How To Etch Glass At Home

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 in under ten minutes!

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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!

Equipment

Materials

  • 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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

How to etch glass at home in under ten minutes!

These glasses are a wedding present, but you can etch any design you want for any occasion!

How to etch glass at home in under ten minutes!
How to etch glass at home in under ten minutes!

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How To Etch Glass At Home

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Etching glassware makes a great personalized gift for weddings, birthdays, holidays, or any occasion, and it's surprisingly easy to do! All you need for this fun customizing project is etching cream, a paintbrush, a stencil, and about 15 minutes.
Active Time 10 mins
Waiting Time 5 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Yield 1 etched glass
Cost $10

Equipment

Materials

Instructions
 

  • 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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Jessi Wohlwend

I believe that anyone can do crafts and DIY projects, regardless of skill or experience. I love sharing simple craft ideas, step by step DIY project tutorials, cleaning hacks, and other tips and tricks all with one goal in mind: giving you the tools you need to “do it yourself”, complete fun projects, and make awesome things!

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Reader Interactions

  1. Karen Marie Kedzuch says

    6 years ago

    Jessi,
    I have been considering etching and was unsure of how it would work. I am in it to win it now. Your tutorial is easy to follow and the gift project turned out great. I know whoever receives them will be happy with your thoughtful & creative gift.
    You inspired me,
    Karen Marie
    Dragonfly & Lily Pads

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      6 years ago

      Aww thanks Karen! It’s definitely not as scary as it looks! Just make sure you press the stencil vinyl on really well so no etching cream escapes under the edges!

  2. Bobbi says

    6 years ago

    Is Silhouette similiar to Cricket machine?

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      6 years ago

      Yep Bobbi, it’s a similar idea! The Silhouette hooks up to your computer like a printer, so it can cut out anything that you can design in the Silhouette Studio software. The Cricuts run on cartridges, so you’re a little bit limited as to what you can cut (specific shapes or fonts that come with the cartridges). The newest Cricut Explore hooks up to your computer more like a Silhouette does and has a designer software where you can design what you want to cut out, rather than using a cartridge. But the Cricut Explore requires an internet connection and the Silhouette just runs on your machine. But they do pretty much the same thing in that they automatically cut out designs for you!

  3. Bethany says

    6 years ago

    I’ve never tried etching cream before, but I seriously LOVE your results. These glasses look so professional, and anyone would love to receive one of these as a gift.

  4. Meredith @ unOriginalMom says

    6 years ago

    Great tutorial and tips!! And the glass turned out great. I haven’t been brave enough to try glass etching yet, but I really want to try it for a few Christmas gifts…you make it look easy!!

  5. Carrie says

    6 years ago

    I have been wanting to try glass etching. It looks so easy. You did a good job!

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