Epic Craft Fail: How To NOT Make Sea Glass

Girl holding sea glass

My resolution this year was to quit saying; “Someday.” Someday in my head (and maybe yours) is really code for never. This year I wanted to break out of my shell and try exciting new things, which is code for finally being myself. Here’s how my sea change went. My dream was to make sea glass jewelry. You know how that goes when you’re co-dependent.

I used to spend all of my energy caring for everyone else. I spent my free time preventing potential problems. With little of anything left over for me, I’d dream of things I’d like to do, someday.

A year ago, I found a triangular piece of sea glass. Salt and sand had etched the glass’s clear surface, while rocks smoothed the sharp edges. Even though it was destined (in my dreams) to become the focal point of a banded bracelet, this beautiful treasure never made it out of my craft box. Someday I’ll make it…I always said.

Throughout the year, I gathered a few more pieces of glass, and even watched a video on how to create the bracelet. My jewelry-making dreams grew to include gifts for friends and family. I knew I would need more of this hard-to-find glass for everyone else’s jewelry. That was how my co-dependency worked: pleasing others before I had even tried to make a bracelet for myself. Because I needed more glass and didn’t want to take the time to comb the beach for it, I decided to make my own sea glass at home. Since sea glass takes years to make in the sea, you might well wonder how I was going to accomplish this in my kitchen. Let me tell you how it didn’t work.

Six months ago, I finally went to the beach and brought home a small container of sand and water. Then, I grabbed a hammer and broke a glass bottle. Let the jewelry making begin.

How Sea Glass Can’t Be Made


  • 1 large plastic coffee can
  • Loose sand
  • 1 quart of saltwater
  • Small to medium size rocks
  • Broken shells
  • Broken glass

I placed all of the supplies in the plastic coffee can and gave the can a shake once or twice a day. After two weeks of faithful shaking, my broken glass looked no different than when I started.The action of the waves and and sand for many years was missing in my recipe. Co-dependent as I am, I still have the ability to accept the fact there are things I can’t do and adjust accordingly. I can’t fix other people’s problems, for example. But I can have a sea change myself. Solution to the sea glass problem? I dumped the whole container in the trash, drove to the nearest craft store and bought a bunch of sea glass that was ready to be used. Now, let the jewelry making begin.

Moral Of The Co-Dependent’s Sea Glass Story

While my attempt to make sea glass without the sea failed, there is a lovely metaphor here.  Sea glass starts as clear glass, jagged and broken. It is tossed out as worthless, into the roiling sea. The wind rips at the water, churning the currents. Under the surface, the sand and rocks batter the glass. Over time, the jagged glass becomes smooth, opaque and beautiful. It can’t hurt you anymore. In fact, the dangerous, is now treasure to be loved.

This is the opposite of what happens to people. In the sea of human relationships, we get hurt and become jagged ourselves. With recovery, however, we can have the sea change we need to be independent and happy. I have learned that even the most broken among us can be soothed and smoothed. I used to feel like a worthless piece of broken glass. My recovery journey of learning who I am, what I’ve experienced, and how I can help myself, have all worked to transform me. I can think for myself and realize my dreams. Now there’s a resolution I can keep.

Want to talk to someone about co-dependency? Find counselors and support near you at Recovery Guidance.