Glass Etching Tutorial

  Have you ever wondered how to etch glass? I have. And luckily for me, one of my best friends not only knows how, but offered to teach me; and then she even left her stuff behind for me to do more!

I learned how to etch glass using  etching cream. I wanted to start small, so I chose this jar to put "STUFF" in. What stuff? Haven't decided yet. Probably will end up with buttons in it.

Here's what you need:

Etching Cream. We used Armour Etch. Something to know right off the bat, etching cream can not be used on bake ware. That kind of etching is using a sandblaster.


You also will need clear contact paper. This can be found at the grocery store, hardware store, and probably craft stores.

You will also need:
  • item to etch
  • X-acto knife
  • glue stick or spray adhesive
  • paintbrush

Make sure your item is clean and dry.
Cut wide around the design, then cut a piece of contact paper that is slightly larger.

Peel off paper backing and adhere contact paper to item. Take your time to smooth out all air bubbles. Contact paper is forgiving and you can pull it off and try again and again until you are satisfied.

Generously apply glue to the back of your design and glue it on top of the contact paper.

Now is when you cut it out with your X-acto knife, but my paper kept bunching and pulling off. It wasn't until later that we realized there was a knick out of the edge of my blade causing the problem...

But here's what I did, I ended up pulling off the paper and drawing on my "STUFF" with a Sharpie. Also an option if you are artistic and want to draw your own design.

However the design gets on there, the next step is to carefully cut trace the edge with the X-acto knife making sure to not run past edges.

Peel out the pieces you want to end up etched.

Use the paintbrush to apply etching cream to the design.

Really glob it on to make sure that it's covered. Then let it sit for 10 - 20 minutes. Going more won't ruin anything, but doesn't change the outcome if you wait any longer.

After the 10 - 20 minutes are up, rinse off with water. You will need to use your fingers to rub off  all the cream.

If it looks like nothing has happened, then it's going well! Dry it off with a cloth and you will notice that the glass now looks the same as the contact paper (slightly cloudy). If there are any obvious streaks or places that the cream didn't "take" as well as others, repeat the process of applying the cream, waiting, and rinsing.

The last step is to peal off the contact paper, then enjoy!

We did a few projects, but I'll save some for another post (since this is long already).

Here is my friend working on a vase.

And if you are brave, or just plain awesome, you can free hand a design with just the etching cream like she did with this mirror:

Finished Mirror and vase:

Etching is awesome and pretty easy. Like freezer paper stencilling, but fancier!


Lena said...

That was a lot of fun. I always forget how time consuming it is, cause it is really not that complicated. You make me sound to educated! I am glad I am useful for something :) You're jar turned out great, but how did the other mirror work out?

Ashli Herself said...

I'm a little behind I guess, but thanks for this tutorial! I can't wait to try it, looks like fun! I'm your newest follower by the way :)

Milliscent Morgan said...

Look at this great idea of an art work simple but memorable if somebody give me this kind of token I will appreciate it with all my heart coz I like etched glass.