I have an entire shelf filled with adhesives. Multiple brands of decoupage, in different finishes (matte, glossy, glittery, pearly), glue for fabrics, glue for paper, all-purpose glue, fast-drying glue, super strong glue, glue sticks, the list goes on… when I was asked to review Beacon’s Sea Shell Glue, I knew it was official: there is now a glue for everything.
Beacon’s Sea Shell Glue is designed for use with… Sea Shells. Shells can be tough to craft with because of their unusual shape. There are curves or narrow edges to be glued, so you need a strong glue that can hold the entire shell in place, even if only a portion of the shell is in contact with the frame, box, ornament, or whatever you are gluing the shell to.
I pulled out my seashells and got to work. My first hurdle was in opening the bottle. The instructions say to snip off the tip. I snipped, but got no glue. So I snipped again. And a third time. And then realized that there was an insert between the cap and the bottle that needed to be removed. I unscrewed the cap, removed the insert, and was in business. (Sometimes the “dummy” in “Craft Test Dummies” is all-too appropriate.)
I started by using the glue to make a sea shell ornament. I had a shell necklace that I cut apart, and glued the shells onto a paper maché ornament form. The shells came from a necklace, so had some kind of shiny finish on them. I covered the entire top of the ornament with the shell glue and got to work. After a few rounds, the glue was already starting to dry. I worked in sections instead, but was pleasantly surprised at how quickly the glue began to set.
Much less pleasant was the smell. It can best be described as walking into a nail salon. The glue has a very strong odor that reminds me of nail polish and nail polish remover. After I finished my projects, I opened the window and closed the door to my craft room to allow the smell to waft out into the world. If you are planning to use this glue for an extended time period, I would recommend a very well ventilated area.
Next, I tried the glue with shells purchased at the craft store. These shells had no finish on them, but were lovely and large.
The glue is thicker than plain white school glue, but a little thinner than very hot hot glue. It is a not-quite-clear gel. I used these shells on a wooden door hanger. The trickiest part was making sure to get the glue on the parts of the shell that were really touching the door hanger. Once I got that figured out, gluing the shells in place was simple.
I couldn’t immediately hang the door hanger after setting the shells in place. Though the glue has an immediate tackiness, it does not fully grip or set immediately. The bottle says to allow the glue to dry for 12-24 hours. In an hour I found it was set enough for me to move, though I’m sure it needs the full time to completely set.
My final project was gluing the shells to glass. On a recent beach trip, I collected sand and small shells. Eventually I want to decoupage a photo to the glass jar, filled with sand from the beach. I thought that gluing the small shells to the top of the jar would look perfect.
Other than washing the salt water from the shells, these shells are completely untreated. I put a layer of glue on the glass top, then set the shells into place. The glue dried very clear, and I’m happy with the result.
Living in Las Vegas, I don’t have many opportunities for gluing shells to things. With a shelf full of other all-purpose adhesives, I wanted to see if the Sea Shell Glue would work as an all-purpose adhesive as well. Since the Sea Shell Glue was handy, I used it when working on a mason jar craft, gluing the lid to the jar.
It worked just as well gluing together metal and glass as it did gluing the sea shells. Which might have been too well, since later I wanted to unscrew the lid and there was no turning back. The lid is on there permanently.
If you have a large project or multiple projects coming up that use sea shells, and you don’t mind working in a well-ventilated area, I say pick up the Beacon Sea Shell Glue – it is a great glue for this purpose, and if you have any left over you can use it for other non-shell projects that require glue. However, if you’re only doing a single project, there is no need to rush out and buy the Sea Shell Glue. You’ll be just as happy with a multi-purpose glue, saving your pennies for another fun crafting purchase.
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