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DIY Upcycled Frosted Sea Glass Jars

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Do you ever find yourself hoarding “cool” things because they “might be useful?” Yeah, me too. It’s really difficult for me to toss out perfectly good glass jars from pickles, olives, jelly, etc. because they seem so darn reusable! Sure, I frequently have no idea what I’m going to do with them, only the strong feeling that something will come along one day.

Last week, that “one day” happened while I was looking around home decor shops in California. After looking at countless beachy jars and topiaries, I suddenly knew exactly what to do with my hoarded glass jars – turn them into frosted sea glass jars! A few coats of paint and a couple knots later, I created these nifty and close to free upcycled DIY sea glass jars

DIY Upcycled Frosted Sea Glass Beachy Jars

These frosted sea glass jars are really easy to make and only require a few materials!

Materials to make frosted sea glass jars

  • Empty, clean glass jars
  • Frosted glass paint – I used Martha Stewart translucent frost glass paint
  • Foam pounces
  • Rope or twine – I used 1/8″ cotton, but jute, sisal, or manila would work, too
  • A couple feet of ribbon, embroidery floss, twine, etc. for decorative accents
  • Hot glue or craft glue (optional) (not sure what type of hot glue to use when? Check out my hot glue guide!)

The exact beach glass frost paints I used are no longer available, but I’ve found a couple alternatives. There’s a new line of Martha Stewart sea glass translucent paints and DecoArt has a line of frost glass paints. Of course, you can always just use “regular,” non frosted paint, too, as long as it’s a multi-surface paint that can adhere to glass. =)

materials for upcycled beachy jars

How to make frosted sea glass beachy jars

1. Make sure your jars are both clean and dry. Any oily residue, bits of dry food, etc. can cause the paint to either not stick or come off later.

2. Pounce the frosted glass-effect paint all over the exterior of your jar. I found it easiest to hold the jar carefully by the lip, or to simply put my hand inside the larger jar so I could paint around the whole jar at once. I only painted the sides, not the bottom, but you can do whatever you’d like.

pounce on paint

3. Allow the paint to dry and then apply an additional coat (or two or three) until you’re happy with the coverage and depth of color. I’ve worked with frosted glass paint before, and I’ve realized it’s better to apply two or three light coats than to try to apply one thick one. I’ve also noticed that the color gets more vibrant the more coats you apply, so you can make pale, barely-frosted jars with one coat and more colorful jars with two or three coats. Just do whatever you prefer! The jar shown below has one coat of (wet) paint, and you can see how much lighter the color is than on the finished jar with two coats.

one coat of paint

4. After you’re happy with the jar’s color and the paint is dry, you’re ready to get decorating! I used 1/4″ cotton rope on the big jar and 1/8″ rope on the smaller jar. Cut a piece of rope that’s long enough to wrap around the jar once and then hang down to the ground on both ends. Then wrap it around the jar and tie it in a tight overhand knot (the type of knot you use as the base when trying your shoes). I liked the way the knot looked higher up on my larger jar, but more towards the middle on my smaller jar, so play around with it to see what you prefer.

tie an overhand knot

5. Next, tie a second overhand knot in order to form a square knot. A square knot should be nice and symmetrical with ropes that come out parallel to one another, as shown here:

square knot

If you knot looks like this, it’s a granny knot and the second overhand was tied backwards. Undo it and then retie the knot the other way. =)

not a square not

6. Cinch your square knot down nice and tight.

tighten the square knot

7. Now it’s time to use your ribbons! Embroidery floss, baker’s twine, rattail, hemp – just about whatever you’d like could work. In this example, I used four pieces of ribbon that were each about 8″ long, but how much you’ll need depends on how long you want your ribbon tails to be. Using a square knot, tie the ribbons very tightly around the dangling pieces of rope. In the next steps you’re going to create tassels below the ribbons, so think about how long you’d like your tassels to be when tying your ribbons in place.

tie ribbons around the rope

8. Trim up the ropes and ribbons, if you want/need to, then untwist the rope’s strands below the ribbons.

trim and unravel ropes

9. Next, fray the threads out to create tassels.

fray the ropes

10. Do any final trimming and adjusting you’d like. After all the positioning and trimming is complete, you can use a dab of hot glue or craft glue (like E6000) behind the knot to hold everything in place.

12. Enjoy your awesome new upcycled beachy jars!

upcycled beachy jars

I think these jars are cute as a shelf or mantel decoration, but they’d also work wonderfully for holding potpourri or even a beachy floral arrangement.

beachy decor

I’m sure this tutorial isn’t surprising at all to anyone who knows me – I definitely like beachy decor! It’s kind of hard to go for anything else when you live in Hawaii and it feels like summer year round (or when the curtains that have to stay with your apartment all boast various Hawaiian prints). Plus, I feel like it’s a style that lends itself very well to DIY projects, and I love making things!

If you enjoyed this project, you’ll also enjoy these cute sea glass ornaments with easy fork bows!

Have you added any new decorative accents to your home recently?



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{ 16 comments… add one }
  • Donna Davis June 30, 2017, 05:30

    I love your Sea Glass technique from 2015 but Martha Stewart’s translucent frost glass paint is not being manufactured any more. What have you found gives the same soft beautiful effect?

    • Natashalh July 3, 2017, 10:39

      Sorry for the delayed response! I’m on vacation. =)

      I know DecoArt has a frosted glass enamels paint line, but I haven’t tried it yet because I still have leftover Martha Stewart paints. I have seen a few individual frosted glass paints from her line available on Amazon recently, though. I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful!

      • Donna July 3, 2017, 11:08

        Thank you for your help

  • Lily Ardor June 19, 2017, 07:09

    These are so lovely. 😀 I absolutely love the aqua and I had no idea you can make these in Lavender. Can’t wait to make some 😉 . Thanks for the post.

    • Natashalh June 20, 2017, 14:35

      Thanks so much for stopping by! I love painting things with frosted paint. =)

  • Ally July 9, 2016, 19:26

    Is this type of paint waterproof?
    I have been painting jars on the interior with craft/wood glue and food colouring but as soon as it gets wet it becomes misty and tacky. Do you have any advice for me as to how I can make it waterproof.
    Thank you Natasha….. By the way, I love those glass jars you painted!

    • Natashalh July 9, 2016, 20:25

      Thank you! =) Yes, this paint is waterproof, under certain conditions. You can either cure it in the oven or after a period if time (I think its 21 days – the bottles are at the top/back of my closet right now and not right in front of me!) it becomes fully cured and waterproof. Hope that helps!

      • Alice-Anne July 15, 2016, 02:47

        Thank you for your speedy response Natasha. Hopefully my jars will be cired also and become waterproof also…. At least until I can get hold of the product you are using.
        Have a blessed weekend, best wishes, Alice-Anne.

  • Sarah Mac February 27, 2015, 02:21

    I absolutely love all things beachy and crafty and these combine the two perfectly. I have some Kilner jars that I wanted to decorate and that frosted paint is exactly what I need. They would look really pretty with a tealight burning in them too.

    • Natashalh February 27, 2015, 07:04

      I bet they would look nice with a tea light! I’m glad I’m not the only one with an addition to beachy crafts. =) Thanks for stopping by!

  • Linda February 26, 2015, 12:48

    These are so wonderful!! Thanks so much for sharing. PINNED. Linda @Crafts a l aMode

    • Natashalh February 26, 2015, 14:27

      Thank you so much! I appreciate you hosting the What to do Weekends every week. =) Thanks for pinning!

  • Lana February 19, 2015, 11:30

    I love your new post and lately it is seems like I know your brand… and your style! Nautically sweet and cool – just like you my friend! Great post!
    PS. sorry you don’t have HobbyLobby in Hawaii … where are you shopping – Michaels?

    • Natashalh February 19, 2015, 11:39

      Nope, no Michael’s, either! We have Ben Franklin Hawaii. I’ve been to some Mainland Ben Franklin locations and the ones here are far smaller. I live closest to what is (apparently) the largest one in the state, but it’s about 1/4 the size of any Hobby Lobby or Michael’s I’ve seen on the Mainland. They do have lots and lots of ribbons, though, so I guess that’s something!

  • Duni February 19, 2015, 07:44

    Wow, these are fantastic Natasha! I love the look of the frosted glass, especially the mint coloured one! I do have a shelf full of clean jars, which I’ve kept for jam-making, but I might do this instead! Depends on whether I can find that type of paint though. Fingers crossed 🙂

    • Natashalh February 19, 2015, 10:51

      Thank you!
      I know how you feel about finding crafting supplies. We have such a small variety here in Hawaii that I rely on Amazon, but because of product licensing and shipping restrictions I just can’t get some things. Copic markers and other Copic products, for example, have strict regional licensing and can’t be shipped to Oahu! This paint is pretty good stuff. You can cure it in the oven, or you can let it air dry. You can scratch it off if you try with something sharp, but after an oven cure (or extensive air dry time), it’s supposed to be dishwasher safe. We hardly use our dishwasher, so I can’t vouch for that, but it sounds like a nice feature!

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