Thursday, March 5, 2015

Glass Etching

Have you ever tried glass etching? It's a super easy way to add a touch of cuteness to any glass or mirror, and it's a great way to personalize cheap, plain glass. Think drinking glasses, vases, serving bowls, candle holders, mirrors, even pyrex dishes! 

Here's a candles & mirror set I made my mom:

 And here are some vases I etched:

Want to make your own? In addition to a glass or mirror, here's what you need:


  1. First, find any glass or mirror that you want to etch. Be sure it's clean and dry. 
  2. Draw your design onto the contact paper with pencil. This will serve as your stencil. If you need ideas for your design or want to trace it, do a google image search for "flower clip art" or "___ clip art" of what ever you want, then print it the size you want and trace it to your contact paper using carbon paper. (*You can either draw the design on now or after you've stuck the contact paper to your glass, whichever floats your boat.)
  3. Next, remove the contact paper backing, keeping it as flat to the table as possible to avoid making any wrinkles or creases. If you're applying the paper to something large, you may want to remove the paper backing a bit at a time, as you apply the sticky side to your glass. 
  4. Apply the contact as smoothly as possible to your glass surface. If an area has any bubbles or creases, stop applying and try to mush them out before applying more contact paper. 
  5. If you didn't already draw your design on the contact paper in step 2, draw it on now. 
  6. When your design is exactly as you want it, then grab an exact-o knife and cut it out of the contact paper. Keep in mind that whatever you cut out (revealing the glass) is what will be etched. Everything hidden by the contact paper will remain normal glass. 
  7. When your design is cut out, double check all the edges of the contact paper within your design, making sure they're very smooth and there aren't any bubbles. You don't want the etching solution to seep underneath the contact paper.
  8. Now it's time to apply the Armor Etch! Just grab whatever brush or sponge makes you happy, and apply a very even, thick coat of the Armor Etch. Don't skimp out on how much etching solution you apply, or you'll be able to see the brush strokes! Trust me. The etching solution should look very solid, cloudy white. After the etching solution is completely applied, wait five minutes. 
  9. Rinse the solution off, and then remove your contact paper. Wash your glass item with soapy water or window cleaning solution to ensure all etching solution is removed. Don't freak out if it looks like your design disappears... it just doesn't show up well when wet. So, dry it off. 
  10. Woo-hoo! You have a beautifully etched glass now! What you've done is permanently damage (in a pretty way of course) the surface of the glass or mirror, so it won't wash off or go away with time... it's permanent. 
  11. The last and most important step: Please email me a photo of your finished project, including your name and what state you're from! One of my favorite things about sharing my tutorials is getting to see what YOU made using them! I also really appreciate your comments, links, and Pinterest Pins! 

I had a glass etching tutorial posted on my old website and here's a picture I received back from one of my lovely readers. Debbie M. used my tutorial to etch this cute little salt jar:

Thanks for sharing Debbie!

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