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The woman who helped usher the interior design industry into full flower in the United States was prolific in putting out ideas that will help freshen up today's interior design business. Look at our latest Designer Monthly, Interior Design: Look Forward by Looking Back to Dorothy Draper.

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DIY- Semi Precious Gemstone & Driftwood Sail Boat Tutorial

Wood before it was bleached.

Inspiration can strike at any time. I was walking on a path near the west side highway in NYC and noticed what appeared to be driftwood. In actuality they were just sticks washed up from the Hudson River - lots of them, almost a mile long to choose from. My first thought was to make a mobile or window hanging with them by using random gemstones I have left over from other projects.

Wood after it was bleached.

As soon as I returned home, with the bundle of specifically picked sticks, I put them in the bath tub to soak them in bleach. This is not only to kill any bugs and germs that may be in the wood but to give them that driftwood look. 

Two pieces nailed together, with screw eyes in place.

Since I had settled on the idea for a mobile that involves using my nephew's matchbox cars, that were not in my home, I had to come up with another plan for my pseudo driftwood that I could get started on immediately. So... what happened next was the gemstone sail boat.

I hammered a long nail through the bottom piece of wood into the vertical piece and secured it with some glue. I suppose I could have been neater with the glue. I then bought small screw eyes from my local hardware store and screwed them in where I wanted the gemstone sails to be tied. The screws went into the wood fairly easily, just by pushing and twisting, no tools needed. 

Gemstones are knotted on string and tied to screw eyes.

Then I tied string to the top screw eyes and started knotting some glass and semi precious gemstones I had sitting around in a small dish, just waiting for a purpose. 


Haley's semi precious wooden gemstone sail boat.

This is how it turned out- meet the semi precious gemstone driftwood sail boat! Need to come up with a better name. I should have a Sheffield School student contest with photo entries of creative ways to use leftover jewelry materials. 


Are you interested in taking a great jewelry design course and learning more about how to make your own jewelry or get started professionally in this creative field? Sheffield School began as an Interior Design school in 1985, and then expanded our course offerings to train people in other design-related fields, including Feng ShuiWedding and Event Planning, and Jewelry Design. With thousands of active students and more than 50,000 graduates, Sheffield has trained more design professionals than any school in the world.

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  • Reader Comments (34)

    It is a nice tutorial on how to use the semi-precious gems to create a sail boat and it showcase how to make the thing look easy to make but it needs concentration to get created. This is just a good example of how tutorial helps you to make things very easy to learn and understand. Once you understand the concept behind the tutorial you can always try it.
    September 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan
    I love this idea of creating a sailboat out of driftwood; taking what the sea (or in this case, the river!) gives you and creating a piece of art that represents a vessel that could tame the same water that delivered the materials. Very nice, indeed. If you should endeavor to repeat this, I would love to provide you with a piece of stainless steel wire rope (the same used on an actual sailboat). Please feel free to visit the wire rope page at
    Best of luck to you.
    September 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSam Lunay
    It is a great idea to make a sail boat from wood! Great post!
    September 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterangetan
    really nice post thanks you!
    November 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFleet Vehicle Insurance
    Good shapes and forms of the wood industry helps new forms Wood
    December 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commentergamy
    Excellent project! You should add some pinterest buttons so we can repin this neat project!
    December 30, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersamantha
    Very well written article indeed, thank you so much for sharing such information with us.
    January 2, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermedical promotional items
    It is a great idea to make such Good shapes and forms from wood!
    February 3, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterkhalid @ fashionied
    Reading your posts is always a pleasure and the content very useful!
    February 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJohn martina
    Very good article, very useful!!

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    February 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Fan
    Really nice post thank you! -
    February 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDesigner Pixels
    Really interesting post thanks! -
    February 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTotal Linguistics
    nice statue and very inspiring...great article love it soo much
    February 24, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbatik
    Really nice, I have never heard and saw about the same.

    <a href="">Unique handmade jewelry</a>
    March 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEmma
    good handycraft......are there other one ?
    March 20, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbatik pekalongan
    wow look beautiful art, i like it
    This is a great design.. Looks very unique
    March 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCar Service mengucapkan terimakasih atas informasi yang disampaikan dalam situs ini.
    April 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCincin Kawin
    A sailboat or cruising watercraft is a vessel pushed halfway or totally by sails. The bland term blankets a mixed bag of vessels, bigger than little vessels, for example, sailboards and more diminutive than cruising boats, however qualifications in the size are not strictly characterized and what constitutes a cruising boat, sailboat.
    June 19, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterradio voice over
    nice .. make deffrent things abut stone , and very artistic
    June 23, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercincin kawin
    Terima kasih atas infonya gan :D
    July 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMaster138
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    January 14, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJerry

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