Winter Glass Mission

February 15, 2013   //  Posted in: Beach, Decor   //  By: Emily   //  9 responses

You probably have no sense of just how much beach glass we’ve collected over the last few years of living near the beaches of Lake Ontario. I’ve always said that for as long as I’ve lived where I do, I would collect as much as I can because store-bought glass can never beat authentic sandy beach glass. Someday I’ll do something with it and celebrate this time of our lives, but for now you could just say we’re hoarding it. The situation has gotten a little out of hand.

An excess of Lake Ontario beach glass.

To rally the troops (troops being the 6 different containers that had been displayed/stored throughout the house) I spread a piece of white craft paper over the dining room table, and we went to town sorting through all of the colors.

Sorting a rainbow of beach glass colors.

It’s obviously a family affair. We’re three people that really, really love the challenge of finding wonderful beach glass. And, for some reason, the kid never seems to consider sorting glass by color as a chore, which makes the whole process enjoyable (and quicker). American and Canadian breweries and wineries love their brown, green, and white recyclables, but we have amassed have a fair collection of light blue, a handful of purples, and an appealing pile of rare bright, mint, and olive green shades.

Each piece varies in size. I started a separate container of pieces that are larger than 1″x1″ (seen at the bottom of this post – the same rectangular container filled almost halfway as of today) because the light flows through it so much differently than the densely packed smaller pieces shown here. Those honkers aren’t included this mission, nor are several gigantic and well-worn pieces we found on the beach the day that Pete proposed to me; they’re actually on our bathroom windowsill where I can enjoy them daily.

Sorting beach glass from Lake Ontario.

When it came to reorganizing the glass, I decided to consolidate the whole collection into a single vase by color. This clear glass cylinder was purchased for <$10 at Marshall’s, and leaves us room to re-sort and grow the collection this upcoming spring and summer.

Sorting the beach glass into a vase by color.

The top layer is my favorite, the perfect mashup of beautiful cool colors, I could just eat it with my face.

Sorting the beach glass into a vase by color.

Its round base is too wide for any windowsill, but it works well right now atop our living room shelf.

Big cylinder of beach glass on display.


  • CC
    4 years ago - Reply

    The beach glass is awesome….always have heard of it, but now I will have to goggle it! While I don’thave any beach glass, I am going to check my Christmas balls for room colors that will bring another accent.

  • jessica
    4 years ago - Reply

    Found your site through a post about the dog car bed/hammock.

    Love the idea of a huge vase of sea glass. I have collected sea glass my whole life and the collection has grown quite large. I have different mason jars (and old spaghetti sauce jars) for the different places the glass has been collected and different places I have lived. I also have one large-ish vase with a smaller vase inside. Between the two is a bunch of sea glass and inside the smaller vase is a candle. It looks really pretty when lit.

    • Emily
      4 years ago -

      Welcome, Jessica! I do love keeping the glass from special places/beaches in their own unique jar, but the big one has a cool impact factor that’s hard to create if your collection is diversified. Glad you liked it!

  • Lisa
    4 years ago - Reply

    Hi Emily,

    I just came across your post, (actually found it because you made a trip to IKEA in Burlington, and that’s the post that came up in my beach glass search) I’ve recently become very interested in beach glass, and I was wondering if you’ve done any searching on the beaches around the Oakville/Burlington/Hamilton area, and if so, how successful are you at finding it.

    I’m going to start hunting soon, but was just curious about other people’s experiences in this area.

    To be honest, I’ve become a little obsessed with beach glass. LOL

    • Emily
      4 years ago -

      Hi Lisa! I haven’t actually searched in those Canadian beaches (we’re near the Lake Ontario shore in Rochester) but I assume we have a lot of luck because we look actively on less trafficked beaches, not where the sand is actively combed or where there is much foot traffic. We have a lot of luck both early and late in the season (fewer people to pick it up) and after storms that churn up the water. You might want to time your trip to right after a big storm and see what you find then. Good luck!!

    • Lisa
      4 years ago -

      Thanks for the response and the advice, Emily, it’s much appreciated. My husband and I actually went out this morning with our baby to do our first search on a local beach (it’s -12 degrees, so we were definitely the only ones out there) and we found some great stuff, including a couple of blue ones, some yellow and a red and an orange. I think we have a new addiction. :)

    • Emily
      4 years ago -

      Exciting! The thrill of the hunt :) Beware, soon you will have so much you don’t know what to do with it. Enjoy!

  • Darlene
    3 years ago - Reply

    I have always thought that a table top, or counter top would look neat with beach glass and neat stones, such as petoskey stones laid in it. It would then be covered in a substance that gets poured over it , dries clear and shows your neat finds. I know there is a substance out there, just can’t remember what it is.

    • Emily
      3 years ago -

      We’ve always liked that idea too. There are enamels out there meant for the task that I’ve always wanted to test out.

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