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Message in a Bottle - How to Use Sea Glass as a Decorative Accent

sea glassSea glass - also known as beach glass or mermaid tears - is nature's way of turning something discarded by human beings into a thing of beauty. If you are looking for a creative way to accent your home with repurposed materials, sea glass can help you achieve this. Using sea glass is the perfect opportunity to put a touch of nature into your household or your office - and it is more earth friendly than buying man-made decorative accents.

What is sea glass?

If you aren't certain what sea glass is - or what the difference is between sea glass and ordinary glass - here are a few characteristics unique to sea glass:

  • Sea glass begins as a bottle, jar or some sort of container that was tossed into the ocean as garbage.
  • The ocean's currents and waves wear the glass down and smooth the edges of broken shards.
  • Unlike most gems, such as rubies or emeralds, which are made by nature and refined by humans, sea glass is made my humans and refined by the sea. Thus, sea glass is often known as a "reverse gem."
  • The process of turning a piece of broken glass into sea glass can take several years. After the shard turns into sea glass, it is smooth, frosted and much more beautiful.
  • Sea glass is becoming a lot harder to find as the years go by, due to the fact that humans now use plastic bottles and containers, rather than glass. It's still possible to discover sea glass, however - you just need to be patient.

How do I find sea glass of my own?

Are you on the hunt for some sea glass, either for your own beachy collection or to beautify your space? Try these tips to aid in your discovery, but remember that you'll have to be patient; sea glass can be hard to come by. Of course, once you find it, it's worth it.

  • Don't just stick to the ocean - try any shoreline, including rivers, bays or any place that the water is moving.
  • Speaking of moving water, the faster and rougher the water is, the better! If it's too rough a day to swim at the beach, try scouting for sea glass instead. Currents and waves help move the glass to the shore so you can find it more easily.
  • Rockier and rougher shores are also known for hosting a greater amount of sea glass. If you're searching for glass on smooth, white sands during your tropical vacation, you may have trouble finding it.

How can I use sea glass to enhance my space?

If you've managed to find some sea glass and bring it home, congratulations! But how will you use these beautiful pieces in your home, office or wherever you want natural beauty and a hint of green decor? Try these do-it-yourself ideas.

  • Stack bits of sea glass into votives or vases and line them on your mantel or anywhere you want to add the gentle hues of the ocean.
  • Create a wall collage. Use a hot glue gun to attach pieces of sea glass to a slab of wood for a rustic yet beautiful piece of art to hang anywhere in your home.
  • Make your mirror more beautiful with sea glass accents. Use your hot glue gun to attach shards of sea glass around the edges of the mirror. You can try this trick with photo frames as well.
  • Sea glass can create the appearance of stained glass if it's kept near a source of light. Keep your sea glass inside a large bowl in your kitchen, or any place with a window, and let it catch the sun's beams.
  • Larger pieces of sea glass can be used as paperweights, bookends or decorative knick-knacks on shelves.

Sea glass can make any space more beautiful, and offers an earth friendly way to decorate - not to mention it is fun to find. Good luck and happy crafting!


Shahab Shokouhi is a glass design expert at, an innovative manufacturer of glass table tops, glass shelves, and all other glass and mirror products. Follow Dulles Glass and Mirror on Pinterest or on YouTube to see how they're changing the way glass products are manufactured, customized and delivered.