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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 great idea to make a sail boat from wood! Great post!
    January 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJeu
    Thanks for the post Haley
    March 28, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterVince
    hi, I think you should check the information it helps a lot to resolve the issue, you need not read everything, only the part that interests us here. I hope to help with this at all.
    April 5, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterNaomi Katsuki
    I just impressed from this idea of creating a sailboat out of driftwood. Nice tutorial to make my own jewelry or get started professionally in this creative field. i have also a collection of gemstones available on my website
    April 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSiddartha
    Good thinking, Haley, to soak the wood in bleach before proceeding with your project. Not only does it remove all the bugs, but I love the way the wood looks afterwards!
    You can achieve the bug removal with a fumigation bomb, placed inside plastic that the wood object is wrapped with. But that, of course, doesn't achieve the vintage look.
    Thanks a lot, your website is beneficial for all.

    <a href="">Em Sticker - Jual Sticker Iwan Fals</a>
    June 5, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterEmsticker
    strange but cool stuff, keep moving, bro!
    July 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterHoàng Tài
    Nice blog and very informative
    July 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCharles
    Great tips and I’m short on quite a few
    August 19, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterNAVC 2016

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