Forget Shelling Try “Driftwooding”

Okay, maybe don’t totally forget shelling. After all, Sanibel Island is best known for its unique seashells that wash onshore. We have even dubbed the bent-over position of looking for shells as the classic “Sanibel Stoop!” You can see the stoop happening up and down our beaches. 

Sanibel Stoop

Do you know what else you see on our beaches? Driftwood! It’s not everywhere. In fact, finding a nice piece of driftwood can be as challenging as finding that rare seashell you’ve been hunting all year. But there are nice pieces of driftwood out there, especially on the less populated beaches on the west end of the island, or even along the bayside of the island. 

Wait, Is That Legal?

I’ll admit, that’s one of the first questions that popped into my head. After submitting my question to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, they confirmed, “there are no regulations for picking up driftwood from the beach.” 

Still, I wouldn’t suggest collecting more than you need. Large pieces of wood, especially those still attached to other branches or buried down deep in the sand actually help to preserve our island’s natural beaches and prevent beach erosion. 

What To Do With Driftwood?

So, what can you do with driftwood? Try decorating your home with it! Lighter pieces of driftwood can serve as fun centerpieces for your dining room table, fireplace mantel, or entryway stand. Use greenery, candles, starfish and shells to help decorate the driftwood, or just leave it sit by itself. 

You’ll be amazed at how one small piece can transform a room to have a soft “coastal vibe” without going overboard.

And don’t limit yourself to inside decor, larger or heavier pieces of wood accentuate tropical gardens and look great on patio tables. You can even grow air plants, decorative moss and other succulent plants on top of driftwood – giving it a new purpose as a plant habitat. 

Trending: If you have a Southwest Florida wedding you’re helping to plan, include driftwood! This is a great way to pull in the coastal look in a classy way. Tiffany, on our McCallion Team, used driftwood on her sweetheart table, and it was stunning! (see below)

The Many Uses of Driftwood

There are many uses for driftwood as coat hangers, benches, and even wall shelving. So, the next time you’re walking the beach, keep an eye out for driftwood! We’d love to see how you incorporate it into your island home!

Susan McCallion About Susan McCallion

Meet "Your Favorite Redhead." Susan was exposed to real estate while young with her parent's 8 Re/MAX offices in Connecticut! In 2008, Susan and Jim became permanent Sanibel residents, starting McCallion & McCallion to bring a fresh approach to real estate.