood look.

I started with just two different driftwood-like colors of flat, water-based latex paint, plus a small amount of  basic black and white artist’s acrylic.  The black and white were just from small tubes of acrylic paint I had on hand for painting on canvas.  You will only need a small amount of the white and black so just buy small tubes if you don’t already have some water based latex or acrylics on hand.

Sherman-Williams Grays Harbor

Sherman-Williams Pavestone

Pick the two colors you want from any assorted flat, water-based acrylic grays, beiges, sand or dark creams at the paint store that you feel will give you the colors and shades to mimic a driftwood finish.   I chose a quart each of 6236 Grays Harbor and 7642 Pavestone latex flat paint & primer both from Sherwin-Williams’ SuperPaint collection.  So now you have Grays Harbor and Pavestone.

But you want to have more colors to work with and in order to achieved additional tints and shades I merely added a little of the white or black to Grays Harbor and Pavestone.  Pour a small amount of Grays Harbor into a plastic cup or container and mix in a small amount of white paint to achieve a lighter tint – we now have Grays Harbor Light.  Do this again using Pavestone as your base and you will create Pavestone Light.

Now pour some of Grays Harbor and Pavestone in yet two more separate containers and add a small amount of black to each to get a darker shade of Grays Harbor and Pavestone.  You now have Grays Harbor Dark and Pavestone Dark and a total of 6 different driftwood colors for creating a driftwood finish.  Truthfully, I believe I only used 4 of the colors on my project but you now have lots of different shades and tints to work with and you can create as many as you want using this method of adding varying amounts of white or black to your base driftwood colors.

cat in bookcaseThis dresser was originally black with a beautiful antique gold stencil pattern but, while it was once one of my favorite pieces, it no longer suited my new driftwood color scheme and beachy style.  I went from British West Indies with its dark woods, burnt orange painted walls and vibrant tropical colors  to subdued sand-toned walls and creamy beach theme with driftwood furniture and accessories.  In the interim, before I decided on trying a driftwood finish using paint, I had given the dresser a distressed white finish.  It was nice but  I knew I could do better.  I wanted that highly sought after driftwood finish and I also really liked a lot of the mirrored furniture I was seeing.  Why not combine a driftwood finish with mirrored drawer fronts?

After mixing my paint colors, the procedure went as follows:

1.            First, I used the Grays Harbor and painted the whole piece.  Since I had never put any type of finishing product on the piece after I had painted it white,  all I needed to do was scruff it up a bit with sandpaper to get some good paint adhesion and paint over the white with the gray.

2.            Next, I took the darkest gray shade Grays Harbor Dark and made it a glaze by adding equal part water.  I used a soft cloth and went over the areas of the legs where you can see the carving so that the darker shade got into the grooves.  Don’t let the paint sit – you have to move quickly and wipe off most of the paint that has not settled into the grooves.

3.            I then made a glaze from the Pavestone base color.  Again, ½ water and ½ paint to make the glaze.  I applied this layer in small areas of the piece with a brush and worked quickly to blend and soften the paint using a soft cloth – taking off quite a bit of the glaze as I went along.  I slowly did this to the whole piece.

4.            The next layer was the Pavestone Light.  Again, I made a glaze of ½ paint and ½ water.  I applied this layer using a very dry brush technique and very long brush strokes with a very light hand.  I didn’t apply a lot – just a little here and there until I was happy with it.

5.            For the final touch, I diluted black paint and a little water and, with a toothbrush and my fingers, I flecked the surfaces of the dresser with just little black specks here and there.

6.            When I was done, I used Driftwood Natural Beeswax Wood Butter to give it a nice soft protective finish.

After several attempts at finding just the right knobs, I finally chose mercury glass knobs from Anthropologie.

I couldn’t be happier with how the finish came out and how the final piece looks.  But I will note two things.  First, as nice as this painted driftwood finish looks – I could have used the Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish and got just as nice if not nicer driftwood finish in a lot less time and without all the paint and cleanup, but, I hadn’t developed the product yet and, in fact, this project inspired me to find an easier alternative; and  second,  having the mirror put on the dresser fronts may not have been the best idea.  While it looks great (I had them done by a local glass and mirror shop), the mirror is very heavy and prone to crack if you put the handles on too tight or if you move the piece a lot like I have.  The mirror on two corners has already chipped and cracked.  I had really, really wanted antiqued mirror, i.e. smoky, aged and distressed but I could not find any locally so that was disappointing.  This piece would have been over the top if I had been able to use antique mirrors as I originally wanted… sigh.

Creating a Driftwood Finish with Paint

Creating a Driftwood Finish with Paint