One of my favourite summer activities is spending hours at the beach collecting sea glass. I've accumulated quite a collection and have jars of it all over my home. Sea glass is basically broken glass found on the beach which has been smoothed and polished by the sand and water. On average it takes 7 years for broken glass to become sea glass. Basically its trash but I absolutely love it!
While sea glass looks beautiful on its own there are so many more options. You can keep it in jars, make wind chimes, picture frames, mosaics. You are really only limited by your imagination.
One of the really cool things you can do is make your own artwork. The process is really quite simple. You can use my instructions as a guideline but feel free to use your imagination and make changes.
- Sea glass
- Stiff art paper (Can be found at stores like Michaels) or use what you have on hand such as driftwood
- Glue for the glass
- Crayons or felt markers (optional)
- Frame (optional if you want to frame your artwork afterwards)
- Any other materials you want to incorporate. Use your imagination!
Start with arranging your sea glass in patterns. I find sometimes it helps to come up with a list of ideas or sketch images so I have a pattern.
I've added a few examples below for inspiration. In one of the samples I decided to use a cool rock I found on the beach as a flower pot. I'd love to see see what you come up with.
1. If you are using a frame, start by measuring the size of the frame opening and cut your paper to size. This frame was found at a local thrift store. I used a paper cutter but a ruler and an exacto knife would work as well.
2. Start by playing around with arranging your sea glass. Don't glue anything down at this point. If you are planning to frame it, keep in mind the the edge of the frame. Nothing is worse than creating a beautiful piece of art and then realizing you've gone over too far to the edge and you have to remove some of your sea glass. I've done this and have had to start over. Don't do it!
3. Once you have your design laid out and you are happy with it. Take a photo of it for reference. Taking a photo helps if you plan to embellish it with drawing or other materials and for remembering how the sea glass was placed once you start gluing the final pieces down. I've also accidentally bumped my image and ended up having to start over so taking a photo definitely helps.
4. If you are not planning to to add any embellishments such as with felt markers or crayons you can skip this step and move onto step 5. Move your sea glass just slightly out of the way and so you can add your drawing or colouring and then move back. At this point you can still replace any pieces before gluing them down. I found some pieces of sea pottery I thought would work better and replaced some of the sea glass. I usually like to start by drawing in pencil and then going over it with felt marker. This way I can make any changes I need to before it becomes permanent.
5. Start gluing the pieces down. depending on the size of your sea glass pieces you may want to place the glue directly on the sea glass and then place down.
6. Let your artwork dry before placing it in the frame if you plan to frame it. Depending your glue, this may mean leaving it dry overnight.
7. Last, put your artwork in the frame and your done! Before framing it you may want to sign it.
Here's my finished piece:
I've added a few photos of others I've completed below. I'd love to see what you've come up with.