Tuesday, December 20, 2011

How to make your own sea glass

I'm a sucker for sea glass.  Last year we went to the beach in Delaware and I kept looking for those beautiful sea jewels...it gets so addictive.

I recently ran across a beautiful picture of sea glass on Pinterest.  I followed the link and in the comments someone mentioned you can make your own by shaking glass in a bottle with water and sand.  That was something I didn't know!

Okay, so I try it, and unless I want an epic shaking workout that lasts for hours, it's not happening --- FAIL.
Then I found a few neat tutorials on the Internet that I've been meaning to try.  One tutorial from Dave's Garden involves those little rock tumblers you had when you were a kid.

The instructions say to "fill the barrel with water so the level of water is just barely above your materials. Add three to four spoonfuls of common sand. Smooth a small amount of Vaseline on the outside of the barrel, then put the lid on securely and let 'er rip. If you simply want to knock the edges from the glass for handling, you don't have to run the machine for days on end. In fact, several hours will do a good job. You can take the tumblers off at any time and check for smoothness. The longer you leave the tumblers running, the smoother and rounder the pieces will become. Alter the time according to what you would like the finished product to look like. Remember, this will likely be a noisy process. If you have a garage or a covered area outdoors, it would be best to run your tumbler(s) where they may run continuously for days without causing anyone a headache."  The tutorial warns against overloading your tumbler {2/3 full is a best bet}.  {Click here for the full tutorial created by Karen Manasco on the Dave's Garden site}

Another tutorial involves a more industrial method is on YouTube.  I love this guy!  The tutorial is very good and provides instructions if you happen to have a cement mixer on hand --- not moi!  He created a bunch of sea glass for his garden beds and the result is just beautiful.  {Click here for that video}
The Evil Mad Scientist site also has a tutorial.  His glass {shown below} is also made with a cement mixer.
Here's my assessment, in order to do this well, you need an investment in time and materials.  Simply shaking a bottle of sand, water, and glass isn't going to give you the best results.  However, the results are beautiful, when you take your time and use the more heavy duty supplies.

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