DIY Etched Glass

DIY etched glass | The Sweetest Occasion

Recently I decided I wanted to play around a bit with glass etching. A few years ago glass etching was a big thing among DIYers and it felt like time to bust out a little Armour Etch and see what I could come up with again. I decided to play around with a couple of glass mugs and a couple of mason jars. The key to working with etching cream is to make sure you’re working in a well-ventilated area and wearing protective gloves of some kind. The etching cream is actually an acid that eats away at the surface of the glass, giving it a permanent cloudy appearance that’s really lovely. Make sure to read your manufacturer’s instructions completely before getting to work!

DIY etched glass | The Sweetest Occasion

Supplies -

  • Glassware you’d like to permanently alter
  • Armour Etch or other etching cream (I got mine at Michaels)
  • Protective gloves
  • Brush
  • Stickers, stencils or other adhesive template design

DIY etched glass | The Sweetest Occasion

DIY etched glass | The Sweetest Occasion DIY etched glass | The Sweetest Occasion

First up, I used a heart-shaped paper punch I already had and some label paper to create a heart stencil. You could also buy stencils or stickers to achieve this same effect. Position your stencil and smooth it onto your glass completely, making sure there are no loose edges or bubbles.

DIY etched glass | The Sweetest Occasion

DIY etched glass | The Sweetest Occasion

Next, wearing your gloves, use a brush to apply a generous amount of etching cream to the area you’d like to etch. Again, you’re going to want to refer to the instructions that come with your particular etching cream, but I let the etching cream sit for about ten minutes. You want to apply a good amount of product, but you don’t want so much that it drips or runs outside of the area to be etched. Anything the cream touches will be altered, so you’ll want to take care to contain it only to the area you want to take on that cloudy appearance.

DIY etched glass | The Sweetest Occasion

What you’re left with, in this case, is a pair of cool glass beer mugs with big ol’ hearts on them. Frosted straight from the freezer and filled with your favorite beverage, they’re absolutely adorable. These would make such a fun wedding gift! (Oh and they’re practically screaming to hold big tasty root beer floats, might I add.)

DIY etched glass | The Sweetest Occasion

Next up I played with large quart size mason jars, adding a big etched single letter monogram to each. I used big letter stickers from a craft store and used the same process of applying the cream, letting it set and washing off with water.

DIY etched glass | The Sweetest Occasion

These turned out so fun and there’s really no end of things you could do with them! Mine sits on my desk filled up with little bits and baubles, but they’d also work great in a pantry. You could also etch a design on wine glasses or bakeware or any other glass piece you already own and want to jazz up. My advice would be to use only relatively inexpensive pieces, because there may be some trial and error as you’re getting the hang of working with the etching cream. I definitely had a couple of pieces that ended up not looking so great, but because I picked up all of my glassware at the dollar store it was no big deal. One thing to note – the etching cream is relatively pricey compared to other crafting products, but the container will last a long time. How perfect is this for making pretty little holiday gifts, too? So fun!

DIY etched glass | The Sweetest Occasion

{Design + styling by Cyd Converse for The Sweetest Occasion. | Photos by Alice G. Patterson.}

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25 comments

Comments

super cute craft! great for holiday gifts :)

Love this!! I never realized how easy etched glass could be :)

lalwende

Hi, nice craft!! I’m definitely gonna try this. Just one question (I feel stupid to ask that but I really don’t understand): how did you do the big letters since a sticker was on the glass? Did you put the cream on the sticker?
I am sure there is a very logical explanation (of course) but right now I’m puzzled haha

Thank you!

Cdewb

I had the same question about the sticker

Dana

I have the same question! Help!

cyd

Hey guys! So I realized after the fact that we never showed a completed photo of the jar with the B. With that jar, the etching was the entire outside of the jar and the B was unetched. With the C jar it was done just the same as the heart mugs, using the outline of the C sticker, if you will, to etch just the C itself. I am so sorry for the confusion! Does this help clarify? :-)

That’s really neat. My mom used to do stuff like that when I was little; reminds me of her. I think I might give it a go tomorrow night when I have some time off. :)

This is so fabulous. I had no idea that this was such a simple process. Great idea for Christmas gifts. Thanks for sharing!

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katie

What do you mean by “label paper”? Could I use, say, large address labels? Thanks for the help!

cyd

Hi Katie! Yup, label paper is just sheets of adhesive sticker paper that you’d run through your printer to make labels. Large address labels would definitely work, depending on the size of your paper punch. Otherwise, you can full sheets in the same spot you’d find the address labels in most office supply stores. Hope this helps! :-)

[...] love the look of etched glass, but never knew how to create that permanent cloudy look. The Sweetest Occasion has a detailed tutorial complete with safety tips like working in a well-ventilated area and [...]

Sara

Hey! I love this idea, so simple and I’m definitely planning on doing this for a few DIY gifts this holiday season. Quick question though – is there any way to do a colored etching? Say, If I wanted the frosted part of the glass to be a pale, yet still translucent, peachy-pink? I’m thinking of doing an old-fashioned silhouette type of thing and making a Mason jar lamp, and I want it to give off a soft glow instead of the plain-old, harsh LED light. Thank you!

cyd

Hi Sara! To the best of my understanding, you’re not going to be able to achieve a color with etching, because the etching cream is actually an acid that eats away at the surface of the glass giving it the permanent cloudy appearance and texture. (So in other words, it’s not a product that sits on or attaches to the glass, it actually chemically alters the glass.) I would suggest checking out the new glass paints from Martha Stewart Crafts – I haven’t had a chance to play with them yet, but they look beautiful and I believe they may achieve the look you’re wanting. You can get more info about them here – http://thecraftsdept.marthastewart.com/2012/09/our-new-martha-stewart-glass-paint-line.html I have seen the full line available at my local Michaels. I hope this helps!

Sara

Awesome, thanks, cyd! That’s what I thought about the etching and everything, but I wasn’t sure if someone had come up with an etching and stain two-in-one or something, haha! I’ll give it a try, it looks like it’ll be perfect though :)

Kristen

Sara, I just read your question and colored, etched glass would be beautiful. The following is a link I recently found from Pinterest on coloring glass: http://mygreenbraecottage.blogspot.com/2011/04/painting-mason-jars.html. It goes through a step by step process as well as the individual’s own trial and errors. Hope this is helpful.
Now I want to go shopping a antique stores and yard sales looking for glass!
Kristen

Sara

Thanks, Kristen! Amazing site; the way the person colors them is pretty much exactly what I was looking for. I’m going to try it out! I haven’t started making the jar-lamps yet but I’m hoping to start sometime this week.

Raleigh

Love this! And so simple too. I will be making these as Christmas gifts thanks to you :) Quick question, do you by chance have a photo of the completed “B” jar that you did? I would love to see the reverse.

[...] I just love mason jars and finding new ways to use them. A little while ago I stumbled across this blog post and made sure to pin it so I could use the idea for Christmas gifts. I bought myself some etching [...]

Marge

Love this so simple!!! I would like to make this for my wedding as a give away stuff. But i would like to use our Initials together i look and asked every where were i can get a personalize stencil so i can go ahead do it myself… Any sudgestions? My initials would be M & C and i would like circle around it… Pls help thank u…

cyd

Hi Marge! I think your best bet would be to have a monogram designed that you love (keeping the design really simple) and using a Silhouette (http://www.silhouetteamerica.com/) or something similar to custom cut the stencil. I hope this helps!

jenn

Hi-

Etch- All if you can get it tends to do a better job. And feel free to let the etching cream sit overnight, you will get a more even etch, the acid is pretty weak overall, you could leave it on for years, and it would never eat through the glass.

Marge, if you are looking for custom stencils, call sign shops and ask if they have an industrial vinyl cutter, I normally have bulk stencils cut for me and it comes out pretty reasonably cost wise.

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