Introduction: The Tree - Driftwood Decorative Art

About: Hi! I´m Cristina, and I love to make new stuff using old things! I think it´s just awesome! At the same time I´m trying to help a Foundation that help children in Bangladesh, buy offering my stuff in exchange…

With this instructable I would like to share with you how I made this "tree" out of driftwood.

I brought home these two driftwood pieces from the beach because I found them interesting. They made me think of a tree, so they ended up like this, but the possibilties of driftwood art are so so many... and just by gluing them together!

Hope you like the idea and this instructable!

Step 1: What You Will Need

There are not many things you will need. The most important one is of course the driftwood you want to work with.

An important note on the driftwood:

  • If you are bringing it home from the beach like I did, remember it has been in the salty water and in the it is best to soak it in water. I used a bucket filled with water and let the drifwood soak dor three days (I changed the water every day, even if it wasn´t very dirty, but to make sure all the salt came off). Then it will have to dry very well. I let it dry in the sun, making sure the pieces didn´t get damaged or dirty.


  • driftwood
  • white wood glue
  • liquid silicone
  • wood stain (I used three colours: "nogal brown" , "black", "caju orange")
  • varnish (matte)


  • pencil
  • paintbrush
  • wood carving tool
  • sanding paper

Step 2: Carving

This step depends on how you want to join the driftwood pieces together.

In my case, when I (finally) decided how I would like to place them, the "fit" wasn´t very good so carving was in need.

I first marked the place where I wanted to join the two pieces, on the base drifwood and using a pencil.

Then I carefully and slowly carved the wood. I verified the fit frequently to prevent carving too much.

My goal was also to keep the shape of these two driftwood pieces as original as possible.

When the fit was right, and the two pieces "merged" not perfectly but in a way I could see would be possible to easily glue them together, it was time to stop carving.

Step 3: Sanding

The sanding will also depend of the roughness of your piece

I reused leftover sanding paper for this, because I didn't need to sand it much. I sanded just only where necessary, and very little, so that the final piece wouldn't look "polished". This way it kept that rustic look.

Step 4: Painting

To paint these two pieces of driftwood, I used three colours of wood stain: dark brown (nogal) , orange (caju) and black. I applied them randomly, covering the wood, just painting at will and mixing up the colours as I please. I didn´t even wash the brush when changing colours. Never had painted this way, but the outcome was pretty nice.

Step 5: Gluing

To glue the two pieces together to make my final piece, I used two different glues: silicon liquid glue, and white wood glue. First, I almost filled up the carved up hole (where the two pieces will join together) with liquid silicon glue. Then I applied white wood glue to the end of the other piece and placed them together. Here I had to wait , because no clamp I had would do the job for me... After ten minutes, when it was secure to let go I let it dry for a day.

Step 6: Finishing

After letting the glue dry for a day, I went on to finish my piece. I wanted something to protect the wood, as it is designed to be a decorative piece. For that, I decided to spread a mixture of water with glue all over the piece. I don´t advice you do this because the different colours that I aceived by painting, faded a bit away. This happened because the wood stain is water based... So please skip covering it with water and glue.

After this had dried, I used spray varniz (mate) all over to give it a proper finishing. And it´s done!

Step 7: The Finished "Tree"

And here we have it, a nice decorative tree object for your home, just by gluing two pieces of driftwood together.

Hope you find cool shaped dritfwood at the beach to make some beautifull decorative art for your home too. Would love to see what you come up with!

Glue Challenge 2016

Participated in the
Glue Challenge 2016