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Driftwood, a shoreline treasure

In this article, we take you on a journey with us, to the oceans and rivers where driftwood sails. From its aquatic drift to its polished appearance by the elements, driftwood offers a unique and soothing aesthetic for the pleasure of creative people.

Anne-Laure CompainAnne-Laure Compain

Anne-Laure Compain

Nature Lovers
Published on 19 May 2023 (Updated on 23 August 2023) jeffro uitto
driftwood branch washed up on the beach
driftwood branch on the sand

What is driftwood?

Driftwood is wood that has been carried by the water of oceans, seas, rivers or streams and has ended its journey washed up on the shore. It is wood that has been worn down and polished by ocean currents, sand and rocks.

Thanks to the salt and the sun, the driftwood has a very nice grey color. This beautiful color will not be found on driftwood collected on the banks of a river.

When we talk about driftwood, it means that the wood has been in salt water for several weeks, months or years. The salt water will sand the wood, removing all traces of pigment and color. With time, the wood will become rounder and smoother.

zoom in on a driftwood branch on the beach
cluster of several branches of driftwood
smooth appearance of driftwood

Where does driftwood come from?

In general, driftwood found on the banks are dead trees or broken branches that have fallen into the waterways and been carried away by the current. But not only!

Driftwood can also come from houses or cities destroyed by storms or tsunamis, from objects washed up from beaches, from the remains of shipwrecks or even from pallets or crates lost by cargo ships.

dead tree washed up on the beach

Driftwood, a shelter for aquatic animals

During its journey, driftwood will provide shelter and food for birds and aquatic species. A variety of crustaceans, mollusks and bacteria will help decompose the wood, turning it into nutrients. Then, once the wood washes ashore, it will provide shelter for birds or a niche for plants.

Where to find driftwood?

For the lucky ones living near the ocean, you only have to walk on the beaches to find driftwood.

Otherwise, for those who don't have a beach nearby or who can't find driftwood, you can buy it on the internet or make your own at home!

Little recipe to make your own driftwood

Sodium bicarbonate

Remember to take a container that matches the size of your piece of wood. The wood must be completely soaked in water for the process to work. After putting on gloves and goggles, mix the baking soda and hot water.


Immerse your piece of wood in the preparation and remember to weight your wood or put pebbles on it so that it stays well immersed.

Then let it soak for 1 to 2 full days.


Once the soaking is complete, scrub the wood with a wire brush to remove the bark, then rinse it and let it dry in the sun for several days.

The wood should be very dry and without any trace of moisture.


For a more realistic look, flatten the ends of the wood with a hammer and sand the parts of the wood that need to be rounded or polished.

Driftwood, when nature becomes a work of art

What can you do with driftwood?

Driftwood is commonly used in crafts to create everyday objects such as frames, tables, chairs... But, it can also be used by artists to make sculptures.

Discover below some of Jeffro Uitto's beautiful works.

Jeffro Uitto horse
Jeffro Uitto lion
Jeffro Uitto horse head

Interior design, the driftwood trend in your home

Driftwood is ideal to bring a natural and marine side to a house! It also allows you to make an inexpensive decoration by yourself if you wish.

Here are some examples of creations to make with driftwood:

  • Creation of a driftwood table with driftwood or iron legs
  • Creation of a lamp by reusing an old lamp and covering the base with several pieces of driftwood glued together.
  • Creation of a mirror by covering the edges of a mirror with driftwood, round or rectangular shape, the choice is yours!
  • Creation of a closet for your entrance or for a child's room.
  • Creation of a cat tree with several floors.
  • Creation of a headboard with several branches hanging next to each other.
driftwood and glass coffee table
driftwood headboard
driftwood cat tree
driftwood lamp
driftwood mirror
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