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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Homemade "Beach Glass"

Perhaps Mother Nature's original "up cycle", beach glass is the result of water, sand, and friction on discarded bottles and jars, creating a beautiful, gem-like nugget that is often collected by jewelers, crafters, and lovers of the sea.  The Pisces in Miss Ginger makes her adore all things oceanic, and beach glass is no exception. 

It takes Mother Nature years to grind glass down into choice nuggets, and she disperses them so expertly that finding them is not so easy. Miss G is not a big fan of sand in her swimsuit, so she avoids the beach like the plague.  In her mind, swimsuits should be worn for competition only! 
No, not that kind of competition! 

This is the kind of competition that would get Miss Ginger into a swimsuit... but don't you love the way she worked in that shirtless picture of Michael Phelps?!

ANYWAY, you can create your own beach glass, right at home, with very little effort and not much investment!

You will need a rock tumbler, and you may even have one in your attic and garage from when you were a kid.  You can get dinky little toy ones at a craft store, but you can buy a substantial one like this for about the same price at Harbor Freight Tools. $40 bucks will get you going, and the only other things you'll need are glass shards, coarse garden sand, and a little water.
Miss Ginger saves all the broken pieces from her failed attempts at other projects, and picks out the most interesting shapes and colors to load into the tumbler.  She puts about an inch of sand in the bottom of the barrel, fills it about halfway up with glass shards, and then adds just enough water to cover the glass. You want to leave enough room for it to slosh around.  Screw the lid on tight, set it on the base, turn it on, and come back in 3-4 days. It's that easy!

After about 3 days, stop the tumbler and pull out a piece or two to see if they are "beachy" enough.  If they aren't, just put the lid back on and let them keep tumbling for a day or two more.  If they are, use an old colander to drain and rinse the pieces completely.  Do this in the yard, with a garden hose. Whatever you do, DO NOT put the used sand or resulting slurry in the drain! Trust me on this- if you do, you will end up with a clog in your sewer line (sometimes a year or two down the road) that will take excavation to fix!

For your patience, you will be rewarded with smooth, translucent pieces with rounded edges.  Nature's beauty, in less than a week- and no sand in your ass, either!!

1 comment:

Michelle Sanico said...

Very well article. Miss Ginger makes all things oceanic beautiful. What a nature's beauty


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