Searching for Sea Glass

While walking the beaches in British Columbia my eyes were always on the lookout for sea glass.  My quest on this trip was to find sea glass in various colours and sizes.

Sea glass can be found on just about any beach but there seemed to be two in particular that yielded the most. It makes you wonder why?  The photo above shows the beach areas at Clover Point in Victoria (top image) and the Glass Beach in Sidney (bottom image). These were two of the best places to search and find and of course the best time was when the tide was out.  The photo below shows the Glass Beach in Sidney, BC

The Glass Beach in Sidney, BC

Sea glass starts out as jars, bottles and anything made of glass that has been discarded or thrown to the landfill and even from ship wrecks.  It makes it way to the ocean where the waves tumble it and smooth it out.

Mainly bigger pieces of white and brown/amber were found at the Glass Beach in Sidney.

finding sea glass at the Glass Beach in Sidney, BC taken by

Sea glass is only found on salt water beaches while it is called beach glass if it is found on a fresh water beach.  But basically it is the same thing.  You can even make your own sea glass with broken bits of glass and a tumbler.  But of course it isn’t the same as actually finding it yourself.

finding sea glass in BC ay

Some days you found more than other days.  Many pieces are frosted and that is the result of the salt water reacting with the glass and chemically changing it.

finding sea glass at Clover Point, BC taken by

Sea glass started forming many, many years ago when everything went to the landfill.  Some of it can be hundreds of years old.  It is always fascinating to find a piece and wonder where did it come from, what was it originally and how did it end up on a particular beach.  The above photo shows some of the small pieces of sea glass found at Clover Point in Victoria, BC.  I’ve started to separate the shades of greens and blues out. These are the cutest little jars I found in a dollar store out west.  The smallest jar is about 4 cm or 1 3/4 inches tall and just perfect for displaying the little pieces of sea glass.

finding sea glass in British Columbia by

Certain colours are more prevalent than others.  We found lots of white, frosted white and amber/brown.  At first each colour will all look the same but once you sorted all the blues out (for example) you notice there are many different shades.

displaying the sea glass, shells and rocks at

Some of my favourite pieces of sea glass are pale green, light blue, pink/mauve.  Red is a rare colour and I wasn’t fortunate to find any that colour.  Along with some shells and small rocks I’m displaying some in a glass dish that has been in the cupboard for years and doesn’t get much use any more.  It is a fun reminder of collecting these items.

finding lake glass at the Cobourg Beach by

One piece of lake glass we found in Cobourg, Ontario was marked Heinz Co with the number 255 on it. Some research on the internet found a list of glass codes by the Heinz company. This one was from a 14 ounce ketchup bottle made between 1918 and 1943. Wow, it is an old piece!

So now I’m getting crafty with the sea glass. With a lot of the brown/amber and white pieces I made a sea glass candle.

How to make a sea glass candle at

With some shells and other bits I made some soap for friends and family.  I purchased a big bar of soap from Michaels using a 50% off coupon. It is a glycerine, unscented soap but you can get it scented or add your own scent if you wish.  You cut the bar into small pieces, melt a few at a time in the microwave in a glass measuring jug, pour into the mold so it is half full and let it almost set.  Then place a shell with a piece of sea glass inside it and fill the mold with more of the melted soap.  Let the whole thing set before trying to remove from the mold.  Sometimes you need to run it under hot water to release it from the mold.  If any soap bubbles appear at the top or the soap or the edges aren’t as smooth as you would like, I take a sharp knife and gently scrap away the bubbles and smooth the edges.

making shell and sea glass soap at

I’m piecing together some critters made with sea glass and shells.

sea glass critters at

This is a sea glass lighthouse that I made using sea glass mostly collected from the Sidney beach and a cutting board.

a lighthouse made with seaglass at

Other soap projects:

Do you collect sea glass or beach glass?  Where is your favourite beach to find it?  What do you do with it? Here are some other projects I’m made with seagrass.

Sea glass projects:

With everything in the world coming in plastic containers now, I wonder if sea glass/beach glass will eventually disappear.


The Crafty Side dabbles in: knit & crochetsewing & plastic canvas, Crafty’s projects, craf-tea ideaskids crafts, rock crafts, Christmas Ideas

11 Responses

  1. Lorrie

    I don’t know about Clover Point, but I do know that in Sidney, the garbage used to be taken off shore into the waters of Sidney Channel and dumped there. The glass that washes up on Sidney Beach is from those days. I would assume the same thing may have happened off of Clover Point. There does seem to be an endless supply of it!

    • Linda aka Crafty Gardener

      Thanks for that info Lori, it sure does make sense in accounting fir all the glass in Sidney. Hope you survived the storms you had on the island this weekend.

  2. Margy

    You are so crafty for sure. Sea glass soap. A friend here in Powell River found “lake glass” from bottles broken and exposed in Powell Lake during low water. He was born and raised here and says it was glass from a Japanese camp on the shore near the old shingle mill. He made the pieces into small necklaces. I couldn’t resist buying one to put with jar of ancient sea water from below 1000 feet. – Margy

  3. Maggie

    Sea glass has always fascinated me, I found some pretty pieces on the beach in Positano on the Amalfi coast a few years ago and keep them on my craft table, they have soft rubbed edges and are very tactile. Love your handmade soaps with the shell & sea glass centres. Happy Mosaic Monday.

  4. Lavender Dreamer

    Yes, I DO collect sea glass. I love the soap you made. It would be so pretty in a soap dish in the bathroom! I hunt for it when I go to Canaveral Seashore but I’m lucky to find 6 pieces! You really found a wonderful place to search. How neat! I’m SO envious! Hugs, Diane

  5. Angie

    We don’t get to coastal beaches often, and when we do they seem to only have shells. Impressed with your creativity with the glass!

  6. Margie

    What a cool collection! I’m drawn to the mauve glass as purple is my favourite colour.

  7. Mary Howell Cromer

    Beautiful…every time I go to the beach I walk the waves and look for sea glass. Not always very successful, but have a couple that I cherish.

  8. Teresa

    I love sea glass, but since our beaches here are mostly sandy, we rarely find it. The soaps look beautiful. Thank you for joining The Really Crafty Link Party this week. Pinned!

  9. Jane Timmins

    Me too, love sea glass. It’s sometimes known as “ mermaid’s tears”.

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