I love etching glass, and it’s surprisingly easy to do! Etched glassware is a great personalized gift that is perfect for weddings, birthdays, holidays, or any occasion, and it only takes about ten minutes. Today I’m going to show you how to etch glass at home using etching cream, a paintbrush, and a stencil!
How To Etch Glass At Home
Once you know how to etch glass, you can make so many things! Try etching drinking glasses, wine glasses, or champagne glasses as a personalized wedding present. Or an etched decanter or casserole pan makes a great personalized holiday gift; feel free to get totally creative!
I love buying plain glassware from thrift stores and bringing them home to upcycle them into something even more awesome!
- a piece of glassware to etch
- etching cream
- an adhesive stencil; you can make your own with stencil vinyl (if your design is complicated and has multiple pieces, transfer paper will help hold the pieces together, or you can use washi tape, masking tape, or painter’s tape)
First you should clean your glass. It needs to be free of dirt and oil so that the stencil sticks to it, otherwise the etching cream will leak under the edges of the stencil.
Once your glass is clean, cut out your stencil. I like to cut my stencils out of stencil vinyl using a cutting machine because it can make fun and intricate cuts easily, but if you have a pair of scissors or an X-acto knife, and a steady hand, you can cut your own stencils by hand! You can also use contact paper, but I find the stencil vinyl sticks better and the etching cream doesn’t get under the stencil and blur the edges of the design.
If your stencil has multiple separate pieces, you can use transfer paper to easily transfer the stencil from the adhesive backing onto your glass without losing any of the pieces. Just pull the backing off the transfer paper, stick it to the adhesive stencil, and press down well everywhere.
Then peel the backing off of the adhesive stencil, leaving the transfer paper in place. Stick the stencil, transfer paper and all, onto your glass. Press the stencil vinyl down onto the glass really well, making sure the edges of your design are really stuck to the glass so that etching cream doesn’t seep under the edges.
Also, make sure to leave a good amount of stencil material around the outside edges of your design, so that the etching cream doesn’t escape over the edges of the stencil. You can use washi tape or painter’s tape to add a bit of extra material at the edges if necessary.
Once your stencil is stuck to the glass, paint a thick layer of etching cream over all of the holes in the stencil. Make sure it’s a nice thick layer that covers everywhere!
Let the etching cream sit on the glass for a while; read the directions that came with your etching cream, but I usually let mine sit for about five minutes.
Once the time is up, rinse the glass in the sink to get rid of the etching cream. You may need to rub at it a little bit to get it all off the glass.
Then peel up your adhesive stencil, dry off the glass, and you have your very own etched glass!
These glasses are a wedding present, but you can etch any design you want for any occasion!
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How To Etch Glass At Home
- Clean the glass so it is free of dirt and oils.
- Create a stencil using stencil vinyl and a cutting machine.
- Peel the backing off of the adhesive stencil material and position the stencil on your glass. Press the stencil vinyl down onto the glass really well, making sure the edges of your design are really stuck to the glass so that etching cream doesn’t seep under the edges.
- Paint a thick layer of etching cream over all of the holes in the stencil so that the whole area is completely covered. Let the etching cream sit on the glass for about five minutes (be sure to read the directions that came with your etching cream to find the exact time!)
- Rinse the etching cream off of the glass; you may need to rub at it a little bit to get it all off the glass.
- Peel the stencil off the glass, and you're done!
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