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Colourful Sea Glass Stepping Stones

Sea glass can have romantic origins — it could come from old victorian bottles or broken glass from a shipwreck. Most of the time it comes from modern day bottles. Most of the rubbish that ends up in the sea doesn’t have a happy ending, but glass is a different story. The motion of the waves and the grinding from stones and sand polishes each shard into a soft and jewel-like piece.

You can use these pieces in all types of crafts as you can see in this collection, but one of my favourite diys of all time is making Sea Glass Stepping Stones.

Collecting Sea Glass

After spending a week in Venice I had a couple of days to myself before having an old friend visit me in the Isle of Man. I hadn’t seen her in over a year and we spent the time listening to music from ‘the old days’ and catching up on our lives and everything that’s happened since we last spent time together.

Though the weather wasn’t that great we also spent some time camping on the beach  and scouring the local beach for sea glass. There’s something so childlike and primal in hunting for colourful shards of glass. The whoop of excitement from a thirty-something can’t be all that different from one coming from a nine year old.

In an hour of hunting for our sea jewels we collected quite a pile of coloured glass, bits of pottery, and small shells and rocks. Now to make something beautiful and useful for the garden.

Preserve the memory of a beach visit and the wet look of sea glass in this diy project for garden stepping stones.

 

First off you’ll need a few materials

1. An old pan or plastic tub to use as a mould

2. Cement and coarse Aggregate (basically a mixture of sand and gravel) Or get both of these together pre-mixed Quikrete Concrete Mix Bag 10 Lbs

3. Gold Spray paint, Flat/matte White spray paint and Clear Glossy spray paint

4. Sea glass and any other hard stones, shells, pottery, or objects you’d like to embed into your stepping stone.

5. A square of chicken wire or other metal fencing that will fit inside your mould

Preserve the memory of a beach visit and the wet look of sea glass in this diy project for garden stepping stones.

Step 1: Spray Paint

Using your matte white spray paint, paint one side of the beach glass you want to embed in your stone – the side that you want to be pushed into the concrete. If you don’t paint one side then the dark colour of the concrete will make your glass look dark and murky since the grey colour will come through the glass.

Step 2: Cement

Mix one part cement with 3.5 parts aggregate or use the material from the pre-mixed bag I have listed above. I used an large yoghurt container for measurement but the exact amounts will depend on the size of your own mould. Next, add enough water to make it wet but not soupy. If it’s too wet then the decorations will sink.

Preserve the memory of a beach visit and the wet look of sea glass in this diy project for garden stepping stones.

Step 3: Filling the Mould

Fill your mould half-way with your wet concrete mix then place the square of wire on top. Fill the rest of the mould with concrete and completely cover the wire. This extra addition to the inside of your stone will give it more stability and help ensure it doesn’t split in the future.

Step 4: Optional Gold Finish

Spray the surface of the concrete with gold. It will look garish at first but the gold will add some beach-sand like shine to the dull concrete when you’re finished.

Step 5: Adding the Sea Glass

Create your sea glass design by pressing pieces into the wet cement. Push them in firmly or they may come off eventually. When you’re finished, allow the stone to set for at least a day though I gave mine two days before I popped it out of the mould. To get the stone out, turn your mould over something soft (like grass) and shake it out – it should pop out easily.

How to make Sea Glass Stepping Stones

Step 6: Clear Varnish

Clean the glass in the stone off with water and an old toothbrush. When it’s dried, spray the top with clear spray paint to give the pieces that wet look.

Step 7: Siting your Stone

Dig a depression in the area you wish your stone to be placed and set it inside. Doesn’t it look beautiful? I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and if you’d like to see more of my crafty ideas please browse through my projects here.

How to make Sea Glass Stepping Stones

15 Discussion to this post

  1. Uwe says:

    http://mydiyol.blogspot.de

    Hello Tanya,
    that’s a mega great idea.
    I would like to imitate.
    On our next trip to the North Sea, I will keep an eye open for such beautiful things.
    Even your instructions are very clear.
    Many kind regards
    Uwe

    P.S. : Please delete my first comment

  2. Steffi says:

    This is so beautiful! I’m a huge fan of sea glass but unfortunately there’s hardly any on the beaches here… You could easily sell these!

    • Lynn says:

      I live in land locked Colorado, so I MAKE my own “sea-glass”. I go to the thrift stores and buy any blue, green, or light blue bottles, plates, etc and then take them home and SMASH them! Then I throw them in my rock tumbler I got for a few bucks off Craigslist. For a few bucks investment for the grits you add to the glass and the time it takes for the glass to become smooth, I can make ALL the “sea-glass” I want!

  3. Caro says:

    I really like this and have jars of sea washed glass at home as I’m a real beachcomber at heart. Wouldn’t have thought about spraying the back of the glass with white paint so thanks for that tip!

  4. […] of Lovely Greens has tutorial on making sea glass stepping stones. […]

  5. Debbie says:

    This is a really lovely idea! I am often collecting sea glass and then not knowing what to do with it, Thank you so much for sharing and for the excellent tutorial.

  6. Anita Mas says:

    That’s a cool idea to use sea glass in a stepping stone like this. The fact that you made them look wet in there makes them look their best. They always look better at the beach when they are wet. I’ll have to try doing this for our stepping stones in our garden.

  7. […] Lovely Greens This colorful, stepping stone from Tanya at Lovely Greens is a good example of how nature inspires garden art. All you need is a cake pan, cement, and sea glass. Click here for detailed instructions on how to make this stepping stone. Don’t you just love these fun and fancy stepping stones? Feel free to SHARE them with your friends! […]

  8. Shellie says:

    Love this idea! A great way to treasure little keepsakes.

  9. Ritza says:

    This looks awesome!!

  10. Diana Hunt says:

    I think collecting old sea glass very romantic. Those stepping stones are a great idea. I always collect a jar of stones, sand and sea glass whereever I go on holiday. I also own a jar of Douglas Isle of Man sand too. I don´t know yet what to do with it, but with your clever little tricks I am sure I´ll have an idea someday. I have been to the Isle of Man many times before, a truly enchanting Island.

  11. Marian says:

    Thanks for all the how to, I’m no way a beach person but am planning to use your technique with river rocks, guess I can eliminate a few steps ?

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