Saturday, July 16, 2011

DIY Beach Glass Jars & Bottles


It’s summertime, one of my favorite times to decorate.  I love the casual beach cottage look.  One thing that gives you that relaxed coastal feel is beach glass. You can find these bottles and jars in flea markets, thrift shops, online, etc. Or you can make your own


I have been hoarding collecting my old salsa and pasta sauce jars and glass bottles lately and this was the perfect project to get them out of the cabinet.  I have seen several blog posts about how to do this.  There were various methods shown from painting inside the bottle or jar, oven-baked paint, and using actual glass paint.  Some of them were absolutely amazing.  Some of them were not.  One thing I noticed is that they either looked totally transparent (like a blue Ball jar, which I do love) or were not translucent.  True “sea glass” is colored and catches the light but has a certain frostiness about it.


That’s what I wanted.  This is how I did it:

DIY Beach Glass




  • Blue & Green Food Coloring ( I used the Neon colors from McCormick just because I like how intense the color is)
  • School Glue
  • Dish Liquid
  • Water
  • Paint Brush
  • Glass Jars, Bottles, etc.




  • Start with clean, dry glass bottles and jars and prepare your workspace (put down some old newspaper or something!).
  • Mix the school glue and water as if you were making homemade mod podge.  WHAT?  You don’t know how to make your own mod podge?  So easy!  Just mix 2-3 parts glue to 1 part water.  That’s it!
  • Add a few drops of blue and green food coloring.  Add more blue or green depending on your preference.
  • Add just a little dish liquid.  How much is just a little…well, not too much!
  • Blend well. I just like to say that.  It makes me feel like I’m making some special recipe.
  • Now, carefully paint the mixture onto the outside of the glass and let it dry.  Watch out for being too streaky or leaving drips.  Don’t worry, if you mess up – just wash  and start over.
  • Enjoy!





One thing I should mention is you can put water inside for fresh flowers.  You just have to be VERY careful not to get it wet on the outside. 

Also, this is a great technique because there is no commitment.  Maybe during the summer you want pretty beach glass but during the fall you want jars to fill with Halloween candy or whatever.  Just wash and the jars are as good as new. 


They look great in a grouping or alone, in a windowsill, as a centerpiece, on a shelf, pretty much anywhere.






See, wasn't that easy (not to mention free if you have everything on hand)?  Go grab your bottles and jars and give them a new beachy look!

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  1. Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [17 Jul 01:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  2. They look great! I love all the bottles on the plate. I just bought my supplies today to make some of these. I'm going to paint and cure mine but I'll save this for back up if my plan fails!! {which has happened a time or two before - lol!}
    Jenn :)

  3. These looks so purrrrty! Love the colors and beachy vibe. Great job!

  4. Beautiful!!!
    Found you in I <3 Naptime :) Your newest follower!

  5. I love it! They look amazing! And no committment?! Even better!

  6. the colour of the glass is awesome! so glad i found this tutorial, I didn't know how to make my own modge podge and this'll save me a fortune!

  7. How did you get your bottles so clean? I always have a problem removing labels and residue. :(

  8. Elsie, my bottles aren't that clean. The color just helps to hide the imperfections.

  9. Great tutorial, thanks for sharing!

  10. These are great, just what I need to decorate my new laundry!

  11. I love beach glass thanks for sharing this idea come see me at

  12. I have to laugh - I 'collect' my salsa jars too!! LOVE this project - just adorable. Found you on Skip to my Lou!

  13. This is great! I've seen all the painted jars lately too and somehow they just seemed "off", but I love the look of sea glass! Thanks for sharing.



  15. These are gorgeous! Just wondering.. if you wanted to 'preserve' the look a little more, would clear coat paint work, you think? I'm paranoid that I would spill water on it and ruin them (b/c I'm a complete klutz). P.S. love the blog, I'm a new follower!

  16. Funny, I was just googling ideas on how to do this, and then I saw your tutorial on Craft o Maniac. Thanks for sharing!

    Drop on by!

  17. Those are just gorgeous! I hope you will link up to the Tuesday Confessional link party going on now. I'm co-hosting with A Reason to Skip the Housework, so your post will be seen on BOTH blogs!
    I hope to see you soon!

  18. these look awesome! Just the perfect amount of frosty. You totally nailed it.

    I found you through Made By You Mondays and am your newest follower. Come check me out and maybe follow back, too, if you're interested @ Carissa's Creativity Space

  19. I am totally going to make these for my turquoise and tan BEACH ROOM!!

  20. So neat! I can't wait to try this!! Thanks so much for sharing...I'm so happy to be your newest follower :)

  21. These are so pretty, Kat! Love your arrangements too! Lot's of inspiration here!

  22. These are gorgeous! I love the blue ball mason jars but only have a few. Now I can make my own!!


  23. Wow that is really great!! What a good idea. I never have any luck at flea markets.

  24. This tutorial is great:) I love those bottles!

  25. Awesome! Fabulous! Ingenious!!!

  26. Wow - Thanks so much for this post! I learned so much. Your jars are really fun! Can't wait to try this. Thanks Kat!

  27. Cannot wait to try these!

  28. Awesome! What does the dish-soap do for it though? I used it but... don't know what it's supposed to do! lol!

    Also, I sealed mine with spray sealer. Now I don't have to worry about ruining the finish. Thanks for letting me play with a new project!

  29. Hi Kathy, I'm your newest follower. Enjoyed your blog today. I totally understand what you mean about time management...and I don't have little ones any more. I keep thinking once I get a good system with blogging, it will much easier. I ran across a blog that has worked it so she can be organized with her blog (as far as time management) It's, then click on "how I organize my blog". Maybe this will help you!
    If you find yourself on the blog, I'd love it if you linked up this tutorial on making frosted jars. These are sooo pretty. Very clever idea. No pressure though.
    Enjoy your little ones. They grow up quickly.

  30. I love this! I saw it on, and I can't wait to try it out!

  31. Help! I tried this as instructed but they didn't come out frosty like yours just clear blue. Any idea where I may have gone wrong?

  32. This is amazing! I am definitely going to try this. Thank you for sharing, I'm a new follower :)

  33. This is great!!! Can you use spray top coat to finish?

  34. Hello, I tried this and had some issues, I wondered if you could help me. Firstly, I used regular mod podge, which failed miserably! It's completely different. What mixture of glue and water did you use to get what you made above? No matter how much water I added, it was far too thick, and the end result was not the amount of translucency needed to make it look real. Second, You said to be careful of streaks, etc, but whenver I do it, maybe this is also an issue of thickness, but it was ALWAYS streaky, no matter what I did! How do you avoid that, or is it really just a matter of thinning out my paint more? Also, what exactly does the dish detergent do? and how much is a "little" approximately, or how do we know when we've added enough? I had NO clue what to do with that part, so some guidance would be lovely...
    Also, As others have asked, have you tried sealing this with top coats at all? If not, I might give it a try, at least once I get this stupid consistency right.... grr!

  35. Could you paint this on a regular window for a frosting effect?

  36. Wonderful creations. It is also a brilliant alternative.


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  38. love the result:)what a wonderful tutorial.thx

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  40. I made these last weekend and they turned out great. I even put them in my window with a little water and carnations. HOWEVER, a week later and they are clear again, all of the blue wore off. I even put a top layer of pain sealant on to make sure the color didn't run but they all faded. Any words of advise? Or would you recommend just not putting them in the window?

  41. Hi Allison! I am sorry yours faded. The ones I made in this post are still just as bright as when I did it. However they have been up on a shelf and not in a window. Maybe try keeping them out of direct sunlight for too long. I hope this helps! I plan on doing an update to this post since it is my most popular project and there have been so many questions! Best Wishes!

  42. You've nailed the sea glass look, and your bottles look awesome! Like Vixen and Bree above, I wonder whether you have discovered a way to seal (or cure) them for a more permanent look? Loving your blog, btw! Hx

  43. So I've been trying to duplicate this and mine always look streaked like they were painted and the color isn't consistent. Any advice?

  44. Has anyone tried to bake these in the oven to preserve the look and be able to use them without fear of getting water on them? If anyone would be willing to try and post the results I would greatly appreciate it.

  45. Just did much fun!!! Mine are green for fall. Going to put some purple or orange mums in them. A couple streaks, but not that noticeable. Thanks for the tutorial!

  46. I wonder if there is a way to make this permanent?

  47. Something that may help us folks trying to duplicate your outcome is to maybe show us the color of your modge podge after tinting to get the effect you got and also a description of what the consistency might be like. I think it goes on several shades lighter than what it looks like after tinting your modge podge. Mine came out blotchy, streaked and very light.