This beach inspired driftwood heart DIY is an easy, yet beautiful way to commemorate your summer vacation trips to the beach. I recently returned from California where I visited several beaches including Carmel, Capitola and Rio Del Mar. At each beach, my friend, daughter and I collected our favorite pieces of driftwood found in the sand along the water’s edge. I just love the weathered texture and time worn feel of each piece of wood. I really love everything about the beach – the sounds of the waves crashing, the smell of the salt water, the way the water rolls in over the sand, and the peace from being in such a tranquil place. This driftwood heart DIY is a way for me to share my love of the beach and take a little bit of the beach home with me. With a few things from my craft room, like pen, paper, cardboard, scissors and wood glue, I made this project without any extra expenditures.
Collect a variety of sizes of driftwood. The pieces that I found ranged in size from approximately one inch to six inches, because I had about a 12 inch heart in mind. If you want to create a larger heart, monogram, or frame, choose your pieces accordingly. I looked for pieces that were flatter on one side, versus round for this project.
Create a template. Fold a 12 inch square sheet of paper in half. Draw half the heart onto the paper and cut it out. Use the cutout to trace the heart onto sturdy cardboard or foam core material. Cut out the heart. You could also use thin plywood, but I didn’t want to get out the power tools. I am all about the easy projects.
Sort the driftwood into large, medium and small sizes so that it is easier to find what you need. To begin, look for the largest pieces that mimic the edges or outline of the heart. Lay out your largest pieces onto the cardboard where they naturally fit the shape of the heart, as shown below. You can leave some spots empty if the pieces are only working in certain areas. You will fill in those places with smaller pieces of wood, later.
Glue as you go! I used the Gorilla brand wood glue, but any wood glue will work. As long as you have plenty of wood, be confident in the process. You don’t have to have it all laid out before you glue. When you glue, make sure to put the glue on the surface of the wood that touches the cardboard or the other pieces of wood. Most of the wood has odd crevices and curves, so you want to ensure you glue accordingly. Also push the wood slightly over the cardboard cutout to prevent it from showing.
After you have laid out the largest pieces, begin to add the medium pieces of wood into the collage. It is almost like putting a puzzle together. Work with the wood to find niches that fit together and overlap neatly.
Use a craft brush to wipe any excess glue off the wood, if necessary. For extra measure, hold the wood in place for a few seconds to ensure it adheres properly. Again, the wood tends to fit together like a puzzle, so find pieces that work well together.
Build the layers with smaller pieces of wood so that none of the cardboard shows through. Pay attention to both sides of the heart so that one side doesn’t have more depth than the other.
Fill in any gaps with the smaller pieces of driftwood. If any cardboard shows, dab glue on the cardboard and wedge some broken pieces of driftwood into the space. I broke a piece of the softer driftwood into 1/3 of an inch to shimmy between the cardboard and larger pieces of wood, hiding the cardboard along the edges.
The wood glue will need to dry overnight. To hang, simply hot glue a piece of jute looped into a circle onto the back of the cardboard. If you use plywood as the back, you can add a sawtooth hanger.
I love that I now have a little bit of California in my home! I think this driftwood heart DIY is my favorite souvenir from any trip! I can’t wait to hang it up as a reminder of my wonderful time in California. For now, it is on my table with a few of my vintage bottles and glass beads from the trip, as well!
This driftwood heart DIY is a fun craft that the family can do together, from gathering the items to putting it together! If you or your little ones like to collect things while hiking in the mountains or taking walks on the beach, I encourage you to create one of a kind ways to display them in your home. From sea glass to sea shells, from driftwood to heart shaped rocks, from pine cones to wildflowers, nature is beautiful and free to enjoy! Join me on Pinterest for more ideas to turn your seaside finds into memorable works of art.