magicful home driftwood beachHi, Veronika here!

If you don’t know me yet, as far as my degree says I’m a mathematician and biologist.
As for the first, that has been earning my living for the past 10+ years.
As for the second, that’s my secret passion - nature, all the living creatures in it and, if possible, protecting it all for us and future generations. No wonder I’ve become vegan!

As for coastal and beach decor, which I used to sell as a family business at Magicful Home, it can be tricky as many animals and their products such as shells, pearls, starfish, seahorses etc. are very commonly sold as beach themed decorations.

To briefly explain, for those who may wonder why this can be an ethical question for many people: shells in mass productions are usually captured alive and dried to ensure the best colouring because after the clam dies, the outer shell starts fading. Only some specialised companies can guarantee their shells are being collected empty on shores. Similar for starfish and seahorses - all those dried animals are a big no-no for vegans, as they’ve been captured alive and dried for human entertainment. So as much as they may look great, for vegans it’s not an option. Does that mean we can’t have that lovely blue summer feeling in our homes? Absolutely not! There are plenty of other natural and manmade decor ideas to be used for creating beautiful, vegan-friendly beach and coastal home decor...

Let’s have a look at them! Today, I am going to talk about:

Driftwood

Absolutely the best of any decorative ideas. What is driftwood? Literally, pieces of wood that are either floating around the sea or have been washed ashore. The beauty of it is that every piece is unique. You can find it on shores, you can buy it and you can find many home decor products made of it.

Look at these amazing ideas showing what driftwood looks like and how it could benefit your home in the form of a table, a base for a plant, or even as an exquisite and complex piece of art. Driftwood is also often used as frames, simple stands, bases for hooks and more.

magicful home driftwood collage

What's the best thing about driftwood? It’s so natural and renewable - you only find what the ocean gives you =) Used outside your home in the garden it can attract many animals to seek shelter or rest. The possibilities are endless!

If you buy driftwood it should be treated and sanitized already, although a good wash is always advisable. However, when you find driftwood on your own in nature, a few steps are necessary to keep it in good condition. You may leave driftwood outside as garden decoration keeping it in its natural state so it’s safe for any animals who want to make use of it. Bear in mind, however, that rain and other weather conditions will harm the wood eventually.

When driftwood is used indoors, though we eliminate bad weather conditions as a factor which could affect the lifespan of your driftwood, you may still want to take some steps to preserve it, and your home, from mold, bugs, spores and bacterias.

How to clean driftwood (and especially how to clean driftwood without bleach)?

Technically, you don’t have to be afraid of diseases (unlike when bringing any animal products such as empty shells). But it’s good to take some precautionary steps before you implement a new wooden piece you found in nature into your home.

If you found your driftwood on the seashore then the sea salt already did a good job sanitising it for you. If it was lying there for a long time, it may become inhabited by small creatures you don’t want to bring home =)

  1. Give it a good shake to get rid of any bigger bugs, dirt and pieces of bark which would just rot later anyway.
  2. Brush it thoroughly to release smaller bits of dirt, bugs and sand. Sandpaper can be used to smooth the wood and for cleaning as well.
  3. Use distilled water, or water-soda solution (as thick as the water allows the soda to dissolve) to submerge the driftwood for several days until it stops giving off dirt (the length of soaking depends on the size of the wood). Soda solution helps with sterilising when you want to be more cautious. You will notice the water darkening over time which is normal as it’s the result of tannins being released. Just keep changing the water regularly until it’s clear.
  4. To be extra safe you can boil or even bake the wood. I recommend doing it after soaking to give an opportunity for any remaining bugs to leave the wood unharmed - preferably in your garden. Baking will help to dry the wood which is important to prevent mould. For smaller pieces, you can sun dry or place it above a heater.

Driftwood is no more harmful than any other plants we are used to having in the home. Driftwood that has been lying on the beach for a while could lead to a potential infestation of the wood (so more precautions are recommended as mentioned above) but do not worry about natural products too much - we don’t bleach our roses or bonsais either =)

Now, to get an idea of how driftwood could be used you can have a look at our Pinterest collection of DIY driftwood ideas. If you are a beach lover, you will love driftwood!

magicful home driftwood plant base

Thanks for reading - I hope you got some nice ideas which you will try on your own. Then you can share them here with us. We can also feature your photos on our social sites!

Next time, you can look forward to more reading where we will present to you another beach, coastal and nautical vegan-friendly home decoration ideas: read Part Two here.

PS: If you don’t live near the coast or even inland waters, where you can also find beautiful driftwood, you can order it online and unleash your creativity! Buying is similar to searching for your own driftwood as every piece is unique, straight from nature, and you never know what shape will you get.
Otherwise, you can simply book a trip to your nearest beach or riverbank to search for your very own driftwood - it’s fun and keeps your lungs happy breathing the fresh humid air =)

magicful home natural driftwood environment

Hi, it's Veronika, your vegan friend and content creator of Veronika Honestly (no, not my surname).
I'm mathemagician (making money as maths tutor! 😁), a bit of an artist (well, trying to get back to art) and also animal and adventure lover.
Get to know me on my About page and make sure you sign up for my newsletter to get my free printable greeting cards for vegans I made for everyone to use and spread the vegan word!

See you around and on my social media - stay in touch!

Thank you for reading this whole article =) I have a few things to mention here:

Firstly, if not already mentioned in the article, I would like you to know about my Honest Language Disclaimer (no, it's not about profanity) - in case you were wondering why my English is so weird and not Oxford-dictionary perfect (whose English is, anyway...)

Secondly, my post may contain affiliate links. Namely Etsy and Amazon links. If you click through and buy anything there, I will get a small commission, so you are basically helping me to reach the goals, to raise funds for animals sanctuaries. All of that at no extra cost to you or the seller. It's a win-win =)

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