Make Your Own Water Vase from Driftwood with This Guide

You won't believe that this gorgeous vase was once a piece of driftwood.
Christopher McFadden

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There is nothing nicer than displaying a DIY vase in your house. But, why not take it to the next level by using some scrap wood, or a piece of driftwood you may have found on the beach?

If that sounds of interest, follow this simple guide to making your very own. 

diy driftwood vase complete
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Like any project of this nature, you will need some equipment and other materials to get you started.

Tools and equipment needed

Step 1: Prepare the wood

The first step is to take your scrap wood or driftwood and prepare it.

diy driftwood vase prepare
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

To do this, use your table saw to cut off any irregular shapes like branch stems, etc, as needed. 

Mix pots of epoxy and colored dyes (in this case blue and black) and pour over the offcuts in another container. 

diy driftwood vase dye offcuts
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Pour the black and blue epoxies in alternating layers. Continue until the offcuts are completely submerged. Seal the container and allow the epoxy to cure.

diy driftwood vase epoxy block
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Step 2: Machine the epoxy block

Next, trim off the excess at the top of the epoxy block with a grinder, and drill a hole through the center for mounting on your lathe. 

diy driftwood vase lathe prep
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

With that complete, secure the epoxy block into your lathe. Fire it up and grab your sculpting tools. 

diy driftwood vase lathe
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Then, take your sculpting tools and begin to work the epoxy block to the shape you want. 

diy driftwood vase sculpt
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

This will get messy, so be prepared. Also make sure you wear gloves and some face protection, as needed. 

diy driftwood vase sculpt
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Once you are happy, take the epoxy block out of the lathe, and fill any gaps with more resin (if any). Allow curing once again. 

diy driftwood vase fill holes
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Step 3: Continue shaping the vase

Next, turn the vase block around in your lathe. Now begin to work the shape some more.

diy vase core
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

You can make the vase whatever shape you'd like, but try to add some ridges, a lip, and a well-defined base. 

driftwood vase vase shape
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Now, add a coring tool to your lathe and begin to hollow out the vase. Start with a smaller bore, working up to larger ones as the hole gets bigger. 

diy driftwood vase hollow
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

You can then finish the vase void using hand tools. 

diy driftwood hollow by hand
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

With that complete, you can use some other sculpting tools to add more details to the outside, or inside, of the vase, as desired. 

Step 4: Sand down the vase

With the vase still in the lathe, begin to use different grades of sandpaper to sand down and smooth the surface of the vase inside and out. 

diy vase sand
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

 Once complete, your vase should look something like this.

diy vase sanding complete
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Next, cover the outside of the vase in varnish and work into the vase surface. Apply using a paintbrush. 

diy vase varnish
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Fire up the lathe, and work the varnish into the vase using a rag or cloth. Work it backward and forwards smoothly and evenly. 

diy wood vase polish
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Do the same for the top of the vase and the interior. Keep working on it until you are left with a nice shiny luster. 

diy vase polish inside
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

 Step 5: Finish the base

With the main vase body complete, it is now time to finish off the base. Turn the vase around in the lathe, and secure it into place accordingly. 

Then begin to work the base as needed. You will want to make it as flat as possible so the vase will sit properly on a surface. Continue to whittle down as required. 

diy scrap wood vase base
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Sand down as needed too. Once complete, add a layer of varnish to match the main vase. 

diy scrap wood vase base complete
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Polish the base to match the main vase luster. Finally level off, if needed, any extra bits of material from the base using a grinder with polishing attachment -- notably, any attachment points to the lathe. 

Varnish and polish once again, as needed. 

With that, your DIY driftwood vase is now complete. Find somewhere prominent to display it and bask in the glory of your craftsmanship.

Now you can move on to another, more ambitious project, like a carpenter's hammer, for example. 

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