How To Make Wire-Wrapped Jewellery with Sea Glass from the Beach
Collect sea glass that’s all salty and frosted and worn smooth between your fingers, then turn it into wire-wrapped jewellery!
Sea glass is the name for the glass you find along beaches next to salty water. It’s treasure waiting to be found, the pieces of smashed bottle worn and weathered away into smooth rounded shapes. Sea glass hues tend to come in an array of white, green, blue and brown. They somehow no longer feel man-made, because nature has physically and chemically weathered them to produce that subtle frosted effect. Who hasn’t been tempted to pick a piece up and lick the salt away to see it shine once more? Slightly larger pieces of sea glass (the size of your thumbnail or bigger) are perfect for turning into wire-wrap jewellery, which is something anyone with a bit of patience can try their hand at.
Collect sea glass, display it in the light, and turn your favourite pieces into jewellery…
First, you will need to collect your sea glass. If the jewellery is your main aim you can of course just buy sea glass in bead stores or online, but the collecting is a nice thing. This little bottle was smashed and forgotten and worn smooth and frosted by time. So much time. And now someone like you has picked it up to give it purpose again…
Collecting the glass might take a little while, so you can place your collection in a glass jar by a window as you go. The tiny sea-gems will pick up the light and wink in the sun.
How to Wire-Wrap Sea Glass – Video Tutorial
Gayle Bird shows how to wire-wrap sea glass the easy way
Your beach treasure can easily be turned into jewellery by wire-wrapping, a method which doesn’t involve any glass cutting or sophisticated setting. The larger the stone, the easier it is… but don’t let that stop you from trying the technique with smaller stones, too. You will need some round craft wire (20 or 22 ga), a pencil and some flush cutters (or some scissors you don’t mind wearing down a bit). Chain-nose pliers might help make it a bit easier, and help you get some interesting curves and swerves in the wire (that’ll make sense when you see the video). If you like making jewellery you’ll be using chain-nose pliers again and again, so they’re definitely worth popping in your toolkit!
Wire-wrapped sea glass might look especially nice on a plain silver thread or a leather thong, but that’s up to you, really.
Inspiration: Sea glass creation by Robin Seaglass
Incidentally, did you know that ‘beach glass’ refers to glass that’s found on freshwater beaches? It’s just as smooth and rounded but loses some of that frosted effect. Still beautiful, though, and you can work with it the same way as sea glass, of course.
Anyway, the next time you’re on a beach, keep an eye out for all and sundry treasures of the sea, from frosted glass pebbles to lovely lovely dinosaur fossils. Walk slowly. Look down. Turn the things you find into something new…