Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Drifting Away: How to Create A Driftwood Mirror

I love driftwood.  Its bleached by the sun color, soft, rounded edges, unique shapes.
Until recently I thought I had to live by the ocean to collect driftwood.

Have I mentioned I pay good money to be this blonde?

I realized there is a plethora of driftwood in Montana without a single beach in sight.  We have rivers, and lakes, and streams...and thus driftwood.

On a recent camping trip to a nearby lake I collected a few bags full. I wasn't sure what I was going to make with it until I unearthed a round mirror under a bed.  Yes, I had a mirror stashed under a bed--a very secure place I am certain.

I winged my way through figuring out how to make this and even remembered to take some process pictures so I can share with you.  There are a few things I would do differently, and I will share that too.
I wanted the mirror on a larger circle of wood and decided to use a particle board table top. You know the kind with the screw on legs?  They were quite the rage in the late 80's and early 90's and you can still find them for a dollar or two at garage sales and thrift stores. Remove the metal leg brackets.
At this point I SHOULD HAVE painted the wood circle a grey color on both sides and along the edge.  

 I used a 2 part epoxy to glue the mirror to the wood circle.
I then started placing the driftwood around the mirror.  I used the bigger pieces first. Remember if you have curved pieces, you want them to curve upward from the mirror so it will lay flat against the wall.
I hot glued these in place for a temporary hold.
I finished placing the larger pieces.
I then filled in with the smaller pieces of driftwood, layering these on top and in between the larger ones.  Next time I collect driftwood I will collect a lot more small pieces and a bigger variety of pieces.
At this point the mirror is not easy to move around.  I had to carry it like a waitress carrying a tray and then carefully hold it vertically to get through the doors (I glued inside and then took it to the garage).  I used a nail gun (okay, a brad nailer, but I call it a nail gun) to secure the wood pieces.  I used fairly long nails-- I knew some of them were going through the back, but I wanted them secure.
I then turned the mirror over and hammered the nails poking through down.  Place the mirror upside down on a towel covered paint can or other similar elevated, protected surface.  The curved pieces do not allow the mirror to lie flat when turned over.  I painted the edge and back.

As you can see the back was pretty ugly still so I glued a piece of felt to it.  I screwed in 2 wood screws and used a heavy duty wire on the back.
Nailing the driftwood down really helps to make them secure, but this mirror is still fairly fragile to transport.  It will be going to my booth space and staying there until it sells--no travelling to shows with me, I think...

it does look very happy on my wall.


  1. That is AWESOME! Yeah... I think I'm THAT blonde too... didn't think of rivers, lakes, etc... wow. Love how you used the table top for the base. I have a few of those sitting around. :)

  2. Oh that is gorgeous, I live near the ocean I really need to get some driftwood.

  3. Hi Becky,
    The mirror is beautiful and your instructions were perfect!

  4. Absolutely gorgeous and creatively, my compliments!!!!Hugs:)

  5. Love the driftwood mirror, just came back from the beach, wish I had picked up more driftwood.

  6. that looks really cool.. im sure i would've shattered the mirror using the nail gun to secure the driftwood..Hope it sells quickly for ya!

  7. Please stick two layers of newspaper with simple washable glue over the glass and then proceed with twigs and driftwood. Once done you can easily spray clear varnish over the woods and then remove newspaper by wetting it. Tight corners under the driftwood will also come off easily with help of toothpicks.

  8. Easy to make…I´ll pick up more drift wood next time I go to the beach.

  9. how is this holding up? I have a collection & planned to make this but hate to go through the work if its not going to hold up ;)


Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, I really appreciate your kind words!