When I shared the new kitchen cabinet color on Instagram, I got a lot of questions about the new DIY driftwood wall hanging I made. I was actually inspired by a similar driftwood wall hanging I spotted on Masters of Flip and started making it in the summer. But I kept getting distracted by the nice weather and I abandoned this project once it was clear I’d have to spend the last nice weeks sitting around, sanding. But then I realized: sitting around and sanding in the cold is worse. With winter looming, I finally hurried up and got the rest of this DIY driftwood wall hanging done! I hope I haven’t scared you from this DIY! It’s very, very easy to make this DIY driftwood wall hanging – it just takes a little patience.
Here’s a closer look:
I could NOT find small pieces of driftwood, which is what I envisioned at first. Around here – and the beach I go to so I can collect more – the pieces are BIG! I could only collect enough smaller pieces to make a DIY driftwood wreath this summer. So I opted to collect big driftwood branches and cut them down to size. If you live near a beach with smaller pieces, you can skip the cutting/sanding steps. A driftwood garland with naturally short pieces look like this.
Supplies for This DIY Driftwood Wall Hanging:
- Saw (I used my compound miter saw but even a miter box saw could work)
- Sand paper and sanding block
- Drill and drill bits
- Dowel screws (1/4″ x 2 1/2″ is what I used)
- Wall anchors
- Pliers (we used needle nose locking pliers)
How to Make This DIY Driftwood Wall Hanging:
The first step is to collect a lot of driftwood, with approximately the same diameter.
Then use a saw to cut the driftwood to length. Mine are all approximately 3 3/4″ long, but you can cut them any length. Because I was using my compound miter saw, I found it easiest to place a piece of tape on the saw as a guide and then just chop, chop, chop, without having to stop and measure. Be careful cutting because the driftwood can be unpredictable and full or knots/rotting bits. A couple of times my saw hit a knot and it wanted to pop out of my hands so be sure to wear eye protection and work slowly and carefully. Don’t try to cut too close to your hand – just throw away the tail end of the driftwood stick and start with a new one.
Next, sand the edges of each end. They might be ragged and splinter – driftwood didn’t like being cut! – so sanding them helps the cut ends blend in with the rest of the worn driftwood.
You can also spot sand any rough spots on the driftwood as needed. Then drill a hole in the center, large enough for your twine/rope to easily pass through.
Sand again, if necessary – the backside might have a little tear out from the drill so give it a quick pass with the sandpaper. Set aside three substantial and nice pieces of driftwood for the hooks.
Cut a length of twine/rope approximately 24″ long than what you’d like the finished strand to be. For reference, my strands are all roughly 55″ long. Thread it through a piece of driftwood and wrap it around a few times, tying a knot. This will anchor the bottom of the strand. Then thread on the other pieces, burying the tail end of the knot as you go. Keep working, threading on the driftwood until you reach about 12-16″ from the end.
Thread all three strands and carefully set aside. Now take the three pieces of the driftwood you set aside earlier and turn them into “hooks”. Use a dowel screw for this – one half of this screw goes into the driftwood piece and then other goes into the wall. Pre-drill a hole into the driftwood piece, using a drill bit that is the same size as the shaft of the dowel screw. Then screw in the dowel screw using pliers to grip the middle (between the threads).
You can use these dowel screws to make hooks out of so many things! The only drawback is that these ones can only hold 10 lbs (and each strand was about 8lb). To install the driftwood hook, pre-drill a hole in the wall, push in the anchor, and then hand screw the driftwood hook in – easy peasy.
With the driftwood hooks installed, grab a strand and wrap the loose end of twine around the hook and knot securely. I left a little drop between the hook and the strand but you don’t have to.
You can also make a strand of this and use it as a DIY driftwood garland for the holidays, which is why I’m sharing this tutorial in December. Whenever you find yourself combing the beach next, think about collecting small pieces or lots of longer pieces the same diameter, to make a wall hanging like this, or garland for the holidays!