by Jacky Sanchez

Diy : Faux Driftwood Votive

About a month ago I saw this beautiful driftwood votive set from Ballard Designs, but the $39 price tag was a little too much for me. So I decided to make my version. Even though we live only about 20 minutes from the beach, it’s not the kinda beach you can get driftwood at. And since I wasn’t about to buy it, I had to get a little creative.

I’m always picking up natural materials (ok, garbage) that I spot lying around and later find a use for it. So, a couple of months ago I came across some melaleuca tree bark that was peeling off and scooped it all up. I even made my poor husband go with me later on to get some more.

When I saw the votive I realized the bark would be perfect for this project. (You could really use any other bark that peels off naturally if you don’t have melaleuca trees near by or even pieces of wood)

Here’s what I used:

  • Lots of melaleuca bark (Free)
  • A medium-sized glass vase from the dollar store ($1)
  • Left over dollar store ribbon (Free)
  • Small eyelets (Free – left over from another project)
  • Rust-oleum Hammered Brown spray paint (Free – left over from another project)
  • Elmer’s glue
  • Clear matte varnish (Free – left over from another project)

Well as you can see, I don’t throw anything away!!!

*Safety Warning: The melaleuca bark (or any bark for that matter) is extremely dry and extremely flammable. I tested it with a lighter on a whim and it caught fire instantly. So be very careful not to put the finished product next to another candle or flame. And of course never leave any candle unattended.

I took pieces of bark that were wider than the height of my vase and soaked them for a few hours in water in oder to make them pliable enough to bend.
I cut and rolled small sections up and glued them with Elmer’s glue. Since the bark was drenched it took forever for the glue to dry. I had to put something slightly heavy on them so they wouldn’t unravel before they were dry.As soon as they were dry I glued them right to the vase using Elmer’s glue again. I wrapped a rubber band somewhat loosely around the bottom and top sections of the vase to keep them in place. Once dry I cut any excess bark off the top.
Once the whole thing was assembled I gave it a coat of clear varnish; to help preserve the bark and in hopes to make it less flammable. Which worked great. I tested it with a flame for a few seconds and it didn’t catch fire. Yipee!

I gave the ribbons a quick coat of spray paint, once dry I inserted three eyelets in each.
I attached the ribbon with a dab of hot glue at the back and I was done.
Here’s the lit up version. I love how the light comes thru, kinda looks like a forest burning.




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“I’m always picking up natural materials (ok, garbage)”
me too!!! My boyfriend didn’t agree but now he is getting to the dark side!

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