How to Hang a Heavy Driftwood Sculpture

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Things You'll Need

  • Scale

  • Cleat hanger and screws

  • Pencil

  • Power drill and bits

  • Manual screwdriver

  • Stud sensor

  • Level

  • Plastic wall anchors

Driftwood is one-time water-saturated wood often used for decorating.

Don't let the weathered appearance of driftwood fool you. Driftwood sculptures and plaques are still quite heavy and require care when hanging. For very heavy driftwood, the best choice to mount it to a wall is with the use of a cleat system. These are strong interlocking metal channels that distribute the weight along the entire channel to increase the quality of the hold. Cleats are available at most home improvement and hardware stores, or wherever picture framing supplies are sold.

Step 1

Weigh the driftwood on a scale to determine its weight. Stand on the scale holding the driftwood and take a measurement, then stand alone on the scale and subtract your body weight from the first figure.

Step 2

Examine the back of the sculpture to verify if it has sufficient and sturdy anchor points to mount a hanger. Purchase a cleat hanger rated for the size and weight of the driftwood sculpture.

Step 3

Place the male cleat hanger so that the protruding part faces the bottom of the sculpture and is balanced in the approximate middle. Mark the location of the mounting holes with a pencil and remove the clear. Drill 1/8-inch pilot holes about 1/4-inch into the wood at the markings. Replace the cleat and add the mounting screws by tightening them securely with a manual screwdriver.

Step 4

Choose the height desired for the mounting to the wall. Use a stud sensor to locate the studs in the wall at the approximate place on the desired wall. Adjust the planned position as necessary so that at least two mounting screws are aligned with wall studs. Position the female cleat on the wall so that the groove faces up, and check it with a level for straightness. Mark the holes and drill 3/16-inch pilot holes into the wall. Insert the highest weight-rated plastic wall anchors for mounting holes not aligned with studs, and then secure the cleat with the mounting screws.

Step 5

Lift the sculpture carefully and position the male cleat down into the female wall cleat. Lower the sculpture slowly onto the cleat to avoid placing sudden stress on the hanger. Release the weight onto the cleat evenly and examine the mounting to ensure it is secure.


Have an assistant to help with lifting and placing the heavy driftwood on the wall. For very long sculpture pieces, consider using two cleats to evenly distribute the weight.


Don’t use a power screwdriver or drill to insert screws into the driftwood because you risk splitting the wood with faster insertion.

Make sure the cleats are not pulling loose from either the wall or the sculpture before letting go to make sure it won’t fall and damage anything.