lauren and derek have a new diy wednesday post coming up at 1:30 but i wanted to share another fun diy project from d*s reader susan herr. she bought a fixer-upper cottage on the shore of lake champlain in vermont and was inspired to use some of the beautiful driftwood from the lake’s shores as part of her house “flip”. as susan puts it, “charming, simple and free- it was a no brainer”. click here for the full post and susan’s directions, or just click “read more” below. have fun!
When I bought a fixer-upper cottage on the shore of Lake Champlain in Vermont, I was inspired to use some of the gorgeous driftwood on the beach as part of my “flip”. Charming, simple and free, it was a no-brainer.
I used a fat chunk of log topped with a piece of glass as a side table. The bark had all been washed away, exposing a satiny wood with cool vertical grooves made by prior tunneling insects. I let it sit in the sun with top and bottom exposed for a few weeks, just to make sure it was thoroughly dry and insect-free. Done.
My husband thought I had lost it when I dragged home a 5-foot-long beautifully weathered board, complete with a charming protruding rusty nail. But my vision was a floating shelf, and I was a happy camper when the simple project actually worked as planned. It was a couple of years ago, and I have a sixty-year old brain, but here’s approximately how I did it:
I bought 3/8-inch steel rod at the hardware store and cut it into three 8-inch lengths with a hacksaw. Then I drilled 3/8-inch diameter holes about 3 1/2 inches deep into three wall studs, keeping the holes as level and straight as possible. Next I hammered the rods into the studs. I marked the location of the rods on the edge of the board, and drilled holes about 5 inches deep into the board. Then I slid the board onto the rods by whacking it heartily into place, using a wood scrap to protect the edge from the hammer. After looking online, I see you could simplify the project by using “blind shelf supports” from rockler.com. These screw into the studs, meaning you would only have to drill into the shelf itself.
My favorite use of driftwood was the simple hook for dishtowels I made for the kitchen, which I still think about, and will have to replicate when I build my get-away cabin in the woods. I gathered a few different possible driftwood branches, looking for good angles and for branches that were fairly close together. I cut the branches at an angle with a fine-toothed saw to make the hooks. I made an additional hook by drilling a hole and gluing in a piece from another branch. Then I drilled two holes for mounting, countersunk the holes, and screwed it to the wall. I covered the holes by gluing in “plugs” cut from twigs. A simple and beautiful thing.