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:
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.