Most serious sea glass collectors shun the idea of making their own sea glass.
Sometimes, however, it may be too difficult to find all the sea glass you need for a project. You may also need specific sizes and rarer colors of sea glass like red, orange, yellow and purple.
Making faux sea glass is not that difficult, but it can take a little time and patience.
How to Make Fake Sea Glass
Things You’ll Need to Make Faux Sea Glass
Rock Tumbler. The first thing you’ll need is a basic rock tumbler. You can purchase one of these at places like a hardware store, a craft store, Amazon, or you may even find a good deal on a used one on Craigslist.
Grainy Sand or Grit. You’ll need some grainy sand from the beach, or you can purchase some grit at a hardware store.
Glass. You can collect glass from everyday things around your home like wine bottles, beer bottles and soda bottles.
One of the best things about making your own sea glass is you can create some made from a lot of different colors. If you need cobalt blue sea glass, check out nearby grocery or drug stores for products that come in blue glass bottles like Milk of Magnesia. For green glass, buy some Perrier or Pelagrino sparkling water. You can also purchase different color glass sheets from a craft store and buy a glass cutter to cut specific shapes.
Other places to find inexpensive glass include local thrift shops in your area such as The Salvation Army.
How to Tumble Glass
Wear gloves and safety goggles.
First, you’ll have to break glass into small sizes. Most sea glass is about the size of a quarter and smaller. Most shards are also triangular in shape.
Plan to break glass outside your home, like on your walkway or driveway.
Break glass into small pieces by putting it into a double paper bag, placing it on a hard surface and hitting it with a hammer. There will be a lot of little slivers of broken glass, so put a wet paper towel inside the bag before you start breaking the glass. Most of the glass slivers will stick to the wet paper towel.
Keep banging and breaking the glass unit it’s the size you want.
Place the broken glass into a rock tumbler. Do not fill the tumbler all the way with broken glass. Instead fill it about two-thirds. Add enough water to cover the glass and add about 1/2 cup of grainy sand or grit. Turn the tumbler on and let run. Check the rock tumbler every two days. Rinse the glass and add new water and sand if you want to continue to tumble the glass. Continue to tumble the glass until its appearance looks satisfactory.
One caveat for making fake sea glass in a rock tumbler: Most people put their tumbler in the garage or basement when it’s on because the machine can be noisy.
Make Sea Glass with a Cement Mixer
It seems a bit unconventional, but here is an interesting way to mass produce fake sea glass using a cement mixer. I found the video on YouTube, and the tumbled shards of glass look nicely rounded and frosty for faux sea glass.
“Twice Tossed” Glass
Some people use poorer grades of authentic sea glass found along the shore and use a rock tumbler to improve appearance; however, these shards are still considered fake sea glass by most sea glass collectors.
Etched Sea Glass
You can also make sea glass by etching. All you’ll need to do is buy an etching product like EtchAll. Simply dip the glass in the etching product. Be sure to follow the directions and take the necessary safety precautions. Some people etch sea glass after they’ve tumbled it.