Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Faux Sea Glass



A few weeks ago I was able to collect some glass bottles from a very old abandoned dump in the Utah desert on a fun day trip with some family members. We braved high heat and lots of puncture weeds to find the pieces of glass. My kids had fun...it was a "treasure hunt" for sure. 


Here's a picture of some of the glass with the dirt still on it. We mostly found pretty lavender and aqua colored glass. I thought it would be fun to put some of it in my rock tumbler and make some sea glass out of it. 


I found a sea glass tutorial at The Comfy Crafter and followed a similar process, except my glass was already broken so I didn't need to worry about that step, and instead of using rock polishing grit which is kind of expensive I only used about 1/2 cup or so of washed play sand from Home Depot. As you can see in the picture above it's a really gritty sand and it worked very well. The brand I got was from Classic Stone and they don't have it online but I think any coarse sand would do the same thing. The bag is 40 lbs. or so and it was only a few bucks.


I tumbled mine with a few pebbles as well and checked on them every 12 hours to see how things were going. After 2 days when the edges were really smooth, I took them outside and dumped them in an old strainer I use for jewelry stuff and rinsed them off. After they dried they went frosty and looked like this:



So pretty. They look like little gems and I love how thick and chunky the antique glass is. I can only do small batches in my rock tumbler, but I think I'll keep doing some and display them in a glass jar. So here's the process in a nutshell:

Faux Sea Glass

  • rock tumbler
  • glass pieces (don't fill more than 1/2 to 2/3 full so everything has room to tumble)
  • 1/2 cup coarse washed play sand
  • a few pebbles
  • water (enough to barely cover the glass/sand)
Let tumble until the glass is as smooth as you want it, checking every 12 hours or so. I tumbled this glass 48 hours.

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