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Sea Glass Spheres

Being on the beach a lot, walking Buddy the Labrador, provides lots of beachcombing opportunities and lots of craft materials for me, especially sea glass and driftwood. This is only a small selection of the sea glass K has gathered on his dog walks.

The action of the sea and sand has two effects on glass. The surface becomes abraded giving it a frosted appearance, then the corners and edges are smoothed away. Eventually a piece of glass will be transformed into a rounded translucent pebble and these, especially those in interesting colours, are the most sought after. Much of the sea glass in our collection is still quite angular, So I’ve been thinking of more ways to use it, especially since I made some mosaic coasters earlier this year. I had an assortment of polystyrene balls, so I wondered how they would work covered in a sea glass mosaic to make Christmas tree baubles.

I started with the loop to hold the hanging thread. I cut a piece of wire about 12 cm long and bent it round a pen to form a loop.

I threaded the ends through a glass bead and pushed them into the ball. I kept the ball in position on a toothpick pushed into a piece of polystyrene packaging, then began to glue the pieces of seagrass in place. I tried PVA glue first of all, but it doesn’t dry quick enough and the glass started to slide off. I needed a quick drying alternative.

I ended up deploying my trusty glue gun. I’d avoided it at first as I thought the hot glue might melt the polystyrene but it was fine. I continued hot glueing the glass pieces to the ball, occasionally cutting a piece to fit with the tile cutters.

It was soon covered with glass sections. I then mixed up some grout and filled the gaps, pushing it into the spaces with a finger. I allowed this to dry slightly then wiped over the glass with a damp sponge to remove the excess.

Then it was simply a case of adding a hanging thread. You can spray with polyurethane varnish to protect the grouting and give the glass a sheen, or even shine it up with a tiny drop of vegetable oil.

I think this would work even better using a clear plastic base. I’ve see these in craft shops, with a hanging loop incorporated. This would make the whole bauble translucent.

Overall I’m happy with it. It might be a little bit early to think about Christmas decorations, but I can live with that!

Have you started thinking about Christmas decorations or presents yet?