Glass Fishing Floats / Japanese Glass Floats for Nautical Decor

Glass Fishing Floats / Japanese Glass Floats for Nautical Decor

Full disclosure – this upcycling idea and tutorial was first published in July of 2014. But in the years since, the product I used to make these glass fishing floats went off the market. So, I started from scratch with new products, MUCH better photos, and the cutest Japanese glass floats that are simple and inexpensive nautical decor. Who says beach home decor can’t come from the thrift store anyway?

You don’t mind, right? I mean, chances are, you never even SAW this 4+ year-old project of mine. But it’s a GOOD project (in my not-so-humble opinion), easy to make and with pretty results. And thanks to this more recent project of mine, I knew exactly which currently-available product would be a excellent replacement.

Recycling Glass Vases / Bowls into Fishing Floats for Nautical Decor

So, let’s get right to it: Fishing Floats or Japanese Glass Floats. You know what I’m talking about, right? Colorful glass orbs covered in knotted fishing net? Real, authentic glass floats range in size and can be cost-prohibitively expensive.

Way back when I first started my blog, I made my own version…and I’ve done it again, starting with several clear glass fish bowl vases from the thrift store. This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Recycling glass vases and glass bowls at thrift store into Japanese glass floats for nautical decor by Sadie Seasongoods

To give my glass bowls some rich, gorgeous color, I used a couple of shades of stained glass spray paint.

Stained glass spray paint by Krylon to transform glass vases into fishing floats or Japanese glass floats by Sadie Seasongoods

This stuff is easy to use, but takes several light coats to achieve rich color. Worth the effort, though, because look how gorgeous they look!

And, it’s really not that much effort- light coats dry very quickly.

Recycling glass from the thrift store into glass fishing floats with stained glass spray paint by Sadie Seasongoods

Now comes the more tedious, but oddly satisfying, part- creating the fishing net around the bowls! You could, I suppose, cut up existing fishing net (there are craft versions like this one). But, I wanted to do it on my own, using household cotton twine from the hardware store.

Net making using cotton string to my fishing net decor for Japanese glass floats by Sadie Seasongoods

Net Making with Twine or Cotton String

Here’s how I made the fishing net that holds the glass fishing floats. Beware, there will be LOADS of photos to show all the steps. But I promise you, once you get the hang of it (and it really is easy), you’ll be a fishing net knotting champion.

Ok, first, I cut a long length of twine (several feet long) and folded it in half, so that I had a loop end and a double-tail end. This is your “anchor”.

How to tie fishing net with cotton twine to create fishing floats to use in nautical decor or coastal decor by Sadie Seasongoods

Then, I cut more long lengths of twine, folded them in half, and looped them around your anchor like this:

All purpose twine used in net making or tying fish net for beach home decor on fishing floats by Sadie Seasongoods

I did this 7 or 8 more times until I had a nice row of them…

How to make fishing net to use in nautical decor or coastal decor with Japanese glass floats by Sadie Seasongoods

Next, I pulled the anchor tail through the anchor loop, eventually pulling tight so that the strings resembled a flower or a sea star. Make sure you don’t pull your row of 7 or 8 tails through the loop- keep them on the inside!

Net making to use on glass fishing floats made by recycling glass vases and bowls from the thrift store by Sadie Seasongoods

This is what it should look like…

Using cotton twine for net making around Japanese glass floats for nautical gifts by Sadie Seasongoods

Fishing Net for Glass Fishing Floats

Now I was ready to start knotting the fishing net around the Japanese glass floats! First, I placed the “anchor flower” in the center of the bottom of one vase, and hot glued it in place so that it was nice and flat.

How to make glass fishing floats to use as coastal decor or beach home decor with glass vases from the thrift store by Sadie Seasongoods

Net making required taking one tail each from two consecutive knots and knotting them around each other the way you’d tie off a balloon.

Tying knots in twine to create fishing net for beach home decor with Japanese glass floats by Sadie Seasongoods

I did that all the way around the vase, and then did it again with neighboring knot tails. This forms the diamond pattern of fishing nets!

Upcycling vases and bowls into fishing floats to use in nautical decor or beach house decor by Sadie Seasongoods

Very much like macramé, right? Anyway, the number of knotted “rows” depends on the size of your glass vase or bowl, but mine ended up looking like this.

DIY fishing floats made by recycling glass from the thrift store such as vases and bowls by Sadie Seasongoods

Then, I carefully added a drop of hot glue under each knot and then trimmed off the excess tails.

Japanese glass floats for nautical decor or nautical gifts with upcycling idea from Sadie Seasongoods

Fishing Floats for Beach Home Decor / Nautical Decor

To cover up the little tails, I then wound a long length of twine around the neck of my vase several times over. After that, I carefully hot glued the ends down flat and neat.

Doesn’t that look great?? Just like Japanese glass floats you see in antiques stores or home decor stores.

Nautical decor or beach home decor with glass fishing floats made by recycling glass from the thrift store by Sadie Seasongoods

You can also alternatively wrap your anchor loop around the top of your vase, as I did with the tall turquoise one and the larger green one. It just depends on the vases and bowls you find at the thrift store!

Fishing floats or Japanese glass floats that are made by recycling glass from the thrift store into nautical decor by Sadie Seasongoods

I’ve already used these in my Lake House Decor post using thrift store pieces and upcycling ideas / repurposed projects! Did you see them tucked into my display?

How to find lake house decor or lake house decorating ideas at the thrift store and with upcycling ideas by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Like I mentioned before, I found the knotting exercise to be oddly satisfying, they way embroidery is satisfying. But there may be easier work-arounds, like cutting up decorative nets.

I hope you don’t mind that I republished this- especially if you’ve been a long time friend and remember this original project post from four years ago. I just felt like it deserved a reboot once the product became obsolete!

Looking for more upcycling ideas for coastal decor / nautical decor? Please check out this collection of repurposed projects for beach home decor before you go!

Upcycling Ideas Beach home decor, coastal interiors, and nautical decor ideas as compiled by Sadie Seasongoods

Craft on!

S

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Comments

  1. Nice. I managed to buy some real floats at an estate sale. They didn’t come with the netting over them.

  2. Love this! I am planning on trying this as I love the finished product!

  3. Super great idea! I love the color too! Super fun. They would also make cute little vases. They would look just perfect with fun flowers. 🙂 I am pinning this to my DIY for 2014 board!

  4. How crafty and a great tutorial on how to do a mock fish net around the glass. Thanks for sharing on Merry Monday. Pinned.

  5. This is such a cute craft! I love it!

    -Lara

  6. Well, I didn’t know you in 2014, so I appreciate this!! THANK YOU! I absolutely love your blog!

  7. Hope Smitherman says

    I have a jar on my table (that I received as a gift) that is this style. I’ve been studying the netting for ages trying to figure out the best way to do it myself. You’ve solved that for me! Thanks for the tutorial!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      You are so very welcome, Hope!! Let me know how it goes for you- it’s not as intimidating as it might appear, I promise!

  8. I do remember this project, but how could we possibly mind that you republished this? It’s better than ever, so THANK YOU 🙂 I’ve always wanted to try my hand at fish net and never got around to figuring it out so you’ve saved me so much time – lol! I can think of so many other applications!

  9. These are so pretty and they don’t look to awfully hard to make. Perfect for making some pretty beachy decor!

  10. Thanks for the shout-out and feature!! I grabbed a button. 🙂

Trackbacks

  1. […] am in L-O-V-E with these “DIY Japanese Fishing Floats” from Sadie Seasongoods. […]

  2. […] DIY Japanese fishing float vases by Sadie Seasongoods […]

  3. […] last but not least, the glass fishing floats in the inspiration photo! You might actually recognize those as a blog post I recently re-published– they’re easy to make using thrifted glass bowls and vases. So…right in line with […]

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