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DIY Driftwood Christmas Tree Ornament

Remember your favorite beach vacation every holiday season with these DIY driftwood Christmas tree ornaments!

DIY driftwood Christmas tree ornament

As a family, we love collecting interesting driftwood pieces and beach glass on our walks along the shore. But I never could think of a way to display our favorites, until now!

These driftwood Christmas tree ornaments will give our holiday decor a coastal feel, and make great Christmas gifts too! Check out the tutorial and video below to learn how to make your own!

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Materials for Driftwood Christmas Tree Ornaments

How to Make Driftwood Christmas Tree Ornaments

Collect and Clean Driftwood

We're lucky enough to live within a few minutes of two Seattle beaches with plenty of driftwood to choose from. My son was excited to help search for the most interesting pieces for these ornaments.

rocky beach with boy collecting driftwood

We collected a variety ranging from 1" to 6" long, and sealed them up in an airtight bag for a couple weeks. This will kill any bugs living inside the wood, which is certainly not something you want on your Christmas tree!

Scrub the driftwood pieces with a wire brush or heavy duty brush to remove any debris and seaweed that might be stuck to the outside.

Drill Holes in Driftwood

Choose four or five pieces of driftwood, starting with a longer 4-5" piece and work your way down to the smaller pieces. Make sure the top piece is big enough to support the starfish without flopping forward.

Drill a hole through the center of each piece with a 1/16" drill bit.

drilling hole in driftwood for Christmas tree ornament

Choose Your Beach Glass Beads

I thought about using our collection of beach glass for the spacers between the driftwood, but we didn't have enough big pieces of the same color. Instead, I found these beach glass beads that were perfect for this project! There's a variety of sizes and colors in the pack, so I'm planning to make a few different driftwood ornaments as gifts!

pile of beach glass beads in various shades of blue

Start with the largest bead for the "trunk" of the tree. Then hunt for ones of the same color that get progressively smaller as you go up.

beach glass beads for driftwood Christmas tree ornament

Thread Beads and Driftwood onto Fishing Line

Lay out all the pieces for your driftwood Christmas tree, then cut a piece of fishing line about three times longer than its height. Thread the fishing line through the bottom bead, then match up the two ends. Push both ends through the hole in the bottom piece of driftwood.

threading fishing line through a hole in driftwood

Continue alternating between beads and driftwood as you go up the tree. When you reach the top, tie the ends together to form the loop to hang on the Christmas tree.

driftwood Christmas tree ornament with beach glass beads

Glue Starfish to Top

What's a Christmas tree without a star on top? A starfish was the obvious choice here!

You can buy real, dried starfish if you want a more authentic look. However, they can be brittle and smell like . . . well . . . dead starfish. No thanks! Instead, I found these white resin starfish that were just the right size!

pile of white resin starfish

Just apply hot glue to the back of the starfish and stick it to the top piece of driftwood.

gluing a resin starfish to the top of a driftwood Christmas tree ornament

Hang Your Driftwood Christmas Tree Ornament

I just love the beachy feel of these driftwood ornaments! If your theme is coastal Christmas, you could fill an entire tree with these!

driftwood Christmas tree shaped ornament

Interesting side note: Check out the driftwood piece second from the top. Those holes and grooves are made by the Teredo clam, which likes to bore tunnels into submerged logs. The resulting wood sells for big bucks around here because of its interesting texture. I have a single board of it in my workshop that I'm planning to use for an epoxy resin project sometime soon!

Check out these other Christmas project ideas!


Friday 7th of December 2018

I love this idea. I have a lot of things that I have collected from different beaches and I'm pretty sure that I can put them together and make a pretty great ornament. Thank you for the idea.


Friday 30th of November 2018

I think I know who is getting this pretty ornament! :)

You are so lucky to live in a coastal area where you can find beautiful pieces of driftwood to use for projects like this. I taught science for 26 years, so my ears perked up when you explained that Teredo clam made those neat burrows and holes in the wood.


Friday 30th of November 2018

This is so darling! I had NO idea you had that much driftwood on your coast! Lucky you too, to be able to enjoy such a beautiful coast too. My husband adores the Pacific Northwest and talks about going back often :) Loving your pretty ornament! I wonder who gets it! LOL :)

DeDe Designed Decor

Thursday 29th of November 2018

Vineta, I love this ornament! The driftwood makes it perfect!

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