07 February 2010

Etched Glass DIY

So my friend, Sarah and I have resorted to making gifts for each other instead of buying presents. #1 like I said we are teachers, so we're broke and #2 homemade/handmade gifts are so much better anyway. So for Sar's (she prefers to be called Sar) Christmas gift, I etched her some tumblers. She has the rad peacock plates from anthropology seen here:
I figured she needed some glasses to accompany them. I went with a simple feather, as to not take away from the more intricate plate design. Here is the finished product:
Etched glass is extremely easy, but looks so elegant when it is finished. I had the privilege of having some amazing art teachers in high school, so I actually got to do this when I was a senior. I did a totally lame kung-fu girl on a mirror, but never the less, I got to do this early on. Suzanne Walker, kuddos to you!!!
Here is a quick and simple how to etch glass.

You will need : 1. Something glass to etch
2. Velvet etching creme
3. Contact Paper
4. An image if you don't want to free hand yours or a pencil if you do
5. An exacto knife
6. Tape
7. A brush ( a junky one)
This is the etching creme. It is around $20.00 a bottle, but it lasts forever. One place to order it is here. Make sure you read the directions and the safety precautions. It is very bad for you, so be safe!!!
Tape on your image, or draw one on. Totally up to you. Since I wanted all the glasses to be the same, I used the same image, but free handed my feathers, so they were all a bit different.
What ever you cut out, will be what is etched. Keep that in mind as you cut. Cut on top of newspaper so you don't damage your table. Your husband would be really mad at you if you did.
When you are finished, add the contact paper to your glass. Make sure to rub out any air bubbles. It may take some time, since glasses are cylindrical and not flat. If there is a crease or bubble near an edge, you run the risk of creme greeting under there and ending up with a weird blob instead of a clean line.
Brush on your creme. Be generous, because we will re-use the creme in a bit. Put it on thick.
If you see any light shining through, add more. This also shows any missed areas.
Yes, it looks this gross, and smells worse, but its all worth it in a few minutes!!!
Set a timer for 3 minutes. That's all it takes!!!
Now, I use a credit card or matte board scraps, but you want to scrape any extra back into the bottle so you can reuse it. This will make the bottle last a lot longer than if you just rinsed it all off.
Ta-da...almost done!!!!
Wash the left over off in running water. It may look like it didn't work while you are doing this, but it jut the water making it look dark. Trust me.
Peel off you contact paper and throw it away. Wash you glass and dry it. Revealing your beautiful master piece. I am thinking of using my cricut machine to do some monograms for our new house. What a great gift for someone!!!
Below is a single glass from the set I made at the beginning. Now go make your own!!!


  1. This is AWESOME!!! What a wonderful tutorial, Nicole!!!! I love it!!! Very cool gifts!!!!

  2. I have done glass etching way back in high school too. I did a mirror clock with a peace sign and then I did an unicorn on a mirror. My fave things I made was candle holders for my mom with a moon and sun.

    I love the glasses you made for your friend.

  3. oops... I just tried to post a comment. if you get this twice, sorry. this is amazing! I love your blog!