Sea Glass Hunting on the Outer Banks

Sea glass is one of the coolest things you can find while strolling the beach aside from seashells. If you’ve taken a couple long walks on the beach, you may have found sea glass before and had no idea what it was or how it got there. Sea glass comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors and can be found in various parts of the beach, but what is it? It begins as a regular shard of glass that gets tumbled repeatedly in the ocean waves, making the once sharp edges smooth and rounded and giving it a frosted appearance.

You may think that you can just go to any craft store and buy a whole bag of sea glass, but this glass is typically not weathered by the sea at all, instead it’s placed in a rock tumbler to mimic natural sea glass. If you’re just looking for beach themed décor, this is a beautiful and much easier found option, but combing the beaches with your friends and family is a lot more fun!

Now that we know what it is, let’s talk about where in the Outer Banks to go sea glass hunting and what you can do with your found treasure.

There isn’t an exact science as to when and where you will be guaranteed to find sea glass, but there are a few places and times that can increase your chances. In most cases, sea glass is found hidden among piles of broken shells and pebbles that get washed ashore by the tides. The earlier in the morning you go searching through these areas, the less people have gotten a chance to comb the beach ahead of you, making your chances of finding the glass higher. By the same token, less people are typically on the beach in colder months, making it a great time to go looking for shells, sand dollars, and sea glass. Some of the best places in the Outer banks to search are Carova and Bodie Island, but it’s possible to find it on any stretch of the Outer Banks. To further increase your chances of striking hidden sea glass treasure, many locals believe that hunting for sea glass during low tide, a full moon, or after a big storm results in larger than average sea glass findings because the sediment on the sea floor gets stirred up, uncovering “new” sea glass!

If you’re like me and refuse to let something so beautiful just sit in a jar, there are plenty of cool crafts and do-it-yourself décor ideas on Pinterest to put your findings on display. Here are a few:

1. Wall Art

sea glass craft wall artIf you have a pretty large collection of sea glass and shells, you can make a large piece, or keep it small. This example is super easy and fun to recreate and lets you put your creativity to work. Just grab a couple wooden boards, arrange and glue your findings in the shape or pattern of your choosing, hang them up, and voila! You have a piece of the Outer Banks right in your home for all to admire. It’s a great way to keep the memories of the beach alive too! Another option is to do this within a shadow box and fill it up with your findings.

2. Homemade Jewelry

sea glass craft jewelryThis is a great option for the crafty person in the family. You can use sea glass as the focus piece of any type of jewelry from matching necklaces and earrings to bracelets and rings. A few ways to do this are: drill a small hole in a bigger piece and pair it with beach themed charms for a beautiful DIY necklace, learn the wire-wrapping technique (great for those of us without power-tools or jewelry making experience) and soldering metal around your favorite piece. Check out Pinterest for tons of tutorials and tips.

3. Personalized Christmas Ornaments

beach glass craft christmas ornamentWhether you share them with family members to commemorate your family beach trip or keep them for your own beach themed tree, these are cute and simple ways to keep your sea glass for years to come. As with any other craft, there are many ways to use sea glass in ornaments. You can place some sand and your glass inside of a glass ball ornament, make snowmen with the commonly found white sea glass, make a sea glass angel and more. This would be a fun idea for the kids to really get their creativity flowing while you reminisce on your vacation memories.

Whatever you choose to do with your sea glass findings, one thing is for sure; you’ll have an awesome time searching for it by yourself or as a bonding activity with your family and friends. The Outer Banks has a way of creating memories you’ll cherish forever, but it’s nice to have a unique souvenir from the gorgeous Atlantic itself.

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