My Obsession with the Hunt for Sea Glass

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I love to hunt on our Ventura beach for sea glass. Today I will be sharing a few tips and answering the common question, “what is sea glass?”.

It’s true. I am totally obsessed with sea glass. And when we bought our house at Ventura Beach we had no idea there was a lot of it on our beach. In fact, I walked the beaches regularly for two years and never noticed it!

Every time we come to the beach I always manage to find time to hunt for glass.

We are at the beach in Ventura for a week and glass hunting has been my favorite thing to do! (I love enjoying long walks on the beach while looking for glass!

In my defense, it’s not like this beautiful glass is just sitting in the sand waiting to be picked up. Instead, it rests in the rocks because it is so light it won’t stay on the beach unless it gets caught on something.

On a very rare occasion if a piece of glass is at the very top of the wave it might be left in the sand. But usually, the next wave takes it back to the sea. 

What is Sea Glass?

For those of you wondering what sea glass is, Wikipedia defines it as “naturally produced and genuine sea glass originates as pieces of glass from broken bottles, broken tableware, or even shipwrecks, which are rolled and tumbled in the ocean for years until all of their edges are rounded off, and the slickness of the glass has been worn to a frosted appearance”.

I collect sea glass wherever we are at our Ventura Beach house. The photo above is part of my collection in the window of our beach house.

You can buy manufactured “sea” glass at some craft stores, but this type is just glass tumbled in a large tumbler. It’s not the real thing.

How to find the best Sea Glass

Were Does Sea Glass Come From?

The common colors are green, brown, and white and are still in wide use today. Rarer colors of sea glass, such as aqua, cobalt blue, red and yellow are pieces that in many cases the color has not been made or used for many years.

The green glass comes from beer bottles, wine bottles, and soda bottles. White or clear glass comes from a ton of sources such as bottles, glasses, and windows.

The brown glass comes from beer and whiskey bottles and other popular household products.

Aqua or seafoam green (which happens to be my favorite color) comes from coca-cola bottles, some liquor bottles, and window glass.  

Cobalt blue comes from Milk of Magnesia bottles, many household bottles, and very old poison bottles.

The very rare red glass comes from Anchor Hocking glass, ship lights, car lights, and old bottles.

Sea Glass at Ventura Beach

About four years ago I was walking on the beach and I noticed some women on the beach who were hunting for something in the rocks. When I asked them what they were collecting I about died! I could not believe there was beautiful colored glass on the beaches right in front of our house. I have been a collector ever since.

Below are two photos of the glass I collected on one walk on the beach. My walk usually lasts a few hours and I spend a lot more time collecting than I do walking.

My sea glass finds at Ventura Beach

This was my “best haul ever”.

sea glass

Collecting Tips

My tips for collecting sea glass are to look for small rocks, about the size of a quarter. Try to go at low tide. If you can hunt after a storm or large waves you will find more sea glass. Wear shoes so you can spread the rocks with your feet. And most importantly, have fun.

Everybody also asks me what I do with the sea glass after I collect it. For now, I sort it by color and put it in these awesome vintage jars. I need to start looking for more jars because they are almost all full!

Sea Glass in Jars

This is what I call my “reject jar” which makes no sense since the red and yellow are by far the rarest of the sea glass I own. But they don’t match the color scheme of our home so I keep them well hidden. Haha.

Extra sea glass

I also have used my sea glass in these ball jar solar-powered lanterns by Sonnenglass. I filled each one with about an inch of sea glass.

Solar ball jars with sea glass
Solar ball jars with sea glass 2

And then I hung them above a table I set on the beach. 

Dinner on thee beach in Ventura

I love how magical the sea glass looked and the fact some of the sea glass I had collected that day was in the jars!

Dinner on the beach with solar lanterns

Someday I would like to try to make some sea glass jewelry. I love this sterling silver bezel wrapped jewelry you can find on Etsy.

sea glass jewelry

Photo by LitaSeaGlassJewekry.

Does anybody know how to make this bezel jewelry? Is it hard to do? Because I am dying to learn!

I also want to make a sea glass Christmas tree this year. Every time I see one on Pinterest I make a promise that I will make one!

Of course, I should probably buy one on Amazon instead! Isn’t the tree pictured below just wonderful? Last Christmas they were sold out everywhere! Click on the photo below to see this Christmas tree priced under $25.00.

In the meantime, you can find me hunting for sea glass on Pierpont Beach in Ventura every day this week. And please know, I will be loving every minute of it. 

Sport is loving it too.

My Sea Glass Cake

Last summer I had so much fun and made a Sea Glass Decorated Angel Food Cake!

Isn’t this just so much fun? Of course, the “glass” is edible.

Sea Glass angel Food Cake Recipe

Links to the Items Shown in This Post

Pin the image below to your Collecting or Summer decor boards on Pinterest (just click the Pin button in the top left corner). You can also follow along with me on Pinterest!

How to Collect Sea Glass

For more real-time updates, follow me on Instagram @My100YearOldHome

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  1. Here in Hawaii sea glass of every color can be found on the beach…brown, green and white are most prevalent. Local friends make different styles of jewelry…all beautiful.
    You have the creative talent to make unique sea glass jewelry…anticipating the reveal!
    I will continue to collect and enjoy the mosaic pieces…have even found glass with Japanese characters and other identifying marks…wonderful treasures!

    1. Oh wow, that is so special. I really want to go to Hawaii now just to see what you are talking about! I will have to see these beautiful pieces of sea glass pieces you have described.

  2. My Mom & I have been collecting sea glass for years (Mass/NH sea coast). I just used some of my stash to make a birdbath (grouted sea glass in a flower pot dish…super cute!)
    I have a reject jar too😂!!

  3. I am going to the beach in a few weeks and I will be looking for sea glass. Yours is beautiful and I love the way you have them displayed in the vintage jars.

  4. I too have an obsession with sea glass and collect if I see it. Once, my husband and I went on a cruise and one of the ports was TurKs and Caicos. I found a ton of it washed up on the beach. So beautiful!

  5. Love, love this article. We moved from Florida (where we have lived for over 40+ years to North Carolina and never thought about looking for “sea glass” when at the beach. Generally we were finding the conch shells instead. What beautiful and exquisite pieces.
    Thank you for sharing and above all the history of each colour.
    Blessings to you and your family.

  6. We used to go every year to glass beach in Mendocino every year! Here the entire beach is just sea glass!! Instead of sand glistening in the sun, it would be a beach of sea glass glistening like jewels. It was magical. After a few years we were like “that’s enough sea glass because we could haul them in bags there were so many! We would even see people bring buckets. Then it got discovered and more tourists started coming. I heard the state recently put a barrier so they could preserve what’s left.

  7. Love this Post! I grew up on the beach in Ventura and always loved collecting treasures! The illuminated jars are fabulous & charming. Thank you so much for sharing😊

  8. Leslie, I loved hearing about your sea glass collections. I collect it too & found a lot on the beach In Barcelona & also Hawaii. My favorite piece I made was covering a clear glass paperweight (that was chipped & had an old business logo on it)all over with green & White Sea glass. It is a beautiful mosaic that catches the sunlight

  9. Love your sea glass jars on the line…do you have fairy lights inside the jars? I would love to go sea glass hunting by am rarely around the Ocean….I’ll look on other beaches…very pretty and so fun to decorate with…

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