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SEAGULL WITH "WELCOME" SIGN AND SOLAR LIGHT

NAUTICAL LAWN DECOR USING WOOD PILINGS

You can create a nautical setting in your yard with some wood pilings, rope, and some ingenuity! Using wooden pilings as lawn décor is very popular in fishing communities and homes wishing to convey a nautical theme. I live along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay and I've seen lots of unique ideas. As I drove around I noticed many people had pilings at their driveway entrances and that got me thinking of different ways I could make attractive lawn ornaments. I started making a few featuring seagulls and solar lights, and they became quite a popular item. I even made some with ducks, shorebirds, and herons. My construction techniques improved, and before long I had friends, coworkers, and local homeowners asking me to make them.

So how can you make these nautical lawn ornaments? Well you need to get some wooden pilings first. You probably won't find them at Lowe's or Home Depot. The only place I've found them are at local marinas. You should be able to find some listings in the yellow pages. A 10' long pressure treated piling 8” in diameter will cost around $60 to $70. The prices go up from there. The hardest part (other than lifting the heavy pilings) is attaching the 3 piles together. The best way I've found is to drill completely through them and use 3/8” all-thread with washers, lock nuts, and hex nuts on each end. It's important to locate your holes in the area where you'll be wrapping the structure with rope, so you can hide the holes with the rope. You can pick up the hardware and rope at your local home improvement store.

MATCHING DRIVEWAY SET - 2 SEAGULLS WITH "WELCOME" SIGNS AND/OR HOUSE NUMBER

 MALLARD DUCK ON PILINGS - HUGE, COVERED A WELL PIPE! SEE IT HERE  

Next comes the rope. As I mentioned, you want to wrap the rope around the areas of the holes to cover them. Don't use the cheesy nylon rope or the white braided kind – those stretch and will sag over time. I like to use 3/4" brown hemp rope – it looks natural and is easy to work with. You can use large fence staples to hold the rope in place if you'd like. I have a pneumatic staple gun that shoots those big 2” long staples, but you don't need anything like that. You can use a regular nail too, just hammer it in part way into the wood and then bend it over the rope. Install fasteners in a few areas to hold the rope in place after you wrap it around the wood piling. Three or four wraps will suffice, just keep it tight while you work.

Now it's up to you to decide what to put on the piles. Use it like it is, or decorate it with fish net, lobster buoys, a seagull statue, your house number, anything. There are lots of nautical decorations available. Try some inexpensive duck decoys. Top it off with a solar light on the largest piling. Voila, now you have an awesome nautical lawn ornament sure to get compliments. Soon your neighbors will be asking you to build them one, too. Thank you for reading my post, good luck with your project!

MOTHER DUCK AND DUCKLINGS WITH ROPE AND SOLAR LIGHT

2 SHOREBIRDS ON ONE PILING WITH SOLAR LIGHT AND SIGN

It's easiest to cut the piling with a chainsaw. I suppose you could cut the piling with a handsaw if you want a good workout. They're too big and cumbersome to cut on a miter saw or band saw, so don't even try it. You can always rent or borrow a chainsaw. Measure 3 pilings and stagger the heights for contrast. It's a personal preference, but I like the largest piling to be 36 to 40” tall, the others 10” shorter than the previous. Drill completely through the pilings at the same height. You'll need to drill a large countersink hole at the ends where the nuts and washers go – I've found a forstner bit to work the best. Drill the countersunk holes first. Be sure to use a bit sized just slightly larger than the flat washer. Countersink deep enough to recess the nuts – you don't want anything protruding once it's all tight. Tighten everything up with a deep 9/16” socket.  Once they're tight, they won't come apart. And trust me - the three pilings are heavy. Be careful you don't get a hernia! Use a dolly to move it around if you have one.

Nautical Piling Decor with Ropes and Solar Light

Decorative pilings are a common landscaping theme in this area. Here are some of the piling lawn ornaments that I designed and built. I attached shore bird decoys to give them even more nautical charm. No wiring is required - each has a solar light at the top. I've made quite a few of these for local customers and coworkers. Some customers have waterfront cottages and I've actually seen a few of my projects in real estate listings. For some, I've customized the "welcome" sign with house numbers and names. Each set of pilings stands approximately 36 - 40" tall.