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How to Make a Sea Glass Mosaic

Sea glass happens to be one of the few things I collect. It has all the right attributes: free, colorful, small, and as of this project, useful. After I picked up a second-hand side table that needed some work, I decided my sea glass would do just the trick. That was a year ago. Then I got some gumption and Thinset mortar. Once I got going it took about 90 minutes to complete my DIY sea glass mosaic project, plus 48 hours to let it set and harden.

(Optional) Duct tape. metal brush, spray paint
Masking tape
Sea glass
Dust mask
Thinset mortar
Large Disposable Container (bottom of a milk jug, aluminum pan, plastic bin)
Stir stick

Step 1: Pick your piece. Start with a piece that has a recess that you can fill with mortar. Make sure to brush out any rust or debris.  If there are any holes in the bottom, tape with Duct tape from underneath so the mortar doesn’t leak through.

Step 2: (Optional) Spray paint the base of your piece. You don’t want to get done with your mosaic and then decide the rest of the piece needs a facelift, too.

Step 3: Set up your sea glass. Sort your collection into piles by color. You may also want to separate the small pieces from the large ones.

Step 4: Plan out your mosaic. Measure the surface area where the mosaic is going. Mine was 9.5″ x 9.5″. Mask off an area the same size as your mosaic on a clean surface. Create your mosaic by arranging your sea glass within the masked-off area.

Step 5: Mix the Thinset mortar: Put on a dusk mask that securely covers your nose and mouth. In a large disposable container mix the Thinset powder with water. This in not an exact science. You just want to achieve the consistency of peanut butter. Make sure there are no lumps. Then pour the mortar into your recessed tabletop.

Step 6: Transfer the sea glass into the mortar. Once you evenly spread out the mortar, begin to transfer your sea glass. You will need to gently press the sea glass into the mortar. You’ll notice that your design will look more fragmented than your “dry” arrangement. Have extra piece of sea glass on hand to improvise if your design starts to loose shape. Also, your mortar will be wet enough to pull out pieces that get pushed in too far. Just rinse them off and reinsert into the mortar.

Step 7: Allow for 48 hours for your mortar to set and harden. Then find the perfect place in your home or garden to display your beautiful sea glass mosaic!

This is a great project for this time of year. You’ve got your summer loot of sea glass and as the weather starts to cool down, this is a great project to plan indoors. It goes great with slippers and a hot cup of coffee! When you’re ready for the mortar, we still have some nice fall days to get that part done outdoors.
Eve of Reduction: Free Seasonal E-Newsletter; Extra tips and wit on Facebook; Reduction Beauty on Pinterest ; The debut DIY lifestyle book (includes 10 upcycling tutorials); and the guide to creative streams of income ebook (only $2.99).

I’m Cristin Frank (AKA Eve). I love all things frugal and crafty. My mindset is always on upcycling, repurposing, reducing waste and saving money – and Eve of Reduction is my roadmap. You might also want to check out my book, "Living Simple, Free & Happy."

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