summer treasures: displaying beach glass


I don’t make jewelry or mosaics, but I love how beach glass looks, and I’ve picked up a surprising amount of the real deal on beaches around Seattle — tiny bits up to big pieces of colorful bottles sanded smooth by the ocean, not a tumbler. With summer upon us (due to arrive here in Seattle any week now…) I went seplaceing for creative ways to display my beach glass finds. The simplest may be the best: put all your beach glass in a jar in a window, and enjoy the light shining through. But here are more ideas:

The Sea Glass Journal (an entire blog devoted to the stuff!) had a nice idea: use your sea glass in a candleholder and watch it glow. They use autumn colors, but of course you can get creative with that.


Apartment Therapy shared the idea of sprinkling it in with rocks around a potted plant, or using a whole bunch of it as mulch. (I consider it cheating, heh, but you can seplace for manufactured “beach glass” or “sea glass” and buy it in bulk for landscaping.) AT also had a post on using glass jars as bookends — your sea glass display would look nice there, as well.

As this idea for wedding centerpieces demonstrates, beach glass looks nice displayed in a large shell, too.


If you want ready-made decor, you can support an independent artist with a purchase on Etsy, like the wreath above from beach grass cottage. L.L. Bean has a sea glass wreath for sale right now, too (more expensive and a lot less handmade). Rather make your own? Check eHow for directions.

Even if you don’t live near the shore, you can still hunt for some sea glass of your own — a good place to start is good old Etsy, seplaceing for sea glass or beach glass in “supplies.” And if you want it in bulk, but want it recycled, Megan B. is a fan of Bedrock Industries for tumbled, recycled glass.

And this may be the best tip of all: the North American Sea Glass Association has a guide on how to tell if your beach glass is actually from the sea. — Mary T.

Top photo by Flickr member ravensmagiclantern.

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Great post! I have a big jar of sea glass on my bookshelf that I collected the last summer I lived on the east coast. Now that I’m in the mid west, it reminds me of all those beach nights on the Cape.

Miss Caroline

I love sea glass too. But WOW is that sea glass wreath a whole lot of tacky. I am from Maine, So I also love LL Bean, but WOW. Only some one from away would think that wreath is attractive.


I’ve collected beach glass my entire life on the beaches of Montauk (last town on Long Island.) There was a LOT more when I was a kid, before they brought back the bottle laws, and back when soda all came in glass bottles, not plastic. I can tell at a glance if it’s “real” beach glass or not–the manufactured stuff is waaay too even and “sueded.” My mom has jars and jars of beach glass in old canning jars. My sister, who has a beach house in Montauk, has a mirror out there whose “mat” is all done with pieces of beach glass (not “real” glass, but it looks pretty.)

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We did a sea glass wreath and topiaries for Christmas a couple of years ago. It’s really easy!