When I was little, my grandmother and mom would take me along the shores of Lake Erie, where my mom grew up, to pick seashells and sea glass. Technically, it isn’t sea glass, since it is from one of the Great Lakes and not the sea, but I was never sure what else to call it. It is actually pieces of glass from windows, bottles and other things that have fallen into the water. The current then tumbles the glass making it milky colored with rounded edges. Both my mom and my grandmother had Mason jars filled with the treasures we collected from the beach.
These days, between recycling and so many treasure hunters, the beaches around Lake Erie are pretty much clear of sea glass. But, I have figured out an extremely easy way to make some!
I started with clear glass beads. Be sure they are not crystals — the amount of lead used to make crystals may not work with the etchall.
I placed them in the bottom of a container (use plastic so it doesn’t etch the container) and then covered them with etchall dip ‘n etch liquid.
After 15 minutes, I used a plastic spoon to pick them out of the solution, draining off as much of the etchall as possible, and placed them on a thick paper plate covered with paper towels to catch any liquid I missed. Then, I poured the etchall back into the container. (It is completely reusable and you will be amazed at how little you use each time!)
I put my beads into a colander and rinsed with dish soap and water to remove any remaining etchall and then put them on another paper towel to dry.
The etchall dip ‘n etch liquid gave the beads a milky white or frosted appearance, as you can see in the beads above.
Next, I put the beads into a small plastic bag and added a couple of drops of alcohol ink. I’m not sure if pink is a “natural” color of sea glass, but I was feeling pink, so that’s what I used.
After swishing them around in the alcohol ink for a few seconds, I dumped the bag onto another paper towel covered paper plate to take off an excess ink and allow them to dry. Note: I found the plates and paper towels worked great for this project. There is not a lot of liquid to absorb, but the etchall and/or alcohol could damage surfaces, so this kept everything safe, neat and clean.
I love the variety of hues I got with the alcohol ink.
If you decided not to use the etchall, you would not get the creamy, milky hue of sea glass. It would look more like pale stained glass. The etchall is what makes it look as if it came from the sea.
The photo above shows my test beads. Notice how much of a difference the etchall makes … it takes away some of the transparency, but it also holds onto a lot more color. The results are stunning and the beads have the exact weight and feel of sea glass!
Once my beads were created, it was time to make the jewelry. This is a new type of art for me and I struggled a bit with the technique. Fortunately, I have two friends who came to my rescue with additional tools and supplies and the know-how to help me turn my vision into reality.
Basically, I placed the beads on a pin (I used a couple of different ones in my design), bent and cut the pin, and then turned it into a loop and attached it with a jump ring to either the bezel or chain.
The bezel and glass are from Craft Fantastic and the paper (of the Hawaiian lady) is from Authentique.
Then, for a final touch, I added a seahorse charm and a clip so it can go on a key ring, purse or bag.
Are you ready to try your hand at making faux sea glass beads with etchall? Visit etchall.com to purchase yours, today … use the code CANDYS and you will get 10% off your entire order! Click here and get creating today!
This post is sponsored by etchall.