The Great British Beach Hut, Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk
The Driftwood Hunter – Hanging Driftwood Fish Tutorial
For my fish project I was going to need some driftwood, this was the perfect excuse for a day at the seaside! My friend Jess and I went to Wells Next The Sea on the North Norfolk coast, which is an attractive town about an hours drive from where I live.
The beach there is great, there are lovely trees lining the beach with a path running through them, colourful beach huts look out to sea and small boats are moored all along the walk from the town to the sea front.
The day was off to a good start with a traditional English cooked breakfast at The Village Deli in Thornham, you can’t go searching for treasure hungry!
From there it was only a short drive into Wells’, We then had a twenty minute walk down to the beach, admiring all the moored boats on the way.
I couldn’t decide on a favourite boat but it was a close joint first between ‘Popeye’ and ‘Legless’.
One of the first things that you notice on the beach are the pretty beach huts, some have names and are decorated nicely, so I took photos of almost all of them for my ‘inspiration board’ at home.
Enough of the site seeing, we were here to find driftwood and anything else useful, I had brought my faithful nautical straw bag and intended to make good use of it.
Usually the best place to find driftwood is on the shore line but surprisingly this time I found some perfect bits in amongst the beach huts and sand dunes.
As an added bonus I also found some nice shells which will come in handy for another project I’m planning. I only needed enough driftwood for one fish so I put back what I didn’t need, just incase someone else could use it!
Driftwood Hanging Fish Tutorial
1) Layout, I’ve gone for the traditional fish shape nice and simple, it’s just a case of laying out you driftwood in some kind of order, you might need to swap around a few pieces a few times to get it looking how you want it.
I have a nice ‘V’ shaped piece for his head and got lucky with a nice piece for the tail too, all the other pieces in between are regular straight bits.
2) Drilling holes, Once you have your driftwood in order you’re going to need a way of attaching them together, I’ve used an old piece of string, it looks like it’s been outside for ages so it’s weathered look matches the driftwood nicely. You can use anything really, rope would look good for a nautical look but you’ll need thicker wood and of course bigger holes. For my holes I’m using a 4mm drill bit on my multi tool which I use loads for craft work.
The driftwood tends to be quite soft so you don’t need a powerful drill. Be sure you can hold or preferably clamp the wood down properly or it can spin around with the drill!
3) Threading the string, Firstly I made a loop at the top so the fish has something to hang by when he’s finished, make sure the loop is big enough to go on whatever you want to hang it on before you get finished as problems are easier to fix now than later.
Then at the other end of the string I had to wrap sticky tape around the end to stop it from fraying, this makes it a lot easier to thread through the wood.
I slid on the first piece of drift wood that makes his head, the ‘V’ shaped bit, I had to tie a knot after it went on to hold it in position otherwise it would hang across the other wood awkwardly, I need it to hang flat and level. After that it’s just a case of threading the rest of the wood on.
4) Final Knot, in the fishes tail section you’ll need to tie off the string, you can make this knot part of the decoration if you want, for the sake of simplicity I’ve stuck to using a regular knot. If you’re struggling with finding a piece for the tail like mine you could use a curved bit, that would work just as well and would be easier too find.
5) Hanging Your Fish, he would look at home either in the kitchen or the bathroom, mine is in the bathroom so I’m reminded of that day at the beach every time I take a bath!
I hope you have fun making your driftwood fish.