Driftwood can look rustic, modern, and even bohemian. What’s more, driftwood is virtually free if you know the right places to look for it.
Driftwood can be used to create all sorts of beautiful items, such as mirror or picture frames, lamps, rustic-looking clothes hangers, candleholders, or even excellent centerpieces for weddings and focal pieces for landscaping. The list is endless if you use your imagination. But most of us don’t live right on beach so where do you get driftwood.
One of the advantages of buying driftwood, is that you can look at the pieces on offer, and choose the ones that suit your needs best. Driftwood pieces of all shapes and sizes can be bought from craft and hobby shops, florists, souvenir shops, aquarium shops, at flea markets, on eBay, and at many other online stores.
The downside about buying pieces of driftwood is that they can sometimes be rather pricey, especially if you are browsing through online stores. Some of the pieces advertised online can be big and heavy, and shipping costs can add a significant amount to the actual price of the item that you want to buy. Prices vary a lot but you need to keep in mind the shipping costs.
Where to Find Driftwood
Apart from the fact that finding your own driftwood won’t cost you anything at all, it is also a great way to spend a few healthy hours in the outdoors – either on your own, or with your family or friends. This is because most driftwood is found along riverbanks, at the edges of lakes, or along the beach. A lot of people have the misconception that driftwood can only be found on a beach but riverbanks and around lakes are all good places to get driftwood. I’ve even found beautiful pieces in swamps – I believe this is referred to as “bogwood”. Once I soaked them in bleach, cleaned them up and let them dry in the sun for several weeks, I actually had some very unique driftwood or “bogwood” pieces – some can be even petrified wood.
The best time to find driftwood on the beach is early in the morning or late afternoon, after a storm, or when it is low tide. All sorts of debris will have been washed up onto the beach, including rusty nails and jellyfish, so it would be a good idea to protect your feet with a pair of beach shoes.
You may also have to do a bit of digging through the debris and sand to get to a piece of driftwood that catches your eye, so if you don’t like getting your hands dirty, bring along a pair of gloves as well. Having a bag is a good idea, because those prized pieces of driftwood that you find can become rather awkward to haul around as you stroll along the shore.
You also need to be aware that some areas are protected and you will not be allowed to carry out driftwood or anything else for that matter. Beware of protected natural areas, parks and private property. Public beaches and waterways are fair game.
If you found an amazing piece of driftwood but aren’t sure what to do with it, check out some of these do-it-yourself driftwood projects for some innovative ideas.
Star Mirror: To complete this driftwood project, you may want to buy a bunch of smaller driftwood pieces so you have more variety when making the piece. Try to match up lengths and create three rows of driftwood: a short, a medium, and a long row. If you just start randomly placing too many different lengths along the circle, the mirror won’t look like a starburst.
Square Mirror: This driftwood project is a little bit more forgiving than the starburst mirror if you don’t have an artistic eye. All you need to do is randomly collage small driftwood pieces onto a mirror frame that you already own.
Some retail stores have sold similar wooden wreaths for more than 50€. If you have collected a bunch of smaller driftwood pieces, you can replicate a designer wreath for much less money. Make sure that all the wood is facing the same direction but make some pieces overlap slightly.
Front Door Driftwood Garland
Some driftwood that you buy from the store comes pre-drilled, which would make this driftwood project as simple as stringing together a strand of beads. Just make sure you hang the garland out of the way of guests entering your home.
Succulents and air plants do well in driftwood planters because these plants don’t require much water and their root systems are shallow. Carve out an opening into a thick piece of driftwood to create the planter base, then use your new creation as a dining room centerpiece.