DIY Sea Glass




Introduction: DIY Sea Glass

Make your own sea glass - NO BEACH NEEDED!
Strolling down the beach is one of my favorite activities.  I love collecting sea glass and using it around my home to add to the decor.
I am fortunate to collect sea glass because I live close to the beach, however, not everyone else does.

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Step 1:

After much trial and error, I figure out a way to create your own DIY sea glass so everyone can have that laid-back beachy vibe as well!
- Broken colored glass (I used green and brown wine and beer bottles)
- Cement mixer
- Sand 
- Tap water and salt
- Filter (You can use anything from a sand sifter to a colander)

Step 2:

I wanted to make large volumes, so I used a cement mixer to mimic the waves of the ocean. The steel fins inside the mixer act as the large rocks of the ocean sea bed. I started breaking wine bottles into small pieces and stole some sand from the beach, and added it all to the mixer (you can use sand from a playground sandbox if you don't have beach access). I used tap water and added salt to it before I added it to the mixer and then turned it on.  After an hour, I checked and all the sharp edges had broken off. 

Step 3:

Run for four hours. After running, drain the excess the sand-water slurry through a coarse screen.
 Below are some pictures of glass allowed to run for different lengths of time.
The third picture is of pieces that were pulled out after one hour in the mixer. Their sharp edges are broken, and there’s light etching of the surfaces.
The fourth picture is of pieces that were pulled out after two hours in the mixer. The shapes are slightly more rounded, and the surfaces are beginning to frost heavily.
And (finally!) after four hours, the pieces begin to look a lot like what you might find washed up on a sandy beach (see last photo). 

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    5 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Nice post. I have suspected you can do this with something like a rock tumbler running for many days, but learning you can do this in bulk in just hours is great info. I agree with bricabracwizard, that you need the water. Even asbestos is safe when wet.

    I have fond memories of visiting desolate beaches on the shores of Lake Winnipeg when I was a child and finding beach glass that was as round and smooth as river rock. This glass was formed hundreds of miles away from any salt water, so I would have to also agree with andybuda that you do not need the salt.


    7 years ago on Step 3

    i really dont think there is any benefit of adding salt.. allso have you tried with building sand or course sand and with and without water.. i have allso thort of this idea but not had the time or a use yet.. i did find a piece of security glass that had the wire running through it and that looked very cool..


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I wouldn't run this without water. You'd get too much 'glass dust' which you'd end up breathing in....not good for the lungs!


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    tie abit of wet cloth over the mouth of the mixer with rope only an idea..i will try this idea out one day if its an old drum i might cut the paddles out i think this will help with the noise.