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Terry and Tony in South Africa. Two South Africans working from home in East London in South Africa since early 2008.

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Beachcombing – 12 Ways to Make Money from Beachcombing

There are many ways to make money from beachcombing. Perfect for people looking for ways to make extra income with little or no startup costs.

Why Make Money from Beachcombing?

If you live close to the beach you can start to make money from beachcombing for almost no cost. If the beach is within walking distance, and you already have some useful items at home like glue, wire, paint, paint brushes, nylon and string, your first efforts to make money from beachcombing may even cost you nothing at all. Other items you may need may include scrap wood, a saw, sandpaper, screws, nails, screwdriver, hammer, varnish, and a wire brush (for cleaning driftwood).

pretty beach pebbles

pretty beach pebbles


Imagine being able to earn some extra income or even start your own little home business with very little startup cost, or even with no startup cost at all. Well, it’s possible with beachcombing. Materials that you could use to make a delightful array of beach craft items are just waiting for you on the beach. Think of seashells, pretty beach pebbles, pieces of driftwood, and pieces of sea glass as money just lying on the beach.
making money from beachcombing

Making money from beachcombing – in this instance from collecting driftwood pieces at the beach, to sell, or to use in making craft or decor items to sell.


Another good reason to make money from beachcombing is that you’ll be out and about on the beach, getting some fresh air and exercise. Depending on how many times you squat down to pick up or examine something interesting on the beach, you could do a lot of squatting in just one beachcombing outing, and hardly even realise that you’re exercising at all – until later when your muscles may feel a little sore, telling you you’ve gotten some decent exercise! Notice I say squat and not bend. Remember to bend from the knees (squat) and not from your waist – don’t hurt your back!
blue and white driftwood fish

blue and white driftwood fish

Many Ways to Make Money from Beachcombing

If you think of all the beach craft items you could make from your beachcombing efforts, you should be able to think of at least 20 ways to make money from beachcombing, if not 50 or more, especially when you consider the different items that you could find on the beach.

You can use seashells to make your beach craft items, or you could use beach pebbles, pieces of sea glass, or many different sizes and shapes of driftwood. You could also use a combination of these beach treasures to make your beach craft items.

There are also other things to find on the beach besides seashells, pebbles, sea glass and driftwood. You may find lost pieces of jewellery, fishing hooks, nylon, rope, and pretty pieces of dry seaweed.

If you don’t live close to a beach but still like the idea of making money from something one finds at the beach, like driftwood pieces, then buy driftwood pieces online and make driftwood craft or decor items that you can sell. Yeah, we (Terry and Tony) make money from things we find at the beach – selling driftwood, and making and selling handcrafted craft or decor items at local craft markets in or near East London in South Africa. If we can make money from beachcombing, so can you!

Terry and Tony at Gonubie Beach

Terry and Tony at Gonubie Beach in October 2018.

List of 12 Ways to Make Money from Beachcombing

For those of you not too keen on making beach craft items, I do include a few other ways to make money from beachcombing too (or ways to make money from being at the beach):

1. Offer a beach photography service – check with your client if they have any specific preferences and then visit a beach or two, and take photographs specifically for your client (of the beach, the edge of the ocean, seashells, sea glass, pebbles, rock pools, seaweed, sunrise or sunset.

beach photography

beach photography


2. Take beach photographs and sell your beach photographs in digital format so that you don’t have to pay for the printing of the photos yourself. You’d need a place to display your beach photos – even a free Blogger blog would do, or your own website or own blog, or from a Facebook page. Or sell photo products on a site like Redbubble (your photos on Redbubble products like clocks, cushions, bags, mugs, mini skirts, t-shirts).
beach photos

beach photos


3. Take beach photographs, print and frame your beach photos, even decorating the photo frames with seashells, pebbles or sea glass, or even making the photo frames yourself (use driftwood or reclaimed wood) and sell your finished product.

4. Buy or make photo frames, but instead of adding a photo, add a beautiful seashell, piece of driftwood, some sea glass, pretty beach pebbles, or other item you have found on the beach, like dry seaweed. The seashells or pieces of driftwood that you use in your frames should be fairly flat, but of course you don’t even need to add glass to your photo frame, so you could also use chunkier beach finds too.

pebble art wall hanging

pebble art wall hanging


5. Sell photo frames with nothing displayed in them, but decorate the photo frames (whether they are bought or whether you made them yourself) with paint techniques, seashells, pebbles, sea glass, or tiny pieces of driftwood.

6. Sell your beachcombing finds “as is.” If you can find enough pieces of sea glass, pack about 8 small pieces together (in a little box, bag or packet) and do the same with small pretty pebbles. Or sell driftwood lots – groups of small driftwood pieces.

driftwood lot - small pieces

driftwood lot – small pieces – with a 60cm ruler in the middle


7. Sell beach crafts craft kits – offer a selection of small beach finds in a little box, bag or packet, and add some string or wire.

8. Make and sell jewellery – even a small smooth pebble can look so pretty if it has wire wrapped around it creatively, and if it is attached to cord as a necklace pendant. Make necklaces, earrings and bracelets.

9. Use seashells, sea glass, pebbles and small pieces of driftwood to decorate a wide variety of inexpensive items or items you already have at home. Sell the finished products. Some items to decorate could include candles, pot plant holders, glass bottles, hairpins, bags, or wallets and purses. You do not necessarily have to totally cover the items with your beach findings – simply attaching a small seashell or pebble to an item with wire or string can be very pretty too (have the beach finding dangle at the end of the wire or string.)

10. Make miniature items. Use seashells, pebbles, sea glass and pieces of driftwood to make cute miniature furniture items, miniature creatures and miniature people, suitable for dolls houses, for using in miniature garden creations, or simply as decor in one’s home.

11. Make items for the garden, patio or deck. Make cute driftwood signs for the garden. Paint on cute little messages, or use a wood burning tool to burn in the message. Make garden ornaments using driftwood, wire and sea glass (or pebbles or seashells) or make wind chimes, garden mobiles, and wall hangings.

driftwood cross wall hanging

driftwood cross wall hanging


12. Take videos at beaches and upload the videos to Youtube. Monetize your Youtube videos with ads or include a link to your site in the first line of the description beneath the video – to a beach related site that you may be monetizing with ads, or that you may be using to sell your beach craft items from. The videos don’t just have to be of the beaches that you visit or close ups of the things you see on the beach – you could also video the beach craft items that you’ve made, or give a tutorial in your video, on how to make a particular beach craft item.

Selling Your Products
A flea market or craft market is probably the best place to start selling your beach findings and beach craft items, as this gives you an opportunity to advertise your little business at the same time. Advertising is important in that even if you have fantastic products you’re not going to make any money if nobody knows about your products. Advertising can be costly, or if using free or cheap methods of advertising, advertising can take up much of your time.

Once many people know about your products, it will be easier to sell your products from home only – take photos and advertise on your Facebook timeline, Facebook page, Facebook local buy and sell groups – if that’s what you’d prefer – many folks actually enjoy selling at craft markets. Some folks do both – advertise online and have customers (local customers) collect the items at their craft stall on the weekend.

Conclusion
There are certainly many ways to make money from beachcoming. If you stay close to a beach and need some extra income, then use the opportunity staring you right in the face.

Some tips and things to be aware of:

Some beaches are dangerous if you visit them alone. Share your beachcombing hobby with a friend or two, or do not go beachcombing when nobody or hardly anyone else is on the beach.

Beachcombing is fun, but do not get so involved in looking down that you don’t notice an approaching wave behind you (never turn your back on the ocean) or so involved that you don’t notice a dangerous person walking up to you.

Make sure you have old newspapers or plastic in the car, to protect your car from anything spilling out of your beachcombing bags or packets on your way home.

Keep well hydrated and protect yourself from wind and sun.

Try collecting more than just one item of something particular that you find, because finding beautiful things on the beach can become such an addictive hobby that you may want to keep all your beach findings to yourself. You need to sell your beach findings (or the items you make from you beach findings) to make some money. Looking for beautiful pieces of sea glass can be particularly addictive.

© Copyright Terry Flanigan 2019

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