Glass Etching

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IMAG0014 copyI have had the week from hell.  On Saturday night, I lost my house and car keys, and someone stole my cell phone.  Sunday and Monday I was sick.  Then, yesterday I went to work on a blog that was supposed to be done  by 10am this morning, and I realized, oh shit, I don’t have my DSLR camera because my mother borrowed it for Halloween!  In fact, the only camera I do have at home right now is on my new/old cell phone I got from my insurance company.  This camera, unlike my old cell camera, has a purple tint to it that I know have to figure out how to get fixed (DAMNIT HTC!)  It looks like all of my photos went through 40 different yucky instagram filters or screen shots from an old western.  I’m seriously winning at everything here.  I beg you to take pity on this poor pathetic post.  I mean, I know my photos are usually just so magnificent (that was sarcasm…you are allowed to laugh…I’m making a joke…) but today they will not be.  Awesome.


So I’ve wanted to glass etch forever!  I love glass, and I love the idea of personalizing it or giving it a fun design.  So this is my first time playing with glass etching cream, and it was practically fool-proof.




The first step was finding the glass to use.  I recently bought a big box of glassware at a garage sale, but I didn’t want to try out  the glass etching on anything good.  In case I totally botched it, I wanted something less fancy.  I found one of these jars in my pantry, and decided to use it.

I needed to remove the label, so I let it soak in steaming hot water.  The label peeled right off, but some of the sticky stuff stayed on.  For that, I used a bit of olive oil.  Finally, to get the stamped numbers off of the back and any excess sticky film, I used barkeepers friend.  I seriously have never met a cleaning product I love more than this stuff (okay, I do use scrubbing bubbles on just about everything too).  This is a BEAST.  Seriously, I was in disbelief until I tried it.  I think I’m going to do a “favorite household products” blog one of these days, and if I did, this would definitely be on it.




Once your jar is clean, it is time to make your stencil.  The packaging of the etching cream I used says to use a sticky vinyl to create your stencil, or to buy one, but I decided to see if I could use whatever I had around the house.  I had USPS stickers left over from something, and decided to use these.  Any sticker would probably work.  I was a little afraid the etching paste would eat through the sticker, but it didn’t.  I used a box cutter (but you should use an exacto knife, I just couldn’t find mine) to cut out your stencil.  I wanted mine to look kind of like a little-kid-ish, so I just drew it by hand, but you could easily print out a design and cut it, or draw something out first and then cut it.  Again, this project was done quickly, and was just a trial run.




Next, I put the stencil on the glass, and was sure to press down especially on all of the edges of the letters so no cream could seep in.  Then I shook up the Armour Etch I’d purchased at Michaels (it is a little expensive, but with a coupon it isn’t too bad) and used a q-tip to smear the paste on the glass.




I left it on for one minute (like the directions say), but it really didn’t do anything, so I put it back on for another two.  I think it really depends on the type of glass you are working with.  Then, after three minutes, I washed it off and it was finished.

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