Make Beach Glass Earrings

comments (23) July 23rd, 2014     

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Jen_W Jennifer Worick, contributor
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With just a few pieces of beach glass and a Dremel tool, you can whip up a pair of earthy, summery earrings.
I picked four pieces of brown glass that are roughly the same size.
You need to use a diamond bit for your Dremel; it is designed to work on glass.
With just a few pieces of beach glass and a Dremel tool, you can whip up a pair of earthy, summery earrings.

With just a few pieces of beach glass and a Dremel tool, you can whip up a pair of earthy, summery earrings.

Photo: Jennifer Worick
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I used to crave souvenirs from trading posts, truck stops, and gift shops when I was on vacation. These days, I'd much rather pick up a natural item than an ill-advised T-shirt or tchotchke. When my wanderings take me to the beach, I sort of lose my mind, filling my pockets with rocks, shells, and the rare piece of beach glass. Over the years, the beach glass has accumulated, and I have bowls of it sprinkled throughout my home. I thought I'd take a few choice pieces and create a swingy pair of earrings. They were so quick that I'm thinking that my friends and family are going to be tricked out in glassy baubles in short order.

  I picked four pieces of brown glass that are roughly the same size.

You'll need:

  • Safety glasses
  • Old kitchen sponge
  • Shallow metal pan
  • Water
  • Four pieces of small beach glass
  • Dremel tool with 1/16-inch diamond drill bit
  • Chain-nose pliers
  • Six 7mm sterling silver jump rings
  • Two 5mm jump rings
  • Two ear wires
  • Clear nail polish (optional)

Step 1: Put on your safety glasses. Place a thick sponge, rough side up, in a shallow pan half filled with water. Get ready to drill holes in some beach glass. Start by placing your Dremel tool with the diamond bit at a 90-degree angle to the glass. It's best to position the hole near the edge of the glass so that you can attach a jump ring. Only the bit should be in the water; keep the rest of the Dremel well above and away from the water line.

  You need to use a diamond bit for your Dremel; it is designed to work on glass.

 

  Place your glass on a sponge in a shallow pan of water to do your drilling, and make sure the Dremel is positioned at 90 degrees to the glass.

Start with a low setting and let the drill do the work (in other words, don't push down). You'll know when you've completed your hole as it will "give" when it breaks through to the other side.

  The drilled hole is the perfect size for a jump ring. Just make sure to drill pretty close to the edge so you can get a jump ring in there.

On the opposite end of the glass, drill another hole so you wind up with a hole at the top and bottom of the glass; this piece serves as the top dangle of an earring. On a second piece of glass, only drill one hole; this piece will serve as the bottom dangle.

Step 2: With your chain-nose pliers, gently twist open a 7mm jump ring. Slip the one-holed piece of beach glass on the ring and twist the ring until the ends are snugly joined. Now, add a jump ring to one hole in the other piece of beach glass. Join the two pieces of glass by slipping a 5mm jump ring through the jump ring on each piece.

Step 3: Let's finish this gorgeous summery earring. Using chain-nose pliers, twist open another 7mm jump ring and slip it through the other hole on the two-holed (top) piece of glass. Slip an ear wire onto the jump ring and close.

  With just a few pieces of beach glass and a Dremel tool, you can whip up a pair of earthy, summery earrings.

Step 4: Repeat steps 1–3 for the other earring. If you like, you can add a dab of clear nail polish at the join of all your jump rings for added security.

In the future, you can find me at my website or blogs, Things I Want to Punch in the Face and Prairie Tales. My new book, Backcountry Betty: Crafting with Style, is in stores now.

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posted in: Jewelry, earrings, wearable, beachy, beach glass, dangles

Comments (23)

jinkarten writes: beautiful
Posted: 5:36 am on October 24th
munezlaine writes: great art work
Posted: 11:23 am on September 11th
fosterlaine writes: nice one
Posted: 2:37 am on September 11th
sandylaine writes: nice collectin dude
Posted: 10:02 am on September 10th
sunnylaine writes: good art work
Posted: 1:37 pm on September 7th
montylee writes: u did splendid job
Posted: 2:47 am on August 27th
Beadazzled writes: E-gads - where I go to the beach I don't find glass - but tons of plastic bottle caps. Maybe I'll do something similar to the beach glass earrings with those...actually the little seashells I find are prettier than the bottle caps!

Thanks for sharing your idea.
Posted: 1:50 am on July 16th
squirrel_ee writes: I think this project is a great idea, but the drilling technique is actually quiet unsafe. The spinning of the glass is not a good way to drill these pieces.

It would be better to get a pair of the wooden pliers (available at jewelry supply stores-like Indian Jewelers Supply in New Mexico) or take some rubber bands and wrap the jaws of the wooden pliers or a pair of adjustable pliers for some gripping action. Grip your glass firmly, lay the piece on a piece of wood or an old teflon cutting board(white ones), hang your pliers over the edge so the glass lays as flat as possible.
A silicon hot pad would also be an alternative in assisting the holding of the glass. Just cut off pieces to put under and for your fingers to hold.
Do not be afraid of the drill when your hands are close to it if you hold on it will not spin. If it does start to spin immediately stop the drill.

Put oil or water on the piece to make a slurry of waste and to assist with the glass flying around and small particles getting airborne.
Posted: 5:09 pm on July 12th
Nodan writes: They are very cute and creative designs, I like them.
Posted: 2:55 am on June 26th
NikkiBeMe writes: I LOVE sea glass. It's all unique shapes and beautiful. You did a really good job!
Posted: 1:23 pm on July 2nd
kershawgirl writes: Don't forget about businesses like Northern Tool and Harborfreight stores that will send you anything in the mail. They are online, and in many small cities. Remember that some tools are less expensive because they are inferior in some ways, but it may be just what you need if you are not going into business selling jewelry! If you just want a few pairs to give to friends, then I'd go there and buy my tools. All other items are very inexpensive. As a crafty person, I can't afford the best of everything, every time I go out to invest in new equipment.
Posted: 10:57 am on June 30th
Rooty_Tooty writes: Hi Bluecayuga --

Google Dremel Tools online to see what you can find. Dremel's own website should tell you who carries there products. It seems like the larger Hobby Lobby, Michaels & AC Moore stores should carry these as well as some of the hardware places (Lowes, Home Depot, Ace, Sears etc.) I'm guessing by your name that you live in a fairly rural region so you may need to travel to the city to find a store that carries what you need. You might also checkout online sites for these stores or sites like Amazon.com

Hope this helps.
Posted: 1:32 pm on July 2nd
scarlety123 writes: this was great.. thanks so much for sharing...
Posted: 11:07 am on March 8th
bluecayuga writes: Hi friends,
I'm new to the site, I love your lessons, detailed with photos and very well explained (I'm also an art teacher). I'm desperately looking for the best dremel I can buy for drilling sea glass, sea shells and maybe shale stones... thin and light weight. You seem to have lots of experience.. is your 'multipro model 395' your favorite? I have no idea where to purchase a strong dremel (and diamond bits). I'd be so grateful for help from any you folks who love this type of art as much as I do and have the time to pass on your tips!
t
hanks for all your wonderful inspiration,
bluecayuga
Posted: 11:54 am on July 29th
ginnysue1 writes: I love this. I do jewelry. Going to the beach soon & going to try this. I have a dremel. Wish me luck.
Ginnysue1
Posted: 10:07 pm on June 2nd
artisticblend writes: I LOVE IT!!! We just got back from the beach and found some wonderful sea glass. Now I have a project. THANKS SO MUCH! :)
Posted: 7:16 am on August 13th
hanniefaye80 writes: Love these! Wish I'd saved the beach glass I collected on my last trip to the beach. I'll think of this next time!
Posted: 8:54 pm on August 12th
crackedpot writes: these are great!!!!!!!!!!thanks

Posted: 8:15 pm on August 12th
Lisingreece writes: This is one of the best tutorials I have seen! The pictures are worth a hundred words. Thanks so much for taking the time to share with us.
Posted: 12:22 pm on May 17th
thea_starr writes: great tutorial!!!
Posted: 1:23 pm on March 31st
Sister_Diane writes: Beautiful earrings, and your drilling tutorial is super-helpful!
Posted: 6:57 pm on March 30th
Maureclaire writes: Fabulous ! And, I have a whole big jar of beach glass from Cap Cod !
Posted: 2:31 pm on March 30th
BluGinhm writes: These are beautiful! And I have some Lake Erie glass that would make beautiful ones!
Posted: 1:25 pm on March 30th
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