Dramatic Driftwood Wreath

September 07, 2011   //  Posted in: Curb Appeal, Decor, DIY, Entryway   //  By: Emily   //  19 responses

I loved my summertime succulent wreath. It hung wonderfully, and didn’t fade, droop, or melt out of shape in the extreme heat in the cavern of fire which formed every morning between that pretty all-glass storm door and the eggplant-painted entryway door. Thank you, sunshine.

But now we’re encroaching on autumn, and as my almost-martha-stewart-mom would do, I’m packing the succulent wreath away until next spring and replacing it with something more seasonally¬†appropriate.

Packing the succulent wreath away. To be seen again next spring.

I didn’t want to go full-on-autumnal quite yet, and I’ve never been much into the faux-colored leaves decor, but the fresh green succulents (or anything green, flowery) seems a little too springy for the cool nights (which are an awesome relief, by the way). The new wreath, I decided, would take advantage of totally-free driftwood from the local beach (you know, the same I pulled all of this beach glass from, and found the future base of this driftwood lamp on).

FREE driftwood. I see some potential in there.

After all… many of the smaller pieces left behind as useless (or from campfires) could be arranged nicely to, you know, take on a not-so-surprising wreath shape.

Round layout. Good? Good.

I kind of liked the idea of doing a square wreath. Nice thought, bad in trial. I’m a square-wreath lover at heart, just not in a driftwood-y execution.

Square layout. Good? No.

Not with my supply, at least. Not even this way, which is a little bit o’ circle, a little bit o’ square.

Square layout number 2. Good? Still no.

I had a few different ideas of how to assemble the circle of different sized sticks.

Plan A (formulated even before I went to find my natural beachy materials) involved drilling through each and stringing a wire to connect them. Luckily I realized that would going to be a challenge, and probably sloppy too. Plus, I was looking for a finished wreath that looked more lush and layered than a singular strand of driftwood.

Plan B that crossed my mind was buying an embroidery hoop, and gluing the wood pieces to that. Good, you know, because it’s perfectly round. Bad though, because there’s not a whole lot of surface to actually glue to. Potential for driftwood floppiness.

The easiest (and free!) plan C was to create my own hoop using a piece of scrap MDF that was leftover from when I assembled the built-in shelves. Pete’s idea, actually. After all, the piece I found (covered in dog fur and possibly basement mold) was a good size for the front door. I used a round dining plate to mark off where I would need to cut (using the jigsaw, awesome).

Free MDF with an already-owned handy template (dinner plate, yo).

Again, awesome in idea, poor in reality. Maybe a factor of the jigsaw blade that I was using, or maybe because MDF is harder to cut through than diamonds, but it took me about 10 minutes to carve out half of the circle. I knew I needed to find something more usable before I had a right-arm-only popeye bicep from forcing the saw through the material. Plan C was axed but quickly replaced by Plan D, to use a piece of thin plywood that I found hidden in the basement.

Out with the MDF, in with the thin plywood. Same ol' dinner plate template!

The plywood thankfully cut like butter compared to the MDF, although maybe my new bicep is owed that credit. In any case, from the minute I found the plywood in the basement to when I snapped this next photo of the finished ring, only about 2.5 minutes had passed.

Wreath base, check. Any imperfections or non-symetrical cuts were going to be covered by branches anyways.

The driftwood was slowly attached to the totally-free-and-DIY’ed and sanded down wreath ring with plain ol’ hot glue.

Driftwood wreath, underway!

Once it was all secured and dried, I did flip it over and reinforce those little pieces of driftwood further with hot glue along the back. Couldn’t hurt, right? So now, I think it should really withstand any door shutting and whatever wind-blowing it encounters.

I added some reinforcing squirts of hot glue to the underside of the frame to try and latch the pieces of wood on as much as I could.

I’m especially happy with how the layered pieces present in person; much nicer than a single ring of driftwood would have worked out. Plus, the added layers disguise the wooden ring completely.

Oh, woot. I love this driftwood wreath. FREE driftwood wreath, I should say.

When it came to hanging it on the door, I made another one of those simple wire hooks (like I did once before with the old wreath), so it lays comfortably and securely against the door.

Large custom DIY hook made from a piece of wire.

The concern had been (briefly) that if I tried to hang the wreath directly on the wooden ring, pieces of wood would rest unnaturally against the door and possibly pop the hot glue out of place. Never know, that was just my gut instinct, so a less forced and tight hook helps to hold the weight of the wreath in it’s final home.

Finished, and hung effortlessly on the door.

If you don’t have access to driftwood, I think this would look fantastic with natural tree branches chopped to length.¬†I think I’ve probably seen something like that on Pinterest before, so search around if you want.

Finished, and hung effortlessly on the door.

If you figure out how to make a nice square wreath, I want to see it!

  • Cait @ Hernando House
    7 years ago - Reply

    I love that!! Seriously. I need one.

    • Emily
      7 years ago -

      Thanks Cait!

  • Kate
    7 years ago - Reply

    Very cool!

    • Emily
      7 years ago -

      Thanks Kate :)

  • Laurel
    7 years ago - Reply

    Aww hell yeah. That looks fantastic! So jealous of your proximity to driftwood!

    • Emily
      7 years ago -

      Thanks for the nice note, Laurel! The driftwood in Rochester rivals anything oceanic, in my opinion :)

  • Mindy
    7 years ago - Reply


  • Jenn B
    6 years ago - Reply

    I love this! You could even glue some seashells or starfish to it for a beachier look. I was thinking of making a floral wreath for this summer on the front door of my RI Cape, but this would be perfect and much more unique. Thanks!

    • Emily
      6 years ago -

      Glad you like, Jenn! Having fun making your own!

  • Leigh
    6 years ago - Reply

    Love this idea. You could cut the plywood out in a square shape much like you did the circle and glue the driftwood to it in the same fashion. There you have it; a square wreath.

    • Emily
      6 years ago -

      Glad you liked it, Leigh! Ours is holding up well, just one afterthought – when it’s REALLY HOT in the entryway, the glue loosens. Nothing I wasn’t able to reattach easily, but still, worth noting.

  • Darlene Dodson
    6 years ago - Reply

    I am so glad that I came across your website! I followed your advice for a driftwood wreath and have I had fun with it! My husband even helped with the plywood back! I have made one myself and helped my friends make three! The one I made, I donated it for our Christmas wreath auction to raise money for presents, it went for $79! I can’t wait to make more !

    • Emily
      6 years ago -

      Amazing!!! This is so cool to hear, I’m glad you enjoyed the project and had fun sharing it with others! $79!? WAHOO.

  • linda
    6 years ago - Reply

    Loved the idea of the driftwood wreath. However, had no plywood, saw etc. Sooo . . . I went to the salvation army picked up a cheap wall clock with the diameter I wanted (about $3) took out all the insides and used the round wood frame. Worked perfectly and much easier than cutting one. Size is 33″ wide x 19″ hole, I also added several white finger starfish.

    • Emily
      6 years ago -

      GREAT idea, Linda! So glad that it worked out well for you!

  • Darlene
    5 years ago - Reply

    This has been such a fun project. I have had several friends over to make wreaths. I have to get started on one for my deck, which will be quite big. I have been buying small sheets of plywood at Home Depot, they fit in the back of my trailblazer. You can cut several backs out of one sheet, in several different sizes. Put a mirror in the middle, for a different look. My granddaughters even made one, but I used the glue gun after they picked out the driftwood. Beach glass and pretty stones look great on them, also.

  • jennifer helminen
    5 years ago - Reply

    love it going to try have so much drift wood already

  • Jane @SustainMyCraftHabit
    3 years ago - Reply

    Love this! The driftwood pieces are just the right size.

    • Emily
      3 years ago -

      Glad you like :)

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