Most people who look for sea glass beads usually buy fake sea glass beads in soft pastel colors.
The Difference Between Real and Faux Sea Glass Beads
Small authentic surf-tumbled and rounded sea glass beads like those that come from buttons, marbles, ornaments, and lights are extremely rare. Moreover, they’re usually frosty not all perfectly symmetrical.
Most collectors tend to keep the sea glass beads they find.
The desire to use real surf-tumbled genuine sea glass beads may not realistic unless you buy them online from somewhere like ebay or Etsy. If you can find a reputable seller who offers authentic sea glass beads for sale, chances are good those beautiful, small drilled shards will be expensive.
Real Sea Glass Beads
How to Drill Sea Glass Beads
Another option is to drill holes in small sea glass shards from your collection or in those you purchase. The drilling process, however, can be tedious, especially if you have a lot of beads to drill. Also, you have to be careful when drilling holes in small sea glass shards because the smaller the shard, the more easily it will crack during the drilling process.
Most people who drill sea glass, drill the shards in water. In addition to prevent cracking, they drill halfway through the shard and then flip it over to drill the other side.
If you have a Dremel or drill press and a diamond bit, here’s a short video borrowed from YouTube that shows how to drill sea glass effectively.
Triple Ripple diamond drills work the best.
Make Sea Glass Beads
If you’re feeling extremely enthusiastic about making your own sea glass beads from glass beads, you can purchase a rock tumbler to make faux sea glass beads, as long as you don’t mind being a little patient. The nice thing about making your own sea glass beads is being able to choose the size and color of the glass beads.
You can also use an etching product to make faux sea glass beads called Etch All. You can even etch the glass beads you tumbled for a more authentic look.
Whether you’re drilling, tumbling, or etching glass beads, be sure to follow the directions and stay safe by following the safety guidelines.
Buy Faux Sea Glass Beads
Plenty of stores like Michael’s, Joann’s and other craft stores sell faux sea glass beads. Even Walmart usually sells them at relatively low prices. Sellers on eBay and Etsy also sell beautiful faux sea glass beads in soft pastel colors.
If you’re buying sea glass beads online, be sure to check the sellers’ feedback. Be careful about sellers who claim to sell authentic surf-tumbled sea glass beads, especially if the price seems too good to be true.