May 22, 2011

Come Sail Away


Ever since I first saw the driftwood sailboats at White Flower Farmhouse over a year ago,  I have been in love.  Since then, sail boats have been cropping up all over Blog Land and I am finally jumping on board too!!!  As of now, I only plan on offering them for sale in my booth at Old Bank Antiques.

I really got the idea to make one when I found several pieces of driftwood at a local antique mall for $3.00 each.  I knew they would be perfect for sailboats. 

I  had great fun cutting and finishing the canvas sails to custom fit each boat.  Designing the sails was the most enjoyable part for me. I liked painting the stripes and coming up with logo and name ideas.  The part I disliked most was scouring the woods for strong, straight sticks – I kept stumbling into straw covered, booby trap holes left by rotten tree stumps, and sliding on the pine straw!   I was horrified that I was going to encounter a huge, giant, mean, ugly, no good, snake…last summer our neighbor heard a rattle snake in the same area!!!  What was I thinking????


I used a flat piece of driftwood with this one

and stitched the edges with navy thread

I also used tiny blue grommets


Journey is from a page of rub on words from Hobby Lobby

I used ticking for the flag at the top


This curved piece of driftwood is great

I cut the sails to fit the driftwood’s curves and the curve of the mast stick


I used matching thread to finish the edges – I frayed the canvas to the stitch line

 Lake Martin was spelled using iron on embroidered letters - also from H.L.

The number 98 is a stencil and I used red grommets for this one

*   *   *   *   *   *

Here are the basics for building your own sailboat

1. Decide how the driftwood is best balanced and drill a hole for the mast stick

2. Put wood glue in the hole and insert the stick – let dry

3. Cut out two sails from canvas (I used drop cloths and made one sail smaller)

4. Do your design work on the sails – finish edges (I use decorative stitches on sewing machine)

5. Add grommets to the outside bottom edges  and the top of each sail

6. Drill a tiny hole in the bottom of the mast stick

7. Attach the sail at the bottom by tying it to the mast stick through the grommet

8. Insert a small eye screw into the driftwood to tie off the outside edge of each sail

9. Stretch the sail up and drill a hole through the mast stick at this point

10. Thread the string through a large eye needle and make a few stitches in the top of the sail (or you can use another grommet here) - guide it through the hole in the stick and wrap the thread around the back of the stick. Secure the thread by stitching in the same area where you started.

11. Repeat for the other sail

12. Cut a small piece of canvas or other fabric and stitch or glue around the top of the mast


For a faster and easier sail boat you can:  

(1.) Leave the edges of the sails unfinished

(2). Stitch directly through the canvas instead of using grommets 

(3.) Wrap the string around the mast instead of drilling a hole to stitch through

(4.) Use a preprinted fabric for the sails

I am linking to the following Monday parties:

Metamorphosis Monday       Mad Skills Tutorial Party  








  1. You did an amazing job on these Rhonda! They're much better than any I've seen. Love the lettering, so very charming, tami

  2. These are so cool! Very creative with the sails and the driftwood. I live near a beach and I'm loving them so much I'm going to give them a try. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

  3. These are wonderful Rhonda! The stitching on the sails is wonderful! Great job!

  4. So adorable!!! I made some last year and they really are so simple and fun to make:)

  5. Rhonda- These are wonderful! I love them. I love the simplicity of the look but also realize a lot of work went into making them look simple! They are perfect! xxoo Diana

  6. Rhonda,
    Jack and I love your little boats...I'm sure you will sell a lot of them:)


  7. Rhona, the sailboats are so charming. They will make such a great collectible shelf. Thanks ever so much for stopping by to take our house tour. Jane

  8. Your sailboats are so cute and adorable! Thanks for sharing the tutorial too.

  9. Hi Rhonda, you did a beautiful job. Thanks for stopping by and hope you have a great week, T

  10. It's so nice to meet you, thanks for the visit.I love my lil grandson and miss him when I'm not with him but he can really wear me out and I have a lot of energy too.He's very demanding more so than my Girl's ever were.He also lives with us as well so I really don't ever get a break.If you get some kind of a break that will help.
    I love your boats are you selling them? We are going to be buying a beach home and would love to buy one.Have a great day~Cheers Kim

  11. These are too wonderful, thanks for the inspiration!
    enJOY a lovley week!

  12. Rhonda,

    I purchased one of the large sailboats from White Flower Farm House two years ago. Although you were inspired by theirs, yours are unique. I love all the details! Beautiful job, my friend.


  13. I'm in love with your sweet boat. It gives me ideas for making my own, and putting my own spin on it, although the look of yours is irresistible. We live by the water so getting "supplies" won't be a problem. Thanks for sharing, and giving such good directions.

    I found you at Between Naps on the Porch.

  14. OK, wait Rhonda. Im a first time finder from BNOTP and LOVE your sailboat. Please contact me...need one for my home and for the store front at Cyndy's Beach House.


  15. om. i love this. so special. beyond glad I found your blog. I'm a new follower, I hope you will as well. I started my blog a little over 2 months ago after graduating from college in the South and moving across the counrty. It's all about celebrity fashion from the point of view of an LA stylist. Stop by to see multiple post a day on all the latest celebrity fashion news. Would love your support. xoxo

  16. I can't believe you MADE those!!! They look like something out of a Pottery Barn catalog. :)

  17. Hands down, these are the BEST driftwood sailboats I've ever seen. Your attention to detail makes them just perfect. Love that you even added the grommets, they make such a difference. Spectacular!


So happy you are here - I love your comments!