The type of glue used to hold sea glass to another object depends on the project. Use a clear-drying adhesive if you want light to shine through. If gluing sea glass into a finding or bezel to make jewelry, use a strong jewelry adhesive or epoxy.
A glue that dries clear allows you to create your own play on light and color, using sea glass for the hues and clear glass for an uninterrupted flow of light.
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- Any type of clear glue designed to hold glass can be used on sea glass. Tacky craft glue and glues that claim to bond to almost anything work equally well. "Super" style glues also work; just read the packaging to ensure the glues dry clear.
- Choose a non-toxic or low-odor adhesive to avoid breathing strong fumes. Some clear-drying products such as two-part epoxy resins emit powerful toxic odors.
- If gluing sea glass to an object such as a bowl or the outside of a jar, work your way from the bottom of the clear glass item upward, otherwise the sea glass pieces may slide downward. If working with a pane of glass, keep the flat glass horizontal, if possible, as you glue sea glass to it.
- Frosted sea glass pieces look wet, losing a bit of that white chalky look once glue hits them. Avoid getting glue on any area other than the back side of each piece of sea glass to prevent faux wet spots.
Sometimes, the bond of the glue is more important than whether it dries clear -- for instance, when making jewelry. Use a "super" style glue or a jewelry adhesive that dries hard and works on both glass and metal. A glass and ceramic adhesive can be used to bond sea glass to glazed surfaces. When using super glues, a drop or two is often all that's needed to create the bond.
Step 1: Cleaning and Optional Sanding
Clean both surfaces thoroughly with water. If the glue recommends sanding them for a better bond, sand the areas that will receive the adhesive using a fine-grit sanding block. Wipe the pieces with a damp cloth afterward, then let the pieces dry.
Step 2: Fit the Pieces Together
Test the fit of the sea glass against or into the piece it is being bonded to, ensuring a snug fit before applying glue.
Step 3: Apply the Glue
Add a drop or two of the super glue or jewelry adhesive to the glass or the other surface. Press and hold the materials together for several seconds, then set them down and allow to air dry.
Read the adhesive instructions thoroughly when working with specialty adhesives such as super glues. Some require just a drop or two, while others may require a liberal amount. If the product says to use it in a well-ventilated area, open windows or use the glue outdoors to avoid breathing fumes.