Friday, October 1, 2010

Making A Driftwood Tree

Driftwood is plentiful around here, especially the day after we've had high winds and rough seas. Here is my finished version of what I came up after I decided to gather a collection of some of the smaller pieces I found. 

The shore always seems to lend me inspiration on the days when I most crave it.   

Whether rounded, thin, broad or gnarly, any collection of driftwood will work. 

And probably any container will work too, but I selected what I had on hand -- one of our raku pots. 

Because the tree will tend to get a little top heavy, to weight the base I used a tree stump that would fit into the pot and drilled a 1/4" hole in the center to insert the dowel that will help provide stability.   To help cover up the stump and to fill in all the gaps around the perimeter, I added this soft green moss that I plucked from where it grows on the branches of some of the old dead pine trees here on the coast. 


After I had a nice layer of moss built up on the base, I just started drilling 1/2" holes in the center of all of the pieces of driftwood.  Then I  began layering them up by slipping them down over the dowel in crisscross fashion beginning with the longer pieces, continuing to taper them shorter in length as the tree began to take shape.  For the very top piece, I drilled a smaller 1/4" hole to have it fit a bit more snug, that will serve to hold it all in place. 

And that's all there was to it, very simple really, but actually it took me a while to figure it all out. 

I enjoyed this project so much, that I've already made plans to make a much larger one.   Also, I admit I'm not the best at tutorials, but if you want to make one too and you have any questions, please just let me know!  Plus, I don't let you know nearly enough, but I really do appreciate and love reading all of your comments, and I thank you for each and every one of them you have ever left for me.   


vicki said...

Lili - this is the best creation that I have seen yet from driftwood - amazing! I am crazy crazy about drift wood - I pick it up all the time on our beach in Florida. What a great idea - how cute is this going to be for Christmas!


Kelly said...

Such a creative way to use something that people really take for granted. I love the pots. The two go so well together. Great Job!
I love the feel of driftwood.

Low Tide High Style said...

Lili your tutorial was great! I will be on the lookout for some driftwood over the weekend, and I love the idea of turning it into a tree! Such a wonderful project!

Kat :)

Sunny said...

Lili, one can appreciate the eye it takes and all the time envisioning how to piece this together! It goes great with your raku pots and I love the soft moss, brings it all together...well done. I immediately visualized some of Vicki's beautiful sea glass trinkets hanging as ornaments. *wink*

Marge said...

That is most clever, Lili. I love every single thing about your driftwood tree. My first thought, too, was how cute it would be with some Christmas decorations in a few months.

I love reading your blog, Lili.

Country Girl said...

You have such an artist's heart, Lili. This is so creative and it really looks nice inside your home.

My husband liked to collect driftwood when we lived along the Elk River in Maryland. He would make tee-pee's from them and you could see them from a long ways away! Some would stay up for weeks until a storm would come and mess them up.

Teri said...

How cute! My driftwood comes out of the Mississippi River. Now I have an excuse to get more!

Ange said...

It seems I get back to blogging at the most opportune times. I have a garage full of driftwood that I wan't to shamefully copy you with. You really are an inspiration Lili.
Will be thinking of you in a month when I will be in NZ eating LOBSTER with friends. Your corner of the world reminds me of where I was born in NZ

Piecefulafternoon said...

Fabulous tree - it looks like it is sitting right at the shore - holding fast through the winds. What inspiration.

Sandy, Sisters of Season said...

Hi Lili,

Such a cool piece you created. I like it. I'm thinking Christmas with this piece. Enjoy your weekend! Sandy:O)

jenn said...

What a fun project! I agree - this could be really cool as a rustic christmas centerpiece. Starfish at the top?

Privet and Holly said...

I just love the
soft, weathered
look of driftwood!
Your creation turned
out great and it's
perfect for coastal
decor. Hope you are
enjoying the weekend,
xx Suzanne

hometown girl said...

Lili this is REALLY beautiful in such a sculptural earthy way and a really creative way to use the driftwood! You are so sweet! Thank you so much for visiting! Have a really lovely weekend! Hugs, Susan

Maya @ Completely Coastal said...

Lili, you're on a roll. Of course I love this project. Imagine a 6' driftwood Christmas tree!!

SprinkleBakes said...

This is so beautiful! I have a friend who makes raku pots and am passing this along to him.

Thank you for the emails you sent regarding the making of your barnacled cakes. I'm sorry I've not had a chance to reply yet! I loved them so much and they are so inspiring. :)


~ Lisa ~ said...

Lili, I love your driftwood tree, it's so unique. I don't have any driftwood here in Indiana so I'll have to enjoy the beauty of your tree. ♥

~ Lisa from Indiana ~

Polly said...

very cool idea!

Maurie Kirschner said...

This is the COOLEST project! I can't wait to make one! And a beach full of drift wood awaits! Thanks for the recent comments and yes I did combine the blogs - pretty much all of them into one place for now. It's easier to maintain for me and so much easier to see just how crazy and eclectic I really am!

Diane said...

I believe you have yourself a Christmas tree, or maybe a Halloween tree. The old bones are crying out for a few bats and pumpkins.

Elenka said...

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that!!! There hasn't been much driftwood around here in a while, at least whenever I went to the beach. I do usually pick up wood whenever I go. You reminded me of the fish I made out of driftwood last summer.

If you want to see them,go here and scroll down.

You're so lucky to live so close to the water.

Carol Bass @ A Bird in Hand said...

Lili - I love it!! It is beautiful.

Queenie said...

just so lovely - great job!!!

Rachel Lynn said...

I love your tree Lili! I think the raku pot is perfect for it!

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Hi Lili dear,

You were at the top of my list to catch up with. Thanks for beating me to it.

Love this sculpture and love how inspiring it is to walk the shore and find the best treasures in the world.

Sending a hug,

Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

Mickey (Michel) Johnson said... are so talented lili!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh Lili ~ this is Beautiful!
I love it! It is the perfect accent with your pottery...would make a lovely accent for Christmas time! ;-)
Thanks again for stopping by ~ you always bring a smile to my day. Rebecca

Julie said...


You are so unbelievably creative and imaginative...That is totally awesome. What a neat coastal and shore life still life....
Love it.
Kat picked up what looks like a mini tree - skinny trunk with all manner of branches and arms coming out from it. Only about 4 inches tall and four inches wide@ it's widest point. It has a ball at the bottom of it like it is a ball-root in a burlap wrapping. So awesome, and a memento from our stay at the Island during the Tropical Storm while awaiting our Marine...I will never forget! Hope to put it under a cloche. :-) Thanks for sharing your beauty from up there.
Hugs to you.

jennyfreckles said...

That would make a fantastic Christmas tree, hung with pretty baubles and trinkets. I have such a small sitting room that a proper tree is out of the question.

I meant to tell you that I bought a lovely raku bowl at the recent craft fair in Saltaire. Since I can't have your creations, I'll have to have someone else's!

Tracey said...

Hi Lili! You are so creative and talented!! I love the weathered, grey look to the wood...beautiful!

Hugs ~

:) T

Drawn to The Sea said...

Hi there Lili :-)
Just last week I commented on someone's post... about a tree made of collected branches... that I might make one using driftwood. Now fate leads me to you, so kindly providing instructions.

Sweet serendipity!
Nice to meet you.