How to make your own driftwood

How to Make Your Own Driftwood

How to Make Your Own Driftwooddriftwood and kittens

Wondering how you can make your own driftwood?  We’ve got just the tutorial to show you how you can make driftwood at home.  It takes a little time (give yourself a week).  But the pay off is that you can create the size you want and it won’t cost you more than a box of Washing Soda, and a bottle of bleach.  Now, this is for driftwood you want to use for projects – it is NOT meant for driftwood you want to use in an aquarium.  I have no idea how to clean driftwood to use in an aquarium.

Make your own driftwood

What you will need:

  • Arm & Hammer Washing Soda – can be difficult to find – if have a Publix in your area, they carry it.
  • bleach
  • water
  • container to hold your driftwood pieces
  • sandpaper

A neighbor had trimmed their trees and I knew the branches would be a good size for driftwood projects.  I finished stripping the wood and let it dry completely. But then I wanted to get a more grayish tone to the wood so I used the Driftwood Weathering Wood Product.

Make your own driftwood step 1To start this project, I used a big plastic storage container puchased from Wal-mart for about $8.00.  A large plastic trash bucket or recycle bin would also work as long as your pieces fit.  You may have to think outside the box and use something like a child’s plastic or blowup swimming pool. Get creative.

Before Adding Your Wood

Add about 1-2 Cups of Super Washing Soda to the container (obviously more for a larger container) and dissolve it with hot water.  Then add your wood pieces and cover the wood completely with water.  I used about 7 gallons of water.  And then I filled two water containers and used them as anchors to hold the wood under the water.

  Make your own driftwood step 2

 You want to soak the wood for about 48 hours or long enough so that the bark softens and can be removed using a wire brush.

make your own driftwood step 3

I used a wire brush I had on hand for stripping furniture.  You could probably try steel wool or any very firm bristle brush.   You just need to be able to remove the soggy bark from the wood which should already be peeling away.  For stubborn pieces, soak longer.

make your own driftwood step 4

 make your own driftwood step 5

Once the Bark Was Removed

Once I had removed all the bark, the next step was to make sure I killed any bacteria and removed as much odd discoloration as possible.  I filled the container back up with about 7 gallons of water, added 1 Cup of bleach, and once again immersed the wood for 48 hours.

 make your own driftwood step 6

 The next step was to lay the wood out in a sunny spot for another 2-3 days.  If your pieces are small enough, you could conceivably put them in the oven at very low heat and dry them out. Using the sun is a lot cheaper and works just fine.

After 3 days of sun, you can see I have quite a nice selection of pieces but they are still a little rough.  All the ends, pointy edges and texture should be sanded off.  This will give you the appearance of wood that has been washed and weathered by months at sea.

make your own driftwood

 Now these pieces are pretty nice the way they are.  But I wanted to get a little more of a grayish tone to the wood so I applied the Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish.

 make your own driftwood step 9Here you can see a picture of :

  • Just how pale the unfinished wood came out;
  • where I applied the Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish to half to give me the grayish tone I was looking for;
  • and finally putting it up against an actual piece of driftwood for comparison.

Now I’ve got quite a nice stash of driftwood pieces for projects like candleholders, lamps, windchimes, mirrors, etc. – perfect!

Don’t have the time to create your own driftwood? We have natural driftwood pieces for sale.


How to Make a Driftwood Clock

I’ve had this particular piece of driftwood for a while and I knew right away that I wanted to make a driftwood clock from this piece.  It had many possibilities but my instinct was for a driftwood clock.

Driftwood Clock

Required for this Project:

  • Driftwood
  • Clock mechanism
  • Clock hands
  • Clock hour indicators
  • Extra piece of driftwood to serve as a third foot
  • Drill
  • Drill bit the size of your clock mechanism
  • Glue
  • Hinge
  • Screws
  • Screw driver
  • Chain
  • 2 eye hooks

For my clock hands and hour indicators, I took apart an existing clock I had.  I thought the hands and indicators were the perfect complement of smooth modern metallic to juxtapose against the natural ruggedness of the driftwood clock.Driftwood clock

But this piece was rather thick where I needed the mechanism to be centered so I had to order a unit online that had a stem of  1 3/4″ long.  You will need to figure out how long the stem of your mechanism needs to be and most of the time you can find the mechanisms along with the hands and hour indicators at your local craft stores.  If you need something longer, then search online.  I believe I used  Be aware that not all hands will fit on all mechanisms.Driftwood clock

Another idea is to get creative with the hour indicators.  You don’t need to use numbers – you can use anything you might fancy.  Shells, beads, nuts, bolts – the possibilities are endless.  The craft stores have a mind-numbing selection of beautiful beads that can be used.

1.      I started by finding a piece of driftwood to use as the third foot.  I will attach this to the back using a hinge and screws and then attach a chain that will span from the back of the clock to the third foot so that the foot will only extend so far.  This will keep my clock upright.

2.      I attach a hinge to the driftwood foot and then attach the piece to the back of the clock. 

Driftwood Clock

3.      I then insert two eye hooks – one into the back of the clock and the other into the third foot and attach my chain.  Check the length of the chain and make sure that it extends far enough to hold up the clock without tipping over.

Driftwood Clock

 Driftwood Clock


4.      Next I marked the center of the clock face where I need to drill the hole of the mechanism.  Drill the hole.  Insert the mechanism and make sure that the hands will move without any problems before permanently attaching the mechanism to the back of the driftwood piece.  I used a hot glue gun to set it in place.Driftwood Clock


5.      Now mark where you want your hour indicators to be on the face of the clock and glue them on.

6.      Add the clock hands.

7.      Add the battery and you’re done.

Driftwood clock -09




Driftwood Thanksgiving Turkey Centerpiece

Creating a Driftwood Thanksgiving Centerpiece

Why not a driftwood Thanksgiving centerpiece inspired by the colors of Autumn?  It’s pretty easy to make and quite lovely on a holiday table.  Fill it with flowers, fruit, nuts and berries or even leaves, pine cones or perhaps beach inspired.

Driftwood Thanksgiving Centerpiece

Materials Needed:

  • Balloon (look for “Punch Ball” balloons at Walmart for a strong balloon)
  • Magic Marker
  • Heat Gun such as HiPur Former Adhesive Applicator by Franklin International or Professional Glue Gun
  • 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)
  • Approx. 100 pieces driftwood 3″ – 12″.  If you need driftwood pieces, we have driftwood in stock. 2-6″ pieces or 5-12″ pieces.
  • optional nail gun
  • optional nails
  1.  Using a balloon will help give you the shape you need for this project.   I use the “Punch Ball” balloons for their strength and durability and I use them for lots of different projects and since I wanted a round shape for my “turkey” centerpiece, I brought out the balloons.  I started with blowing up a balloon to about 12″ round but you can make it bigger or smaller depending upon how big you want your centerpiece.  

2.  Once you have the balloon about the size a round that you want, use a marker to indicate a half way mark around the balloon.  This will be approximately how high to build up the sides and will help keep it looking fairly uniform.

Driftwood Thanksgiving Centerpiece

3.    It can be difficult to glue the driftwood pieces onto the balloon and hold them in place while the glue dries so you may want to work with small sections at a time – maybe 3 or 4 pieces – let the glue dry and then pull them away from the balloon while you create another section.  Once you have created enough small sections to go all the way around, it becomes easier to actually start gluing them around the balloon.

You may also find it helpful to sit the balloon inside or on top of a bowl while working with it.  These balloons also come with a strong rubber band attached which can come in handy if you want to suspend the balloon in mid-air while working on your project.

Driftwood Thanksgiving Centerpiece

Driftwood Thanksgiving Centerpiece

4.  Once you have your basic “bowl” shape then just start filling in areas with pieces of driftwood to make more of a completed bowl shape.

5.  Pick out a piece about 10″ long and 1 1/2″ thick that will be your neck and a smaller oblong piece to be your head that will sit atop the neck.  And find a piece to be what I call the “gobbler” which will be attached to the neck underneath the head. 

I initially found all three pieces and used both glue and nails to attach both the head to the neck and the gobbler to the neck.  I later discovered the perfect piece to use for the head and took apart the pieces in order to use the new head.  Sometimes you get lucky and a piece is just perfect.

Driftwood Thanksgiving Centerpiece

Driftwood Thanksgiving Centerpiece

Driftwood Thanksgiving Centerpiece

6.  Find two driftwood pieces about 5-6″ long and fairly straight to use as the legs.  These pieces will help balance the basket.  Glue them  on the bottom about 3-4″ apart to stabilize the basket and to look like the turkey is sitting on its legs.

Driftwood Thanksgiving Centerpiece

Driftwood Thanksgiving Centerpiece

7.  Now you can start adding the tail.  You want to attach longer driftwood pieces on an angle so you may have to add an additional driftwood piece or two to the back end in a horizontal position to use as a brace to help support the longer pieces.  Start with your longest pieces in the center and taper the length as you go down both sides.

Driftwood Thanksgiving Centerpiece

Driftwood Thanksgiving Centerpiece

8.  And this is where I attached the new head.  I did end up using a power tool and cutting both the neck piece and the head piece so both were straight cuts and I could easily glue the two pieces together.  You have to admit, the new head is perfect.  But there is only an eye on one side but it makes a great driftwood Thanksgiving turkey centerpiece.

Driftwood Thanksgiving Centerpiece

Driftwood Thanksgiving Centerpiece

Throughout this project I used a professional glue gun – Steinel HiPur former Advanced Bonding System by Franklin International which required specific hot melt adhesive.  These adhesives are not cheap but the glue will hold up in Florida’s hot weather, indoors or outdoors where cheap glue will fall apart.  The glue is also opaque and I find myself using an exacto blade to remove unwanted glue here and there but the good news is there is a lot less “webbing”.

Well, here it is – the final centerpiece.  I used dried flowers in one arrangement and fresh flowers for the other and as you can see, it really makes a beautiful driftwood Thanksgiving centerpiece.  It might even look great on a mantel.


Driftwood Thanksgiving Centerpiece


Driftwood Thanksgiving Centerpiece

Need a Driftwood Christmas Tree for the holidays? Check out our Tutorial for Creating Your Own Driftwood Christmas Tree or check out this Driftwood Christmas Tree from Amazon Deco 79 Driftwood Tree, 13 by 21-Inch or this cute driftwood reindeer Deco 79 Wood Deer, 18 by 11-Inch.


Make a Driftwood Christmas Tree

How to Make a Driftwood Christmas Tree

How to Make a Driftwood Christmas Tree

Christmas is right around the corner again, so now is the time to try your hand at making a driftwood Christmas Tree.

Driftwood Christmas Tree

Driftwood Christmas Tree

Parts list for Making a Driftwood Christmas Tree:   
•    20-25    Driftwood pieces, various lengths.  (check out our for driftwood pieces)
•    1    Starfish or other tree topper
•    3    8/32 Threaded rod 3′ long
•    3    8/32 nuts
•    3    8/32 washers
•    3    8/32 lock washers


Tools:Driftwood Christmas Tree Parts
•    Power Drill
•    11/64″ brad point drill (The brad point drill has a sharp point on it. It is made for drilling holes in wood without the drill wandering. The 11/64” size is perfect to allow the threaded rod to fit through).
•    1/2″ Forstner bit (use this bit to make a couterbore hole in the base piece so that the nut, lock washer, and washer will not stick out on the bottom of the base).
•    Pliers
•    Hacksaw To cut the threaded rod.
•    File  (This is to clean up the end of the threaded rod after you cut it with the hack 

•    Scrap wood block (A groove cut into the block will make it easier to hold the driftwood pieces while you drill them).
•    Hot glue gun – For gluing the starfish on to the top piece.


Steps for Creating Your Driftwood Christmas Tree:
1.   Choose the two largest pieces for the base of your driftwood Christmas Tree.
If you are lucky, you can use a curved piece to fit over the very bottom piece. I ended up turning a branch so that the base would at least have three points to rest on.  

Driftwood Christmas Tree -06
   2.   Hold the base pieces together exactly the way you will want them to be positioned, and drill through both of them together. When you put them onto the threaded rod, this is how they will be aligned.

Driftwood Christmas Tree Parts
3.     Next, using the Forstner bit, you will want to enlarge the hole on the bottom part of the base just deep enough so that when you screw in the nut it will not stick out and the base will will sit flat.

Driftwood Christmas Tree Parts
4.     I also counterbore the hole on the top part of the base to hide the nut.  So, here you see a counterbored hole in both the bottom and top of my base pieces.

Driftwood Christmas Tree Parts5.   Next put the nut, lock washer and washer on the threaded rod – in that order. The washer goes against the wood. The lock washer goes next, then the nut. The lock washer will help keep it from loosening up over time.

Driftwood Christmas Tree Parts 

6.  Insert this  into the top piece of the base and then put the bottom piece on.

Driftwood Christmas Tree Parts


Driftwood Christmas Tree

7.    Put on a washer followed by a lock washer and then finally a nut.  Make sure that the hardware does not stick out past the bottom or the tree will not stand up. This is why you want to counterbore a hole.



Driftwood Christmass Tree 
Tighten the nut at the top until the two pieces are tight and stable. Do not tighten it too much or it could crack the wood.

Driftwood Christmass Tree

8.     Lay out the pieces for the rest of the tree according to length, with the smallest at the top.
 Driftwood Christmass Tree

9.     Hold each branch in place to get an idea of where you want to drill the hole and mark where you want to drill the hole.

 Driftwood Christmass Tree

10.     Hold each piece against a block of scrap wood when you drill the hole. If you make a V shaped groove in the block, it will be easier to hold the pieces still when you drill them.

Driftwood Christmass Tree
11.    Then just slide the drilled branch onto the threaded rod.  Don’t secure the pieces as they will need to be removed in order to cut the rod to its final size.  Later you can adjust the pieces for best placement and secure them with a glue gun if you wish.  I didn’t see the need for that.
 Driftwood Christmass Tree

12.     Continue drilling and placing the branches until they are all done.

13.     When all the branches are in place, mark the threaded rod with a sharpie at the point where you want to cut the excess. I decided to leave about 3 inches on top to put the starfish.

14.  Remove all the branches and carefully lay them out in the order in which you had them placed on the rod. 

15.  Now cut the threaded rod with a hacksaw. Use a file to clean up the sharp, cut end of the threaded rod in order to be able to thread an 8-32 nut onto the end.

 Driftwood Christmass Tree

16.    Re-assembly the tree.  Here is what it looked like after I cut the threaded rod and put all the branches back on, then a washer, lock washer and nut – in that order.  Tighten the top nut enough to hold the tree together. I was still able to move the branches a little to position them for best placement.

 Driftwood Christmass Tree

17.     Finally, I chose a small, straight piece of driftwood for the top and drilled a hole straight through the middle to be able to insert it over the rod. To drill it, I held the piece against the scrap block with a clamp. This kept my fingers away from the spinning drill bit.

 Driftwood Christmass Tree

I also filed the very top into a point so that it would fit into the starfish better when I glued it.
 Here’s how it looked before I glued the starfish on top:

Driftwood Christmass Tree

 Driftwood Christmass Tree

18.     Position the starfish. Decide just where you want to glue it.   Glue the starfish on to the top with a hot glue gun and hold it in place while it hardens.  Place it on top for a finished tree. 


Driftwood Christmas Tree 

Need some Driftwood Christmas Stars for your new Driftwood Christmas Tree? Check out our Tutorial for Creating Driftwood Christmas Stars.  Don’t feel like making your own driftwood Christmas tree – then check out this Driftwood Christmas Tree from Amazon Deco 79 Driftwood Tree, 13 by 21-Inch or this cute driftwood reindeer Deco 79 Wood Deer, 18 by 11-Inch.

Driftwood Wall Sculpture

Make a Driftwood Wall Sculpture

Make a Driftwood Wall Sculpture

How to Make a Driftwood Wall Sculpture
This Simple Tutorial on how to Make a Driftwood Wall Sculpture will show you how easy it is to create a stunningly beautiful piece of driftwood sculptural art using nothing but weathered driftwood pieces. 

This Driftwood Wall hanging brings all the colors and textures into one striking art piece that can be hung indoors or out and in a variety of room decors from beachy to modern.  It’s perfect for focal point over a mantel.

Supplies Needed:

  • Heat Gun such as HiPur Former Adhesive Applicator by Franklin International or Professional Glue Gun
  • 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)
  • 150-200  Driftwood pieces 6″ – 12″ (I used approx. 175 pieces for my 25 1/2″ round sculpture). If you need driftwood pieces, we have driftwood in stock. 2-6″ pieces or 5-12″ pieces.
  • Paper Template (decide how big you want it and create a template from paper)
  • Round Wood Base 9-12″ (you will need this to be able to hang the sculpture on the wall)
  • Hardware for hanging sculpture
  • Picture hanging wire

 Driftwood Wall Sculpture1.     Start with deciding how big you want your piece and creating a round paper template that will help you keep the shape in check. I also separated my driftwood into 3 different piles – long pieces, shorter pieces and odd curly pieces.  This made it easier to find the right size I needed.

2.     Center the wood circle on the template.  This piece is what you will use as your base to attach your hardware for hanging and to also attach some longer pieces of driftwood to help stabilize the piece.  It can be anywhere from 9″ to 20″ around.

3       Glue longer pieces from the wood circle to the outer edges of the template.  This will help stabilize the piece. Notice that my driftwood pieces extend way past the wood center piece.

Driftwood Wall Sculpture

 4.     Continue to fill in with shorter pieces – lining them up with the bottom edge of the paper template.Driftwood Wall Sculpture

Driftwood Wall Sculpture

5.     For the next layer, I added shorter pieces and filled in sparser areas.  Then took my odd shaped pieces and used them for the middle to create more dimension – turning them so they pointed up and out. Nice curly pieces that add character as well as dimension.


Driftwood Wall Sculpture

  Driftwood Wall Sculpture6.  The final step is to attach the hardware for hanging.



Driftwood Wall Sculpture


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.


  • 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

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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)


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)


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


  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

Step by Step Directions for Making a Driftwood Lamp

Step by Step Directions for Making a Driftwood LampDriftwood Lamp Instructions Step 1

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.

3.  Supplies. 

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 Driftwood Lamp instructionsis 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.Driftwood Lamp instructions

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.