Monday, September 17, 2012

Make Your Own Sea Glass: Tutorial

If you don't have access to a beach but want to work with sea glass, what are your options? You can purchase it bulk from a number of sources. Bedrock Industries in Seattle is my favorite, with a large variety of recycled, tumbled glass. Another option? You can make it yourself!

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Beach glass is the frosted glass you find along a beach or sea shore. Glass rolls around in the sand as waves toss it back and forth. The frosted effect is caused by the sand slowly scraping its edges over the course of time.When left to tumble long enough, the glass eventually turns into sparkling sand.

Beach glass is frequently used in jewelry, stained glass, mosaics, and a number of other arts and crafts projects. Nowadays it can be difficult to come by, so it's in increasingly high demand.

So, following are the steps to make your own beach glass:

Make Your Own Sea Glass


1. Fill a tumbler barrel 3/4 full with broken, recycled glass.

2. Add water until you can see it just below the top layer of the glass.

3. Begin with a coarse grit, 60/90 silicon carbide. The amount you use is determined by your tumbler size. This step shapes your glass by rounding the edges.

4. Close the barrel and tumble your rocks for 7-10 days. Check the glass every day to see if it is round to your liking. Once it is, you can move on to phase 2.

5. Wash the glass, barrel, lid, and your hands. Be sure to pour the murky water outdoors, not into your sink.

6. Repeat phase one, using 120/220 grit silicon carbide. Allow the glass to tumble for 7-10 days, or until it has frosted to your liking.

7. For a more refined frosting, repeat the process one more time with 500 grit silicon carbide for 1 to 5 days.

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14 comments:

  1. So pretty! I love when people make mosaics out of these!

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  2. This is really cool! I never thought of making it myself. =0) I love the look of sea glass...It's just so pretty!
    ~Kim
    from Blogging Buddies
    2justByou.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Neither had I, until I looked around and saw how expensive it is to buy, and we don't have any on our river beaches around here!

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  3. Whoa!! This is the coolest diy ever :D
    Thanks for sharing such a fascinating tutorial!

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  4. I keep saying I need to get myself a tumbler...now I really want one. those blue stones are so pretty.
    Debbi
    -yankeeburrowcreations

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for yourcomment. I visited your blog and shop - very nice!

      Delete
  5. Awesome tutorial! Thanks a lot for sharing this one. I am really fascinated with sea glass. It looks so amazing and can make a great design.
    WhiteLightProductions.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow this is cool! I'd never thought that I could really made my own sea glass. Thanks for posting this tutorial. I live far from the beach and I love making crafts out of sea glass. Now it's not a problem anymore.

    SeaGlass.us

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh! This is really cool. I am glad you shared this tutorial. So cute! Thanks for sharing this tutorial.
    WhiteLightProductions.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow! What a great collection of sea glasses. And those sea glasses would surely make beautiful jewelries. Thanks for sharing this tutorial. I really love to give this idea a try.
    WhiteLightProductions.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. Couple questions if I may -- I'd really like to try this! First -- where would you suggest finding colorful recycled glass? Second -- how do you determine how much silicone carbide grit to use? I have a Lortone 3A tumbler. And third -- I'm assuming the grit is not reusable?

    Thanks for any suggestions you can offer!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment.

      Do you have a recycle center? Many break up their own glass to use as "gravel". You could try that.

      Here's a helpful link on tumbling and how much grit to use: http://geology.com/rock-tumbler/

      Unfortunately, the old grit can’t be reused because after seven days it breaks down too much to be effective in shaping.

      Have fun, and good luck!

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