I love sea glass, but I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen a piece on the beach. Even so, there’s something about the color, the frosted and clear variations, and the softness of them that I find captivating. I decided to paint some of the random jars, bottles, and vases I had laying around in the colors of the sea.
Easy DIY Sea Glass Tutorial
I’ve seen the DIY projects on Pinterest where crafters are using Elmer’s Glue and food coloring to achieve a beach glass look, but I knew that wasn’t for me. I wanted something permanent and not something that would disappear the first time water hit it. I chose instead to use Martha Stewart Glass Paints because they are permanent (bake or air dry), safe to wash in the top rack of the dishwasher, indoor/outdoor and weather resistant, non-toxic, and can be used on glass, mirror, ceramic, and plastic.
While these paints are non-toxic, they’re not food safe. They should only be used on the outside or underside of the item – the part that doesn’t touch food. That also means if you plan to drink from the container, you’ll need to be sure not to paint the rim.
I love Martha Stewart’s Glass Paints (actually all of her paint lines). I used three different colors to achieve the look I wanted as well as a little Martha Steward Liquid Medium to thin the paint, but you could use fewer colors and skip the medium if you like.
DIY Projects: Creating Sea Glass with Martha Stewart Glass Paint
Sea Glass Bottle Supplies
- Martha Stewart Pearl Opaque Glass Paint – Mother of Pearl (white)
- Martha Stewart Crafts Glass Paint – Frost Translucent – Sea Lavender (blue)
- Martha Stewart Frost Translucent Glass Paint, Frost Translucent – Beach Glass (green)
- Lift Off Remover (or similar) to clean away any labels or stickers.
- Paint Brushes (good quality)
- Disposable paint cups with lids
- Glass jars, bottles, and containers – recycled or new
Round up all the oddball glass pieces you have around the house. Mine included a pickle jar, Stirring Lemon Drop Martini Mix jar, a mini Vodka bottle, and Mason jars. My glass cache also turned up a few craft jars I’d purchased from my local store but hadn’t figured out what to do with yet including the small round bottle with cork stopper.
Make sure the glass you plan to paint is clean and dry. Use an adhesive remover if necessary to get all remnants of labels or glue off. Then wash and dry the glass – running them through the dishwasher is an easy way to clean a large group of glass.
With a good quality brush, paint a thin layer of glass paint using long, light strokes. This paint is not forgiving – if you don’t want brush strokes and streaks, add some Martha Stewart Medium. But for best results, treat this paint as you would nail polish – i.e., one long brush stroke in each section and no going back over a painted part unless it’s completely dry. Trying to do otherwise will result in a mangled mess – just like nail polish – trust me on this one 🙂
Still got streaks? I covered up my streaked bottles with stencils. Hate it? Wash it off immediately or if it’s dried too much, use a straight blade to scrape it off.
Allow the paint to dry overnight. If your bottle has a bottom, paint it now and let it dry a few hours.
If you want to stencil with a second color or do a second coat of paint, now is the time to do it. Once again let it dry overnight. I don’t recommend a second layer – it can mess up your first coat, but if you want to try it, now’s the time.
Cure the glass paint in the oven – these instructions are specific to the Martha Stewart brand:
- On an old baking sheet, arrange the heat-safe glass (remove any non-heat-safe decorations, corks, gaskets, etc., before baking). Make sure none of the pieces are touching.
- Place the glass in the oven. Close the door and turn the oven to bake and set the temperature to 350 degrees F. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes and then shut down the oven and let it cool down naturally. (Don’t want to bake it? You can air cure it for 21 days instead).
- Only bake each glass piece one time. Doing it more than once could result in brittle glass which may chip.
- Once they’re completely cool, remove your painted sea glass from the oven and embellish. Want a more rustic look? Use a piece of 600 grit sandpaper and lightly sand anywhere where the bottle would have tumbled against the sand.
DIY Projects: Easy Painted Glass Craft Ideas
Any of these would make a great gift or party favor. The little round bottle was about $3 at my local craft store, and it could be filled with Pixie Dust and stenciled with a fairy stencil for a great birthday party favor. The tall bottles could be filled with handmade massage oil, bath oil, or other potions for a harried mom.