Would you like to give your Christmas tree a nautical look?

Since purchased coastal ornaments can be expensive, I made my own driftwood sailboat Christmas ornaments, and you can too, it’s really quite easy.


Decorate the tree with a nautical theme this year. Follow this tutorial and make easy Sailboat Christmas Ornaments from AnExtraordinaryDay.net


But, first I want to say, “Welcome!” Today is Day 4 of the second year of 31 Days of Handmade Christmas Ornaments blog hop which features 30 extraordinary bloggers, plus me.  Each day you can expect to be inspired with all kinds of lovely Christmas ornaments.


31 Handmade Christmas Ornaments brought to you by 31 Bloggers over 31 Days by AnExtraordinaryDay.net


Last year I returned to living on the Lake Michigan coastline after being away for many years. While all our worldly goods were in storage, we rented a small furnished beach house apartment while we figured out our next steps. As Christmas approached I decided to decorate a fresh Christmas tree with nautical ornaments.

Read: Unique Ways to Decorate a Nautical Christmas Tree

The main ornaments were driftwood sailboats in various sizes.  They were fun to make and each of them had their own unique character.


Driftwood Sailboat Christmas Ornament Tutorial



Supplies for Making Christmas Ornament Driftwood Sailboats from AnExtraordinaryDay.net



includes affiliate links


Let’s make a sailboat…


My trusty awl makes great holes for a sailboat mast - Driftwood Sailboat Tutorial - AnExtraordinaryDay.net


To begin you’ll want to choose a piece of driftwood for the hull of your sailboat.

Next, with an awl, press down hard and twist until you create a hole that will fit a skewer which will serve as a mast. Be careful to set your hole so that it will be straight up.  Nobody wants a leaning sail.

Set aside, and dry brush some gray paint on your skewer so that its looks are in keeping with the tone of your piece of driftwood.


Sailboat mast made from a skewer for Christmas ornament tutorial from AnExtraordinaryDay.net


Once dry, place a drop of Tacky glue in the hole and firmly attach your mast.  Let it dry for a few minutes.

Now it’s time to make the sail (or sails).  But first, using common string, we will add the backstay and forestay to our mast.


Using string add a backstay to the mast to make a sailboat Christmas ornament from AnExtraordinaryDay.net


Cut a piece of string and tie it around the top of the mast, leaving room at the top for a small flag, using Tacky glue to glue it in place.

Then, one side at a time, draw the string down towards the front and back of the driftwood hull and tie a simple knot at the end of the string.  This is a little bit tricky and takes a little trial and error to get the knot placed at the right spot, so that the knot meets the hull.

Once you’ve done that for both sides, use your cool glue gun to attach the knots to the boat and allow to dry.


Make a sail for your driftwood Christmas ornament sailboat with this tutorial from AnExtraordinaryDay.net


Making sails is not an exact science.  And don’t worry if your sail isn’t perfect.

Lay your sailboat on your fabric and using it as a guide cut a piece of fabric for the sail.


Glue the sail to the mast - AnExtraordinaryDay.net


Run a thin bead of glue down the mast and attach the sail.

If you didn’t cut your sail quite small enough… like me… trim it down with your scissors before you glue the other side of the sail to the backstay/string.  And then again, using a thin bead of glue, attach the sail to the string.


Create a small fall for the top of your driftwood sailboat Christmas ornament mast - Tutorial from AnExtraordinaryDay.net


Attach a flag to the top of your driftwood sailboat mast.

I had some fabric I used to make my garland that is a nod to nautical flags and worked great.  I folded a piece in half, trimmed it, applied glue to the mast and attached my flag.

If you want, you can do the same with some Washi tape.

That’s it!  


Now it’s time to sail your boat!


Floating my boat - Homemade Sailboat Christmas Ornament with tutorial at AnExtraordinaryDay.net


Okay… I didn’t really sail my boat.  But, I did bring it down to Lake Michigan and did a photo shoot with it and pretended to sail it.  And yes, people commented, nicely.

Isn’t the water the most beautiful shade of blue?  On the other side of the pier, it was steely gray and on this side a glorious blue.  Gotta love it!

But… this ornament was not designed for sailing… it was designed to be hung on my Christmas tree.  And maybe yours too!

READ: More Coastal Christmas Ideas   OR  More Coastal Decorating Ideas

Nautical Christmas Tree filled with Handmade Sailboat Christmas Trees. Get the easy tutorial from AnExtraordinaryDay.net and make a tree-full this year.

Pinterest Click to Save - AnExtraordinaryDay.nent

Create a Christmas Tree Full of Handmade Sailboat Christmas Ornaments with this Easy Tutorial from AnExtraordinaryDay.net


Before I send you off to visit all the other participating bloggers, I want to express my appreciation to Mary Beth of Cupcakes and Crinoline, Malia of Yesterday on Tuesday, and Steph of The Silly Pearl.  Thank you, ladies, for all your help and encouragement in hosting this amazing blog hop.  I couldn’t do it without you!


Here are all 31 Bloggers in order of their appearance:

Day 1 – The Silly Pearl :: Day 2 –Yesterday on Tuesday
Day 3 – Cupcakes and Crinoline :: Day 4 – An Extraordinary Day (you are here)
Day 5 – Knick of Time :: Day 6 – Pet Scribbles :: Day 7 – Simply Kelly Designs
Day 8 – Town and Country Living :: Day 9 – Petticoat JUNKtion
Day 10 – The Everyday Home :: Day 11 – Up on Tippy Toes
Day 12 – Remodelando la Casa :: Day 13 – DIY 180 :: Day 14 – 504 Main
Day 15 – Sum of their Stories :: Day 16 – At Home with Jemma
Day 17 – The Kim Six Fix :: Day 18 – Shabby Art Boutique
Day 19 – Morena’s Corner  :: Day 20 – My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Day 21 – Our Southern Home :: Day 22 – Domestically Speaking
Day 23 – The Crafting Nook :: Day 24 – Sweet Pea
Day 25 – Dukes and Duchesses :: Day 26 – Heathered Nest
Day 27 – Lovely Etc.  Day 28 – Stone Gable Blog :: Day 29 – Mod Podge Rocks
Day 30 – Running with a Glue Gun :: Day 31 – All Things Heart and Home

Follow the Handmade Christmas Ornaments Pinterest page,

Follow Diane :: An Extraordinary Day!’s board Handmade Christmas Ornaments on Pinterest.

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And here are direct links to each ornament post.  A new one will be added daily. Be sure to come back each day so you don’t miss any inspiration!


  1. jemma says

    These are a work of art! Truly beautiful and what a stunning addition to a sea inspired Christmas!

  2. Love your nautical tree and that boat is adorable!

  3. Steph says

    So smitten with your ornament, Diane! I love how you used the driftwood for the boat…so clever!

    • Thanks, sweet friend! It was so fun to use the driftwood I collected from one of my favorite beaches. It’s all about memories. 🙂

  4. Diane, These are so adorable! Did you find these near the State Park or further north along the beach? I’m going to have to search for some of these small ones.

    • Thanks, Carol! I found them at the State Park. Usually all I find there are small ones. Thanks for popping by! 🙂

  5. These are so adorable, Diane!

    • You are so kind, Jennifer. 🙂 They were perfect for our Christmas back at the lake.

  6. Your themed tree looks amazing! I know several people here in Florida who would love to have an ornament like this.

    • Thank you, Kelly! Salted or unsalted… we all love our coastlines and sailing, too.

  7. Malia says

    Diane this is enchanting! What a beauty. I think this may be my favorite ornament ever!

    • You are too sweet, Malia! Thank you for your kind words. You are such a wonderful encourager. {hugs}

  8. Oh Diane, these are adorable! I cannot stop admiring the Christmas tree filled with all those cute ornaments. Coastal Christmas decor at its best, love it!

    • Thanks so much Cristina! Isn’t coastal Christmas decor so much fun? It’s such a whimsical theme.
      Be blessed my friend!

  9. Paula says

    What a lovely tree you created to enjoy for a lakeside Christmas celebration! I love your sailboat and can see using one for decor all through the year in a lakeside or coastal home. The water on the lake is such a beautiful color. I know you never get tired of admiring it.

    • Paula, you’re right, I never get tired of admiring the lake and all its many changes with the seasons. Thank you so much for your thoughtful words, for stopping by, and for being a part of the blog hop.

  10. Julie says

    Lovely for anyone looking for something a little bit different for their Christmas decorating. Actually, pretty lovely all year round!

    • Julie, you’re right, I have enjoyed using a few of the sailboats in my decor through the year. Thanks so much for popping by and for joining us on the hop! 🙂

  11. WOW, these are absolutely beautiful, thank you for sharing! XO

  12. How absolutely adorable – pinned it!

  13. Oh yes, I definitely need some of these Diane. I live opposite the beach, so we always have a coastal Christmas corner of the house. This year I’ll be adding some driftwood sailboats for sure. Thank you! Pinned it to my Handmade Christmas board.

    • That is so wonderful Kerryanne. You are so blessed to live by the beach. These are so quick and fun to do, you can make as many as you can find driftwood for.
      Thanks for all the kind thoughts. 🙂 Blessings!

  14. I love these boats so much! They make for the perfect ornament on a coastal-themed tree, plus you can display them year-round too! (Love the shot of your little boat “on” the water too!)

    • Thank you, Laura. 🙂 I actually have used them in other ways after Christmas. It’s been very fun!

  15. This is so beautiful, Diane! Clever, unique and perfect! xo

  16. I love coastal decor and this is absolutely beautiful! And it would work great on a mobile in a nursery too!

  17. I can’t even tell you how stinkn’ cute these are. I sent this post to my DIL and she begged me to help her make some for her beachy tree. So I guess we will be using your tutorial soon. 🙂 It was fun being in this round up with you. xxoo

  18. This is so adorable Diane. I love this and I have so many friends who love the beach theme.

    • Thank you so much, Vanessa!! I love all things beachy and so this was a dream kind of tree for me.

  19. Mitsyana Wright says

    I absolutely love how you turned driftwood into sale boats… Genius!!

  20. I love this! I have been adding more and more beach ornaments to my tree, so this is perfect! Pinning!

    • Yay!! I love it! And they are so fun to make, too!
      Thanks for the good words and for popping by Pamela!

  21. These are so great! I love to sail and all things nautical and am definitely going to have to make some of these ornaments. Thanks for sharing at the Family Joy Blog Link Party this week!

    • Oh thank you Melissa! Yes, these are perfect for you!!
      Thank you for hosting! And best wishes for an extraordinary day!

  22. The little sailboats are precious. I am going to have to make some of these for my tree and to use as a package topper for the boating people I know. So cute. Pinned

  23. Diane, it is PRECIOUS!!! I’m completely smitten with them 🙂 🙂

  24. I absolutely LOVE your nautical tree! It’s so pretty!

    • Thank you, Amy! It was fun thinking outside the usual Christmas box… er… tree. 😉

  25. Wow! These are so lovely! A really great idea. I’m going to try to make them with my homeschool group as we study Robinson Crusoe. Thanks!

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