Driftwood Sailboat Wreath

Designer: Jan Carlson

Ahoy there, matey! Come ashore with a rectangular wreath accented with a colorful driftwood-and-fabric sailboat.


  • 12“-wide furring strips: 2 cut to 23″ long and 2 cut to 20” long
  • Hot-glue gun and glue sticks
  • Chop saw
  • Driftwood branches (available at crafts stores and online)
  • Drill with assorted drill bits
  • Assorted printed fabrics
  • Fabric glue (such as Aleene’s Fabric Fusion Permanent Fabric Adhesive)
  • Hemp cording
  • Acrylic paints: lime green, aqua, blue
  • Jute rope
  • Heavy-duty repositionable hook-and-loop tape (such as 3M Reclosable Fasteners)

1. To make wreath frame, lay furring strips out in a rectangle, overlapping ends at corners. Hot-glue strips together at corners.

2. Use a chop saw to cut a segment from a gently curved driftwood branch that is long enough to extend from side to side across wreath frame. Hot-glue branch ends to wreath-frame sides about one-third above the bottom of the frame opening.

3. Cut 100–120 narrow driftwood branches into segments approximately 4–6″ long. Hot-glue segments to wreath frame, starting with inside and outside edges and placing segments end to end in tightly spaced rows.

4. Cut a curved driftwood branch approximately 13″ long for sailboat base. Select a straight and narrow driftwood branch for mast. Drill a hole slightly larger than mast branch in center of driftwood sailboat base; insert mast branch. Lay boat inside wreath opening, positioning it on top of branch extending across the frame. Determine how long mast should be, making sure it touches top of frame; cut. Hot-glue mast in place.

5. Use scrap paper to make a triangular pattern for each sail. Cut each sail 18” larger than the pattern from desired fabric. Fold raw edges under 18” and secure with fabric glue. Let dry.

6. Stitch a running stitch along each sail’s glued edges using hemp cord. Stitch a long length of hemp cord through running stitches on each back side of each sail, leaving long ends for tying onto branches.

7. Tie each sail onto mast and boat base by wrapping ends around driftwood pieces. Hot-glue hemp cord ends in place on backs of sails.

8. Cut approximately six triangles to desired size from assorted printed fabrics. Fold top edge of each flag under 18” and use fabric glue to secure. Use hemp cord to stitch flags together with running stitches, leaving long cord ends. Extend flags from tip of mast to one end of sailboat base; wrap ends around driftwood, using fabric glue to secure.

9. Hot-glue sailboat on top of branch extending across frame.

10. Referring to How to Make a Salt-Dough Starfish, below, make two 5″, four 4″, and two 2″ starfish. Poke a hole through one arm on each 4″ starfish to accommodate a hanger. Paint four 4″ starfish with lime green, aqua, and blue acrylic paints to match fabric. Let dry.

11. Hot-glue a 5″ starfish to each top corner of wreath. Hot-glue a 2″ starfish to each end of branch extending across wreath. Tie four 4″ starfish to branch using hemp cord.

12. Wrap jute rope around bottom corners of wreath; hot-glue ends on back.

13. Hang wreath with heavy-duty repositionable hook-and-loop tape.

How-To Make a Salt-Dough Starfish:

1. Mix 2 cups flour, 1 cup salt, and  1 cup water in a bowl to make dough.
2. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface using a rolling pin. Draw a starfish shape in the dough using the end of a wooden skewer. Remove excess dough between starfish arms and smooth edges with your fingers.
3. Use the skewer to draw a line down each arm and to make small dots on each side of each line. If desired, poke a hole in the end of one arm for a hanger. Bake starfish in a 200°F oven for two hours. Flip starfish using a spatula and bake another 30 minutes. If needed, adjust baking time. Let cool. Paint starfish with acrylic paint if desired. Let dry.


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