human behavior

Fun with sticks and glue

Posted in Art, Home improvement, Travel by humanb on May 31, 2012

On my recent trip to Tasmania I spent a nice chunk of time at Freycinet National Park collecting driftwood. On more than one chilly pre-dusk day, my husband would find me in knee socks, flip-flops and a scarf, hunched over on the beach, dropping driftwood into a cheap plastic bag.

You look like a crazy stick lady! he’d say.

Whatever, I’d say to myself.

You’re not taking those sticks back to Sydney! he’d warn.

Yeah I am.

What the hell are you going to do with those sticks? You’re just like my mother!

Blah, bah, blah.

In the end, every last piece of driftwood collected from Tassie’s various beaches made the trip back to Sydney in the trunk of our Mazda 3.

Much of the driftwood came from the charming pebble beach at Devonport, where a cornucopia of driftwood could be found strewn over a beach of multicoloured, perfectly formed stones.

After a good wash, I took my sticks over to my mother-in-law’s house so they could dry out in the sunshine of her backyard. I left my driftwood there on one condition:

Don’t you dare let Hairy anywhere near my sticks!

(Hairy is her Labradoodle, and a good friend of mine when he’s not running off with my sh*t.)

Okay, so maybe I am a crazy stick lady.

But look what you can do with sticks and glue?

Tasmanian Drift, 45.5 in x 20 in (115.5 cm x 51 cm)

(click to enlarge)

I made the frame from a cheap plank of pine. My local hardware store cut the plank into four pieces for free. I mixed some white craft paint with a touch of blue and green and plenty of water to make a thin, watery paint; and then rubbed the paint on to the wood with my finger to get a lightly stained effect.

I used a hot glue gun to fix the driftwood, which didn’t always work; but PVA wood glue worked just as well.

It was surprisingly difficult to arrange the driftwood so that the pieces fit together without large gaps between them. It was something of a puzzle, really. Consequently, not every piece of driftwood had a place in the final arrangement and there was one piece destined for greater things…


Okay, it’s not great. But it’s fun.

And the two driftwood creations considered together, nicely absolve me of crazy stickhood.

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2 Responses

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  1. Anonymous said, on September 21, 2012 at 12:43 am

    I LOVE this! I live on Vancouver Island in Canada and driftwood is in abundance; been searching for ideas…..thanks!

    • humanb said, on September 21, 2012 at 2:31 am

      Oh, I’m jealous! There’s so much you can do with driftwood. Just google ‘driftwood art’ and you’ll see. If only I still had access to that awesome Tasmanian shoreline littered with driftwood. Get crafting! 😉


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