There are so many crafts you can make with glass gems (flat marbles) for the home, garden, or fashion accessories (I’m not kidding). If you like some colour or bling in your crafts, you will probably find some ideas and inspiration here.
For more garden art tutorials, also see the top creative garden projects of the year.
If you are interested in all of the top garden art projects on this site, they’re listed here.
Supplies Needed for Glass Gem Crafts
Glass Gem Sources
Sources for Glass Gems / Flat Marbles
- I always like to find used / unwanted items for my projects and have good luck finding bags of glass gems at the thrift stores.
- You could also check online ads like Kijiji or Craigslist in case someone is getting rid of some.
- Otherwise, you can also find them at craft supply stores, dollar stores, Etsy, eBay, or Amazon.
- If you are planning a large or group project, or want specific colours that are hard to find, there are also sellers online who sell them in bulk.
The number one question people ask is What adhesive do you use to attach the glass gems?
For all of my glass gem projects I use GE Silicone II sealant (waterproof, clear-drying). Yes, it’s sold as a sealant to use around windows and doors, but, when applied 1/4″ thick, works like a glue, grabbing the marbles. You apply the sealant and press the glass gems into it while it’s wet.
As it dries, it sets up and holds the marbles in place. I have decorative garden balls that have been in my garden for over ten years (year round—in Canada) and only a few marbles have ever fallen off in that whole time. It really works.
If you want to know more, there’s a FAQ page here telling what you need to know to be sure things stick.
Safety Note: No matter which adhesive product you use, read the entire label for any health or safety considerations, and follow the instructions for application tips and drying times.
Free Glass Gem Project Ideas
Most of the projects listed below also have tutorials/instructions.
Projects for The Garden
1. Decorative Garden Balls | The modern day version of the gazing ball, covered in flat marbles.
2. Frog Prince | A spin-off of the decorative garden ball gets a crown and a big smile.
3. Garden Art Treasure Jars | This is both a craft and an activity for kids.
Indoor or Outdoor Decor Projects
4. Faux Stained-Glass Windows | Add glass gems or stained-glass mosaic tiles to an old window for a neat effect.
5. Little Sparkling Windows | Old picture frames become colourful dazzlers.
More Garden Art Ideas Using Glass Gems
6. Marbles in Your Fence | Add bling to fence holes by inserting colourful marbles
7. Painted Plates Garden Art | Make garden flowers from plates (with marbles for decoration). I also have free instructions for garden flowers from dishes here.
8. Garden Stepping Stones | DIY instructions (site no longer available)
9. Dragonfly | Make a little dragonfly with marbles and copper wire (image only)
10. Glass Marble Fridge Magnets | Get some flat marbles, magnets, and Mod Podge and you’re good to go
11. Wire-wrapped Marble Tutorial | You can use these as decorations on their own or add them to items like the garden chandelier.
12. Glass Gem Garden Bench | Example of a concrete bench embellished with glass gems (image only)
Indoor Crafts Using Glass Gems
13. Marble Picture Pendant | Uses marbles and polymer clay
14. Glass Gem Sun Catchers | Tutorial for making sun catchers with glass gems
15. Door Wreathe | This is an image without a tutorial but may give you an idea for your home
16. Glass Gem Initial | Cover a wood cut-out in flat marbles (image only)
17. Glass Gem Bookmark | A very simple craft. Could be fun to make custom gems (like the fridge magnets) and make them into bookmarks. (image only)
Here’s the Garden Art Supplies I Recommend
Which adhesive works best for garden art?