Summer brings with it impromptu collections. Maybe you've been picking up pebbles at the river, shells and beach glass at the shore or interesting bits of driftwood. Wondering what to do with all those little bits and pieces? I like to arrange them on canvas to create vacation memento art. Anything that you can hot glue will work, but my favorite medium is colorful beach glass.

*You'll need is your collection of glass or shells, a canvas board (less than $3.00 at most craft shops), white acrylic paint and a hot glue gun.

*Prep a canvas board with white paint. If you don't have a canvas board available, I've found that a sheet of heavy weight watercolor paper works well too, as long as you mount it on a piece of cardboard. I'll be using the paper and board for this example.

*While you're waiting for your canvas to dry, decide what shape or word you'd like to use. Single initials are great as are romantic initials.

*You can also do a single word. Beach, relax, Hawaii, dream...anything you'd like to remind you of your vacation.

*If you're using a word or letters you can LIGHTLY freehand your word onto your surface with a pencil. Erase the pencil marks as you lay down your glass. You can also print out the word or letter in large, bold font on your computer, cut out the letters and tape the remaining paper stencil onto your canvas. This works well for words. Simply fill in the stencil with your medium, then remove.

*For shapes, cut out the shape you want and use it as a guide. Today I'm choosing a simple heart.

*Arrange your shape or letters (or a combo of both!) on your board until you get the composition you're after.

*From there it's time to start gluing! Beach glass adheres very well with hot glue. Just make sure your glass is CLEAN before you start, and remember that less is more. The glass doesn't weight that much so use a little glue as possible. You don't want glue coming out from under your pieces.

*Add a dab of glue to your glass then stick it to your surface, tracing your shape all the way around.

*When you've finished your shape, remove the guide and check in between the glass pieces to ensure that there aren't any glue strings. If there are gently pull them off. Now you're ready to slip a sheet of cardboard behind it and place it into a frame with just enough dept to accommodate the glass.

*If you've used a sturdy canvas board, you can simply lean it against a wall or shelf-no need to frame!

A simple and beautiful way to remember your vacation.

Additional Ideas:

*Sign your piece with the name of your vacation destination and the date when you took it.

*These make great thank-you gifts after staying at a friend's vacation home. Collect on the sly, assemble at home then mail to your hosts.

*If there is a special cabin or shore home that you'd like to remember, consider recreating the house number with shells, glass or pebbles from that location. Or how about the hotel room on a honeymoon?

More Ways To Say It With Nature:

*The next time you're on a shore vacation, how about taking a shot like this for the people back home? Better yet, have it printed out as a post card and mail it from your vacation location.

*Sand writing photographs also make fabulous art. A photograph like this would look great on your walls, plus it will remind you of what a great time you had, and hopefully get you inspired to make more memories!Love Exists Try it in color, or use Photoshop to go black and white.

*Heading into nature but not near the shore? Try staging a photo using sticks. It's a great way to occupy kids and is perfect for camp sites.

Commemorate a trip, event or place with letters represented with architecture, nature, beach images and more! They would also make a fantastic housewarming gift.

Excited about this project? Post your creations in the One Pretty Thing Flickr Group.


14 Responses to “Beach Glass Art”

  1. mayaluna Says:

    Congratulations on the the feature, Rachel! I saw this at Whip UP and gave a bit whoop! What a beautiful way to use sea glass. We collect lake glass all summer…and this post was filled with great ideas!

  2. Jennifer ramos Says:

    OOh what a cool idea..the heart looks so pretty!

    Jen Ramos
    ‘100% Recycled DESIGNER Cards & More’

  3. Karen Says:

    That’s so pretty!

  4. Michelle Says:

    I want to do this! How fun!

  5. Thimbleanna Says:

    It’s beautiful Rachel! Thanks for the instructions!

  6. Thimbleanna Says:

    Oh, and now you need to put a “Featured on One Pretty Thing” button on your sidebar Haha!!!

  7. Bryssy Says:

    Go Rachel! You are so awesome! Plus, I saw you were featured on OnePrettyThing! ;-)

  8. Laura Says:

    Love, love, love this one! Beaches, hearts, crafting, what more could you want! I will definitely be keeping this project in mind this summer.

  9. Homemade Wedding Gift Ideas « Skip To My Lou Says:

    [...] wedding color and add Martha’s handmade monogram ornament. *Beach wedding? I like to create a sea glass heart on a white box, then write the couple’s initials in it. *For a fall wedding, I like to wrap [...]

  10. Christine Says:

    This summer we went on a road trip to Northern California and visited a beach called Glass Beach, which used to be the city dump and now is loaded with wonderful sea glass. I have a whole ton to work with now so thank you for some good ideas.

    I, too, collect sea glass and have made some sea glass mosaic sun catchers. I have hung these in the garden, so I used scrolly wrought iron frames to echo the wrought iron fences and gates we have, and just used silicone glue directly on the back of the frame’s glass. I removed the cardboard and whatever backing came with the frame so that the light could shine through. These are wonderful. One of them is of two peas in a pod, with olive green wine bottle glass for the pod, emerald 7-Up bottle green for the two round peas, and I used brownish/amber beer bottle glass for the background. Two peas in a pod is the symbol for my husband and I. The other one is a blue sky background with puffy white clouds. I have more ideas in the works, i.e., our little fig tree, etc. I am doing one with all of the different odd bits and pieces, red, yellow, pottery and such, for a sort of compost collage. These are fun and beautiful. Christine

  11. admin Says:

    Those sound amazing Christine! The iron frames are a fabulous idea. I have totally been to that glass beach. Fort Bragg, right? It’s one of my favorite places in the world. I’ll be going for my birthday this year. =)

  12. Beach Crafts | Craft Jr. Says:

    [...] Beach Glass Craft [...]

  13. CelticMommy Says:

    This is a perfect craft for my boys who love to collect bits of nature, I’m so glad you reposted this!!
    :-) . Hettie, CelticMommy

  14. Learn to make jewelry making and beading Says:

    [...] One Pretty ThingSea or beach glass are found on along bodies of fresh and salt water. These frosted glass has gone through the natural process of weathering, physically and chemically, giving the frosted appearance. They are collectibles and can be used in jewelry making. [...]

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