Project Tutorial: Etching Glass

etchsupplies.JPG = my freehand glass: a campfire!

You'll need:

- glasses (try the dollar store or thrift store for cheapies)
- etching cream
- small paintbrush
- masking tape
-- OR --
- contact paper
- exacto knife
- cutting mat
- permanent marker

You can also create stencils with binder reinforcers (great polka dots), vinyl ABC stickers, other stickers, or anything sticky that will provide an outline.

We made glasses using masking tape, contact paper stencils drawn freehand, and with the strange stencils that came with our etching kit. The prefab stencils didn't turn out that well, so I wouldn't recommend using them. A better option if you're not comfortable with freehand would be to find a piece of clipart online, print it out, trace it onto contact paper and cut it yourself.

etchcuts.JPG Here are some of the cutouts I made with the contact paper, with which we had the most success of all the methods. Contact paper is especially handy because you end up with two stencils: the cutout and the scrap. We used the scrap because it used up less etching cream than using the cutout would have.
Dena had the brilliant vision of making an entire set of glasses with yiddish names for people, like "schlep," "mensch," "messhug," and a few others more obscene that we won't mention here. That way you could say "hey, you got the 'schlep!'" etc., when drinking in company. Since we didn't have enough glasses or time for that, Dena drew "Oy vey" on contact paper, cut it out, and applied the resulting stencil to her glass.
etchtape.JPGYou can also use masking tape to create stripes. Sarah is an expert applier of masking tape.
etchcream.JPGApply the etching cream with a paintbrush. Layer it on pretty thick, and don't mess with it too much once it's on - if you do, it will leave scratch-like marks in the resulting etched surface. Leave the etching cream on for approximately five minutes, then rinse. Note that etching cream is not nice to porcelain or plastic sinks, so if possible use a steel sink.


oy vey! sarah's stripes closeup of the freehand campfire.

Related Entries:
Glass Etching Extravaganza: Etching Resources

Posted by jess at December 22, 2004 9:31 AM

Oh my gosh, you are a rock star. I am totally going to link to your tutorial when I post this evening!

Posted by: Giao at December 22, 2004 11:51 AM

Awesome! I totally want to try this. And thanks for the tip about the sinks. Yikes. That would suck to ruin the finish on my sink!

Posted by: Steph at December 23, 2004 2:42 PM

whee! a link! thanks, giao :-)
(i'd have thanked you by e-mail, but my wireless is askew and i'm on c's computer. pathetic that i haven't figured out my web-based e-mail after two years of fig and plum, but whaddayagonnado)

Posted by: jess at December 27, 2004 7:09 PM

no sweat, steph. btw, someone also told me that it might not be so hot on plastic sinks, either, so stick w/ your stainless steel. another option would be to cover your porcelain or plastic sink in saran wrap before you rinse.

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Posted by: beejay at August 7, 2005 8:11 AM

That looks like complete shit! LOL!!!

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