We live in Washington State where trees are grown for lumber, paper and furniture and we have all sorts of wonderful trees. Washington is in fact referred to as the Evergreen State. We also have some fairly windy storms and lots of rain causing occasional flooding in the winter. This coupled with the fact that we have lots of shoreline in the Puget Sound area, means that tree branches land up in the water, spend some time getting weathered and then wash up on some remote beach or local county park beach to be found by beach lovers like myself.
I love finding driftwood because I like the mysterious history behind the individual piece of driftwood’s journey to that beach, at that time etc. I’m sure you get my drift, no pun intended. I also use driftwood for jewelry display at art shows and I take photos of my jewelry on it. When I am at a local beach I usually end up looking not just for driftwood, but beach pebbles and sea glass which I use in my jewelry designs. So heading to any beach is never a problem for me.
Here's one of my sterling silver pebble pendants with a pebble from a local beach.
Here's one of my designs with a pebble as its feature. You can see more of my work here.
- Nice piece of driftwood (this project can also be done with a thick tree branch or even old weathered fence wood or barn wood)
- Cordless drill (mine's a DeWalt)
- Spade bit that is 1 ½ inches or 4cm in diameter (this is the perfect for those cheap IKEA tea lights)
- Newspaper to work over
- This is the fun part. Head to a local beach that might have driftwood. Enjoy the briny smells of the salt water, take the kids and or dog and get some fresh air. Hopefully you may find a piece of driftwood that will look good as a candle holder. Perhaps some thought as to what table you will use it on will help you figure out size. Going after a recent storm helps as the waves have probably washed ashore some good pieces.
- Bring your driftwood home, give it a good hosing off and make sure there are no living barnacles on it. Scrape them off if there are any.
- Air dry it for a couple of days.
- Heat your oven to 200F and place your piece of driftwood in it for at least 4 - 6 hours. This is to remove, or kill off any insects or marine life in the wood, causing your wood to get eaten away or to have a really interesting aroma.
- Your driftwood is now ready to drill. Decide on placement of tea lights. Mark with a pencil.
- Insert your spade bit into your cordless drill and start drilling. Your piece may be too big for a vice and the drilling make take some time if it’s a hard wood.
- Voila! You now have a wonderful table center piece.
If you really enjoyed this project and start getting friends asking about it, you could even earn money making these and/or you could start selling them at local markets. They also make fabulous gifts and cost practically nothing to make. If obtaining driftwood is hard, weathered fence posts, with some light sanding would be a good starting point. So would old barn wood from broken or disintegrating barns.
Thanks for reading along, I hope you enjoyed this! If you are willing to share a photo of your wood candle holder, I’d love to see the results of your hard work. You could email me or you could tag me in Instagram @andiclarkejewelry. Feel free to pin this or share this blog post with others who are as crafty as you.
As you can tell I am fairly good with my hands. I have written quite a few blog posts on various things including jewelry making among other things. Make sure you head to the rest of my blog to read them.