All That Glitters Made Into Sea Glass Mosaic Art

This nail art look came from a completely experimental and wacky part of my brain. It was a real blast taking glitters and transforming them into the sea glass mosaic nails you are seeing here. Are you ready for some craziness? Hope so…


I really wanted to go all out for my day four glitter design. This funky idea was cooked up in my head weeks ago, then created over the weekend in stages as my back would allow. But, I was stoked when they were done. Every time I would look down at my nails I smiled. The satisfaction of having your vision come to life, mostly how you were hoping, is the best! This glee often eludes us nail artists which makes the rare event something to cherish.

Growing up, I spent a lot of time with family living on Cape Cod. There was an abundance of entertainment for a kid finding treasures on the beach. Sea glass is particularly a fascinating find. When I was looking over the small stash of loose glitters in my craft drawer, I found some that were the perfect colors for sea glass. Then the idea formed.

Here are some examples of my inspiration: Mosaic Bedside Table, Sea Glass Mosaic Tray, Coastal Tablescape

Sea glass mosaic nails framed with driftwood and starfish

Sea glass mosaic nails framed with driftwood and starfish


Because it was the glitter week, I used loose glitters to create the sea glass stones from scratch. Using some 3-D nail decorations instead of glitters would have made this much easier, yet wouldn’t have been as much of a challenge, eh? LOL

Alright, let’s have some explanation about how exactly I made these weird and wacky nails.

Design Details

After an application of a plain white base, the mosaic nails started off as a simple glitter placement. I describe them as simple because I placed them fairly randomly and being round, they don’t require as much precision in lining them up against each other. I’ve never done a glitter placement nail art – so I thought this would be a way to get my feet wet.

After the first 2 coats of white were cured, I then applied another thin coat of the white gel polish but did not cure it.  Instead, I placed the circle glitters directly into the wet gel. I used a white wax pencil to pick them up and position them on the nail. After I had the glitters all arranged, I then cured the gel. This held them in place long enough to continue with the design, but if this was going to be the sole nail art, it would need a good layer of topcoat to hold them in place solidly.

By the way, I can now understand why people make those complex glitter placement designs — it is addictive fun! Random blurting over.

Then, after my mosaic nails were covered in glitter, I created the marble pattern on my driftwood nails by using blooming gel with a grey and a little more white. Once happy with the pattern, I cured. Next, I stamped the wood grain image on top.

That Was Just The Beginning

Next, it was time for the real fun – making the grout that would begin to give these the three-dimensional appearance. I painstakingly brushed on art gel with a tiny detail brush to fill in the spaces between each glitter piece.

I’ll show you the progression on my thumb:

Partially painted with art gel, beginning at the cuticle line

Completely filled in and encased the glitters in the art gel

The last step I took was to create the illusion that the glitters were actually pieces of smoothed sea glass. To do this, I used a dotting tool and added clear foil gel to each open area on top of the glitters.

I learned from doing my thumb, that the gel would do what gel does best and continue leveling until cured. So, on my middle fingers, I would flash cure every third of the way to keep the gel puffy and just over the glitters. In hindsight, I should have used a different clear gel that is meant to be 3-D. For the larger stones (glitters), I added a second layer so they would stand up even taller.

I did not topcoat these mosaic nails to preserve the lumpy bumpy imperfections. All that was left to do, was to put a matte topcoat on the driftwood and apply the starfish charms.

Polish Palette

Base, All Nails
  • Geláze | White On White
Driftwood Nails
  • Daily Charme | Blooming Gel
  • Geláze| Recycle
  • Dixie Plates | Autumn 01
  • Hit The Bottle | My Suitor Wears Pewter
  • Clear Jelly Stamper | The Big Bling
  • Born Pretty Store | Starfish nail decorations, Item #20116
  • Daily Charme | Stay Put Gelly
  • Dance Legend | Velvet Matt Topcoat
Sea Glass Mosaic Nails
  • The Sparkly Shop | circle glitters
  • Dance Legend | Ju.Bilej Arctic White Art Gel
  • Moyra | Foil Gel, Clear
  • White wax pencil
  • Lucu Gel | Liner 12 brush
  • Small dotting tool

NEW! Links to shop found on page: Kimett Recommends

They say, A picture is worth a thousand words

For rest of the post, I’m going to sit back and let the photos do my talking. That’s okay with you, yes? Again, I have the extrasensory perception going on and just know you’re nodding your head in agreement.

A blinged out version of seaside nail art


Did you notice the starfish have one leg which is shorter than the others?


Shiny happy nails in marine hues


Mood shot: Outdoor with snow in evening shade


My prop isn’t sea glass, rather it is a hand-formed glass suncatcher made by a Cape Cod artisan

Parting Thoughts

It is with eager anticipation that I now await your reactions. Please, please, tell me the thoughts running through your heads.

With crazy nail art like this one, I would completely expect both directions of the thumbs. It’s definitely not the kind of nail art everyone wants to wear, but it sure was interesting to make.


Well, ladies and gentlemen, there’s only one more day of The Digit-al Dozen’s All That Glitters. What on earth will I have for you next? No hints today though. Have you been keeping up with the rest of the gang’s nail art? Yes? Good for you. I’m a bit behind checking them all out…but I can’t wait to give them all a good read through this weekend. Also on my list of things to do while we’re snowed in, catch up on all your fabulous bloggy comments. Thank you, and keep ’em coming!


Till Next Time,

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