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
Large Disposable Container (bottom of a milk jug, aluminum pan, plastic bin)
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.
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