Some people may consider sea glass to be nothing more than trash, pretty trash, but still just garbage that somehow ended up in the sea and then one day washed ashore. But pieces of sea glass are one-of-a-kind gems that, after decades or even centuries of being stirred in the great vast ocean, have miraculously made their way back to shore, polished and shining. And you were present at the perfect right moment to find them! One minute earlier or later and that gem might have been hidden under a layer of sand or taken home in someone else’s pocket. If you love collecting sea glass but don’t know what to do with it once you bring it home you’re going to love this jewelry craft.
Making your own jewelry out of sea glass is the ultimate “upcycling” project; you can turn a humble bit of beach trash into a stunning and unique statement piece. Think of it as wearable art made from nature and a bit of creativity.
What you needPencil and paper
Fine-grit sand paper
20-gauge silver jewelry wire
Gel Super Glue
Wire earring findings
Clear acrylic spray
Decide on the size and shape of your pendant and draw a rough sketch of it on a piece of paper. Remember to include a horizontal blank space at the top of the design in order to accommodate the wire wrapping. The size of the blank space should be in proportion to the overall design but needs to be at least ¼ inch high. Select your sea glass pieces and arrange them on the paper until you’re satisfied with the design. Trace around the glass or take a photo of your design to remember it later.
Wedge a ball of clay until it’s pliable and roll it to a ¼-inch thickness. Arrange the sea glass on top of the clay. Press the glass slightly to make an indentation. Cut out your design with a butter knife and gently smooth all the edges with your finger. Remove the glass and bake the clay according to the manufacturer’s directions.
When the form is cooked and completely cooled, sand the edges lightly if needed. Place a small dot of gel-style Super Glue in each indentation and position the sea glass, pressing it to make contact with the glue.
Cut approximately 12 inches of wire. Place one end of wire in the center-back of the pendant and bend approximately ½ inch of wire up and away. Begin wrapping the rest of the wire around the pendant and wrap several times. End your wrap in the center-front. Cut the wire down to approximately ½ inch, tuck it under the wrapping. Twist and bend the two ends of wire together to form a loop for hanging the pendant from a chain.
Make earrings with the same process, but use a skewer to make a hole in the top of the clay. Attach the completed earrings to a wire finding through the hole.
Spray the completed pieces with a light mist of acrylic spray and the sea glass will have a permanent wet, translucent look.