I think I figured out what the magic of sea glass is: it’s the hues.
As a born and raised Floridian who grew up a few minutes from the beach, I can honestly say I have never, EVER, found a piece of sea glass on the beach. Shells, sand dollars, shark teeth, more times than I can remember, sure – I’ve found them. But sea glass? Not once.
Right around now you are probably wondering why the heck I am telling you this. I’m telling you this as I’m trying to work out why I never really developed any opinion on sea glass, and I’m curious if maybe this logic checks out with you too. Initially, my thought process goes something like this: I grew up in Florida, which has lots of tourists and snowbirds. Tourists and snowbirds seem to LOVE the traditional beachy looks with sea glass and shells, so it is EVERYWHERE. Since it is everywhere, and not really done in a unique or modern twist, it generates a fairly dim reaction when I see it. Even more so along those lines, most people I know who don’t really fit the snow bird role, tend to have similar “meh” reactions to sea glass. But then I go on Pinterest and put in sea glass, and sweet goodness you’d be overwhelmed with all the sea glass love on there.
What’s so special about sea glass? Sure, the stuff that actually washes up from the ocean is intriguing because of its history and the process needed to make it what it is when it washes up on the shore. But beyond that, what does sea glass DO for people? The argument could be made that the colors are calming, and I can agree with that. The shapes are semi organic and have a soft, gentle hue to them. I also agree. But how does it contribute to the decor or piece the sea glass is mixed with? It’s got to be the hues!
When you take a few minutes to think about the following question I pose, I want you to think about your real life experiences, and then maybe take a quick look on Pinterest to help fill in any blanks. But in all sincerity:
When was the last time you saw a blue centerpiece?
All that comes to my mind are blue hydrangea around Easter time, and the same blue and purple orchid submerged in water centerpiece a million times on Pinterest. Oh, and of course the cobalt blue vase with white or yellow flowers. That is it. Now, I’m sure the argument could be made that because blue is not really a naturally occurring color in flowers that are mass-produced and grown, that is partly why. But thinking about it further, what blue decor do you see in the seasonal sections at your local craft or home decor stores that is really something that makes sense as a centerpiece or table decor? I can’t think of much.
It’ no wonder why sea glass is as popular as people make it, because it all makes sense now. The hues of the sea glass must be what makes people like it. Blues and greens that are soft and rough at the same time make for excellent contrast on neutral surfaces or with other shells or general decor. The sea glass hues pop in shades that most people don’t see in their table or home decor. And, for the most part, sea glass can be used on its own, or mixed with other elements and still be something different and colorful all at the same time.
After working all of this assumed reasoning out on why I think people are drawn to sea glass, and maybe why I’m not normally interested by it, I knew I had to challenge myself to create a sea glass inspired tablescape that would help me change my mind about sea glass. And you know what? I did! Here’s my completed sea glass hues summer tablescape:
Generating a summer tablescape that embodied the natural sense of sea glass, while maintaining a level above the predictable sea glass decor, as well as with a modern twist was my goal. I couldn’t be more pleased with how my tablescape came out; I love the look!
Speaking specifically to the centerpiece, which had gone through several revisions until I was really able to hone in on the look I was trying to create, I think it is such a great centerpiece that has so much potential to scale to fit any sized table or decor needs. The sea glass looks nice enough on its own on a dry surface, but there is something about the way it looks when it is submerged in water and the sun is shining through it that makes it look so calming and soothing. It’s got to be those hues!
Here are some pictures that help show the centerpiece with, and without, the water element:
Makes a difference, wouldn’t you agree? To help show you how this sea glass centerpiece was used and to share some of my tips on how to use less vase filler, or in this case sea glass, check out my tutorial:
Of course, it’s not just the centerpiece that makes the look. The double charger with a rolled napkin and complimenting napkin ring stand out in all the right ways over the dark blue tablecloth
Even with the sun shining at different parts of the day, the sea glass hues continue to look spectacular.
So how much did this summer sea glass hues tablescape cost to make?
- Blue tablecloth – purchased at my local Boys and Girls Club thrift store for $3
- Brushed metallic glass chargers – purchased at my local Goodwill for $7 for a set of 4
- Textured glass charger plates – purchased at my local Goodwill for $5 for a set of 4
- Teal cotton napkins – purchased at Bed Bath and Beyond for $10 for a set of 4
- Sea glass bauble napkin rings – $3 each at Bed Bath and Beyond
- Blue and green plastic margarita cups – bought a set of 4 cups for $2 at my local Goodwill
- Tall clear glass vase – $4 at my local Goodwill
- Inner glass vase – (watch the video to see what I’m talking about!)
- Floating candle – had left over from my rainbow unicorn dreams tablescape
- Sea glass fillers – were all purchased at Michael’s with coupons. I used (2) 28 oz bags at $3.60 each, as well as (6) 16 oz bags at $2.10 each
That brings our total to create the sea glass hues tablescape to about $63.
Now I’m not thrilled about the price in all honesty. If you have kept up with my 2017 tablescape challenge, you know I like to keep these looks under $50, at most. Actually, a fair few of my looks have been in the $20 range. But things escalate quickly, and I get excited about an idea and the next thing you know – you have a lot of sea glass and some pretty fancy napkins.
But that’s ok. I’m already thinking of some other tablescapes to join some of the more costly elements of this look so the cost is spread out a little. Any suggestions are most welcome!
Don’t forget to pin these for future reference, you never know when you may draw on this summer sea glass hues tablescape for inspiration: