How to Transform Driftwood into Home Decor

  • 01 of 08

    Transforming Driftwood into Home Decor

    Collection of Home decoration on end table
    Fotosearch / Getty Images

    When I lived by the beach, I loved walking along the shore and picking up shells, stones and small pieces of driftwood to use in my DIY projects. I especially loved the versatility and endless number of items I could create with driftwood to decorate my home. Even though it has been weathered, worn and discarded by the sea, you can transform driftwood into a variety of one-of-a-kind home accents -- all without spending much (or any) money.

    Here are a few ideas to get you started.

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  • 02 of 08

    Make a Wind Chime

    You can create your own unique wind chime with driftwood, shells and some bells. Photo © Jami Delia

    I love wind chimes, especially when I can make one for free. With just a little bit of heavy duty string or fishing line, a few small pieces of driftwood, a handful of shells and some metal medallions or bells, you can create a personalized and unique wind chime to hang in your home or on your patio. If you plan on keeping your wind chime outside and exposed to the environment, I recommend using fishing line or something similar. Certain string and rope can deteriorate quickly when exposed to...MORE the elements.

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  • 03 of 08

    Decorate a Frame

    You can attach small pieces of driftwood to a mirror frame. Photo © Vincent C. Richel/Flickr

    Use small stick-sized pieces of driftwood for small projects, such as revamping a picture, mirror or chalkboard frame. You can either reuse a frame that you already have or pick up a very inexpensive one at a thrift store, garage sale or flea market and attach your driftwood. With a vision and a little hot glue, you can create a functional keepsake to remind you of your trip to the beach.

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  • 04 of 08

    Create a Lamp

    You can turn small driftwood logs into a lamp base. Photo © Vincent C. Richel/Flickr

    If you're skilled in lamp craftsmanship or know someone who is, turn your driftwood find into a one-of-a-kind lamp to accent any room in your home. If you're not a skilled lamp maker, you can also refurbish an old or thrifty lampshade by gluing like-sized pieces of wood to the outside of the shade. Keep in mind, though, the amount of additional weight your lamp base can handle (stay away from skinny bases). Make sure the weight of your wood pieces are proportional to prevent it from...MORE toppling over.

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  • 05 of 08

    Make a Coat or Key Rack

    You can turn a driftwood stick into a key rack with a handful of screw hooks. Photo © Jami Delia

    My favorite project for reusing driftwood is to create a coat or key rack for the entryway or laundry room area. With a sturdy semi-straight piece of driftwood, attach a handful of screw hooks into one side of the wood. Depending on the size of the wood, either add some heavy-duty reinforcement pieces to the wall and/or the other side of the rack or attach ribbon or heavy-duty string to the edges. Hang your rack and you've got yourself a place to store coats, hats, and/or keys.

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  • 06 of 08

    Use It as an Accent

    You can hang a unique piece of driftwood on your wall to complement any room. Photo © Vincent C. Richel/Flickr

    If you would love to decorate your home with driftwood, but are not that crafty or do not have the supplies to make anything, you can simply display the wood as is by:

    • hanging it on a wall
    • arranging it on a coffee table, shelf or dining table
    • putting it in a vase
    • lining a garden or walkway
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  • 07 of 08

    Make a Sign

    With a little paint, you can turn a piece of driftwood into a sign or name plate. Photo © Jami Delia

    If you have a piece of driftwood that is flat (i.e., looks like a board), you can easily turn it into a sign of your choice. For example, you can:

    • paint your house number on it and hang it outside
    • paint your child's name on it and hang it on their bedroom door
    • spell out a word or phrase with shells or sea glass
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  • 08 of 08

    Make a Table

    You can transform a large piece of driftwood into a table. Photo © Vincent C. Richel/Flickr

    If you find a large, multi-limbed piece of wood, trim off any excess pieces to create an even edge and add a glass top to it with proper reinforcements. Although this may seem simple, I strongly recommend a table craftsman either helping or supervising as you make this transformation. You want to make sure the proper tools are used and the tabletop is aligned and reinforced correctly to prevent damage and possible injury. You may also need another person to help you if the wood and/or tabletop...MORE are heavy.

    Although you can transform driftwood into a variety of items to complement your home, there are a few tips you should always consider:

    • Use precaution. Always use precaution when selecting your wood. Before removing the wood from the shore, you want to pay special attention to whether there are any living creatures nesting in the wood. You don't want to remove the creature from its natural habitat or bring it into your home. The last thing you want is to bring home a piece of wood laden with termites or insects.
    • Respect others and the law. Don't take something that is not yours. If the wood is on someone's property, do not trespass to gather the wood. You also want to make sure you are not disturbing any protected lands or shorelines by taking the wood. There are certain areas where it is illegal to take things from the beach or shoreline. Always consult with the beach patrol, park ranger office or local government/law enforcement if you are unsure.
    • Be patient. Make sure you properly dry and treat your wood before starting the transformation process. Since you cannot be sure how old or worn the wood is, you want to make sure the wood is stable and can withstand your refurbishment.