How to make sea glass picture frames

sea glass image by Patrick Moyer from

Create colourful sea glass picture frames to display photos of ocean scenes or family vacations on the beach. Also known as beach glass, these small pieces of broken glass bottles get their hallmark smooth edges from being tumbled on the sandy ocean floor.

Low tide can reveal blue, green, clear or rose-coloured bits of glass. Sea glass picture frames make pretty gifts to give to friends and family as one-of-a-kind works of art.

Lay one of the wood frames on a protected work table. Arrange assorted sea glass pieces on top of the frame in the desired order or design. This can be in a pattern by colours or in a random fashion. Lay the pieces fairly close together to cover the front of the frame. Extend bits of sea glass a little beyond the frame edge for an interesting effect.

Remove the sea glass pieces from the frame, working in one small area at a time, and lay aside. Apply a generous 1/4-inch layer of polyvinyl acetate (PVA) glue on the exposed wood. Replace the sea glass onto the frame as originally designed, pressing the pieces into the glue until they meet the wood. The glue is available in hardware or craft stores, comes in a bottle with an applicator and is the consistency of white craft glue. The glue is white, but it dries clearly and quickly.

Work around the frame using the same process as in Step 2, covering small areas until the entire frame is covered with sea glass. Work quickly because the glue dries fast. If necessary, apply more PVA glue between the sea glass to fill any spots that may need more. Let the frame with sea glass dry completely.

Proceed with the next frame in this project in the same manner as the first frame until all the frames are done.

Take all the frames outside and spray the each frame with clear sealant. This fills any nooks and crannies between the sea glass pieces with more clear adhesive and gives the frames a beautiful shiny finish.