A Touch of Glass

Shelley Metcalf
Sea glass products bring the beauty of the ocean into your home.

Sea glass shards have intrigued beachcombers for decades, and while the real thing is becoming more difficult to find, purchasing sea glass has never been easier.

When decorating your home with the beautiful gems, first decide if you want only genuine sea glass or if you don't mind imitation pieces (produced with rock tumblers and acid baths). Imitation sea glass abounds on the Web, while authentic pieces are harder to find; however, a few sources sell it by the pound (see "Sea Glass Resources"). True sea glass enthusiasts can attend the annual North American Sea Glass Festival in Santa Cruz, California, to find one-of-a-kind products ( seaglassassociation.com).

Whatever the source, here are a few suggestions for displaying these treasures of the sea.

Jars of Glass. If your collection is large, or if you have purchased sea glass online by the pound, fill old mason jars with the same colors of glass. One Web site, maineseaglassworks.com, sells mason jars with both tea lights and sea glass.

Pretty Pavers. Place small bits into round concrete stepping stones for your garden or create a mosaic backsplash in your kitchen using lots of colorful shards. Choose one unique piece to hang in a window and the sea glass will act like a prism.

Coastal Centerpiece. Turn your table into a conversation piece. Fill a shallow glass bowl with large pieces of sea glass, then place different-size pillar candles or votives throughout the glass.

A Bright Light. Large collections look beautiful displayed in the clear, glass base of a lamp. Pottery Barn sells empty bases perfect for this kind of project. Add beach sand to the bottom of the lamp base for another creative touch.

Beach Baubles. Take your sea glass to a local jeweler or shop at bytheseajewelry.com for unique accessories. See below for other Web sites.

Colors of the Rainbow. Use sea glass colors to add coastal flair to your home (see "Feeling Blue"). Or purchase home products such as plates and fabrics inspired by the natural beauty of sea glass. Vivaterra.com has sea glass-inspired plates and lamps.

For more sea glass products and inspiration, visit the following sites:
Jewelry and Gifts:

Home Products:

Sea Glass in Bulk:

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