Yikes Stripes!


I got over 300 pieces of driftwood this week!  Our beach has millions of pieces and homeowners at the ocean’s edge are happy folks like me pick some up because it ends up in their front yard in the winter.

I like pieces that have been beat up with rounded ends.  Sometimes I leave the driftwood natural but I couldn’t resist using up some of my acrylic craft paints for this whimsical beachy window treatment.

I buy 17 gauge electric fence wire in big 1/4 mile rolls, however if you want to make a valance like this one, 18 gauge wire will securely hold if your pieces aren’t heavy.

You will need about 25 pieces of driftwood to fit a 30″ wide window.  Lay your pieces on the table side by side and measure the width to see if you have enough for your window.  If you want your valance to hang down about 12″ you want pieces of driftwood 8″ long.

I prefer Ceramcoat paint ( this is an affiliate link)  because it seems to give the best coverage on the driftwood pieces.  I don’t worry about complete coverage, I aim for a “whitewash” effect.  One 2oz. bottle covers about 15 pieces.

Tightly wrap the wire around the driftwood

Snip off a 30 inch piece of wire and using needle nose pliers swirl the end. Next tightly hold the wire to the driftwood and wrap the wire and make a double wrap at the other end.  Leave the piece of wire long enough so you can add some beads to it before making a loop to attach a shell.

Wrap each piece of driftwood with the wire.  If you can’t seem to get the wire to be really tight against each piece, take needle nose pliers and crimp the wire so it bends to tighten against the piece of driftwood.
edead7645771b1d2cbd601283974ee70I get containers of chunky beads at Michael’s.  They add a lot of personality to the valance!


I purchase shell garlands online and harvest the shells because they are predrilled and are a good value.

I sell these valances on Etsy and got the idea for them in 2003 when I was driving down the freeway in Portland, Oregon!  I had just been to a junk store and got my first roll of 17 gauge electric fence wire at a thrift store and had a pile of driftwood at home.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI needed to make a new “Yikes Stripes” for my shop this week, have fun making your own version!

Author: Patty Thurlby

I am a full time artist with a whimsical point of view!

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