While originally used as part of a game, marbles are a common collector’s item due to their colored glass and patterned swirls. Many people showcase marbles by placing them in a glass vase or bowl. Crafting with marbles can add a decorative touch to functional items, such as magnets, flower pots or picture frames.
Transform flat marbles (found in the floral section of most craft stores) and old magazines or postcards into magnets customized to fit your interests. Find old magazines, wrapping paper, postcards or other items with interesting prints that you want to use to create your magnets. Make sure the image fits well under the magnet by placing it on the area as a test. Spread a layer of craft glue on the design with a paintbrush. Position the back of your marble over the design and gently press down on it. Allow the glue to dry for 20 minutes and then cut closely around the marble. Hot glue a 1/2- to 3/4-inch magnet to the back of the marble.
Marbles add a decorative touch when glued onto a plain terracotta flower pot. Use a plastic knife to spread a layer of tile grout on to a clay pot. Stick marbles into the grout. You can cover the entire thing in marbles or add in other materials, such as pieces of flat glass, beads or broken chunks of tile. After you finish, spread a bit more grout onto it so that all of the edges are well covered. Wipe the entire surface with a damp sponge to remove any grout film from the surfaces of the marbles.
Refurbish a boring or outdated frame by embellishing it with marbles. Lightly sand a picture frame and wipe away the dust. Coat it with primer and then paint it. Any paint color works well, but remember that you will be able to see the color through the marbles. Use a hot glue gun to secure marbles all around the frame.
Fried Marble Necklace
Fry your marbles to give them a crystallized, cracked look that makes a good focal point for a pendant necklace. Put the desired amount of marbles in a cold, dry skillet and turn the heat to medium/high. Stir constantly for 15 to 20 minutes and then immediately pour the marbles into a pan of ice water. The change in temperature will cause the inside of the marble to crack and crystallize while the outside stays the same shape. Slip the marbles into a pre-assembled wire bead cage (available in the jewelry/beading section of craft stores) or wrap with decorative wire and thread with a ribbon or cord.
A former children's librarian and teacher living in Dallas, Erin Carson loves to share her knowledge of both literature and parenting through her writing. Carson has a master's degree in library science and a bachelor's degree in English literature. As a freelance writer, Carson has published numerous articles on various websites.