One of my favourite beach activities is collecting sea glass. Normally, I just find a few pieces here or there but, while my niece was visiting, we discovered a beach covered in sea glass. The beach was busy with beach goers, crab fishers and of course, other sea glass collectors.
Finding a place near you can be tricky, especially, if you do not live near the ocean! If you are not lucky enough to obtain natural occurring sea glass yourself, there are many ways to obtain them or make them yourself!
There is an acrylic paint by Martha Stewart which gives the appearance of worn sea glass. There are many resources on Pinterest on how to create your own seaglass. If you do not want to make your own, try looking online for places that sell them. Local craft stores tend to sell sea glass but the prices can be all over the map.
If you decide that you want to go out and find your own sea glass, keep a few things in mind while searching the beach.
- Make sure you have good foot wear. Water shoes work well. Some beaches have super rocky shorelines which become slippery and dangerous. A lot of rocks are covered in barnacles that can easily cut into unsuspecting toes so it is important to stay safe while treasuring hunting.
- Make sure you bring a bucket or bag you aren’t afraid to make stinky. For the most part, seaglass has been tumbling in the ocean for decades. It shouldn’t surprise you that they smell like shells and seaweed. The scent can linger so make sure you aren’t using your favourite bag to collect the glass in.
- Be sure to look under rocks and crevasses. If the beach is known for seaglass, chances are there are other people searching for some too. I found that the nicest colours are untouched in dark crevasses or under other rocks.
- Watch for Critters! Watch where you step and which rocks you move! More than once, I came across little sea critters hiding between and under the rocks. Do not disturb too much of the beach. Carefully, put rocks back when you are done moving them and be careful not to scrape off barnacles or step on other little critters.
- Help out. Even if the beach is public, clean up garbage as you go. It helps keep the ecosystems clean and the beaches safe.
Alright, you managed to gather up your stinky beach glass, now it is time to clean them. I found that washing them in warm soapy water helped to get the grime off. It took a few washes before most of the bits of seaweed came off. I used a toothbrush to scrub off any remaining grime after I rinsed thoroughly.
Once I cleaned off the chunks of dirt and sea grime, I soaked my sea glass in a bowl of warm water with four tablets of Denture Cleaning Polident: Overnight. Polident “deep cleans overnight, kills 99.9% of odour-causing bacteria and other microorganisms, reduces tough stains,” and makes your sea-glass smell minty fresh.
The next day, I did two more final rinses before laying my sea glass out to dry.
Now, you are probably wondering, “what can I do with sea glass, Muse?” My response to that is, “anything!” I’ve explored Pinterest for hours, gathering information on sea glass crafts. You can make everything from jewelry, to sculptures, to sun catchers, and even picture designs. PINTEREST!
I’m hoping to make many sun catchers for my patio garden so I decided to put clear nail polish on a selected group of sea-glass to make them more transparent. Most of the sea glass was a bit ‘foggy’ from all the erosion that has occurred. I found that clear nail polish helps to make the sea glass shiny and clear. I coated one side of the piece of glass first and let it dry before coating the other side.
I plan on wire wrapping my sea glass but it is also possible to drill holes in the glass to make them easier to attach to your projects. Spend some time exploring the internet and reading up on all the amazing ideas that involve sea glass!