If you think a driftwood tree is difficult to make then read my simple tutorial; you’ll be surprised how easy it is. The hardest bit is remembering to collect the wood next time you’re at the beach!

We normally buy a real Christmas tree but I’ve been keen to make a driftwood tree for years, although I thought it was too complicated. This one is really easy. It took around 40 minutes and cost just 99p for the piece of dowling. My winter beachcombing post tells how we finally came to make ours. Here’s the tutorial: –

Top Tips for Making a Driftwood Tree

You will need:

  • 20 to 30 pieces of beached driftwood sticks (ours uses 25)
  • Drill with large bit
  • Dowl rod the same width as your drill bit
  • (Glue/hot glue gun/washers – optional, we did not use)

What to do:

1. Collect the driftwood

You need pieces of driftwood that are smooth, without bark and bleached pale as well as rougher pieces, perhaps bits of old plank that are well weathered. You also need a stable chunk for the base – this can be rougher and more decorative

2. Allow the driftwood to dry out for a week or so in the shed or garage

3. Buy a dowling rod

Select the right size for your largest drill bit – ours was too wide and required extra drilling to make each hole big enough

4. Drill a hole in the base piece and attach the dowling with a screw from underneath

Image close-up-of-drill-bit-making-hole-in-chunk-of-driftwood

5. Lay out the driftwood sticks in size order

6. Select the pieces for use, breaking or cutting any to size if required

7. Drill holes in the centre of each stick

Image close-up-of-hands-and-drill-on-work-bench-making-hole-in-driftwood-stick

8. Arrange the sticks on the dowling rod, largest at the bottom getting smaller towards the top


You can glue inbetween to secure each stick to the one below or use washers to secure them individually. We didn’t use either method as our dowling was too wide for the drill so the sticks fitted tightly anyway.

9. Finish with a driftwood starfish – I used instructions from The Wicker House with normal glue as we don’t have a hot glue gun.

Wild Mummy gave the briefing, Wild Daddy drilled while Caroline headed up design – it’s better that way as Wild Daddy is more patient with Caroline than he would be with me..!

Family time, teamwork and a top driftwood Christmas Tree!


I’d love to hear in the comments below your experiences of making a driftwood tree, I reply to all comments.

For more beach craft ideas see my driftwood decorations and sea shell art post, and for more beach activities check out Kids of the Wild’s things to do at the beach section.