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.