Etching glass is a super chic way to personalize all kinds of glasses… from water and wine to shot glasses. They make great gifts too.
Before trying glass etching I was super scared of it. Would I ruin the glass? Would I burn a hole through my hands?
But after doing it, I now love it and have plans to do a lot more. It was way easier than I originally imagined and I had very few problems. And I’m proud of the personal and chic wedding gift I was able to make.
Here’s a simple how-to guide to glass etching.
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What you’ll need to get started:
These are all the same materials I used.
The etching cream bottle may seem small, but a little bit goes a long way. You will get a ton of projects out of one small bottle.
Making your design
This project was a wedding gift for my nephew. I wanted to personalize something with the bride and groom’s initials and add a little touch of home for them with the outline of the state of California.
I used regular ‘sticky’ vinyl for my project. Some people use other types of paper and tape it onto the glass. I personally like the vinyl option because it sticks to the glass neatly and securely, preventing the etching cream from getting into any gaps and getting anywhere you don’t want it.
After cutting your design on your Cricut or Silhouette, you need to weed the vinyl the opposite way you usually would for a vinyl project. You want to weed out all the space you want to ultimately show on the glass.
Putting the design on the glass
If using ‘sticky’ vinyl like I did, use transfer tape to put it onto the glass.
Make sure it’s on smooth with no gaps around the design where cream could sneak through.
Applying the etching cream
Use a small paint brush to brush the etching cream onto all the open space in your design.
Make sure the cream is brushed on evenly to avoid the finished etching from looking uneven.
Let it sit for at least 10 minutes.
Rinsing & removing the vinyl
After 10 minutes rinse the glass under water until all the etching cream is rinsed off.
It will actually be hard to tell anything happened until you remove the vinyl from the glass. Then you will see the beautiful design permanently on your glass.
It’s frustratingly hard to get a great photo showing the finished etching. This is the best I could do. In real life it’s beautiful and I was very happy with the outcome.
I used the same design on a set of kitchen towels and put it all in a farmhouse style basket to complete the gift.
This is just the latest project I’ve done with my Cricut. I also recently did some screen printed t-shirts. That process was a lot easier than I imagined it would be too. You can see a screen printing tutorial here.
Want to make a great gift basket like this without a Cricut or Silhouette? You still can. Check out easy ways to build a beautiful gift basket here.
If you think something looks cool… chances are you can do it yourself! Stop paying hundreds of dollars on personalized clothes, coffee mugs, towels, glasses, etc.. and make your own! And they make great gifts! People won’t believe that you made them yourself. 😉
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Were you able to reuse the vinyl on the other glasses or did you have to make new stencils every time?
I did make new stencils each time. I did not attempt to reuse them, worried some cream may leak through if it wasn’t on tight. But I don’t see why you couldn’t reuse. It’s worth a try. If you test it out, let me know how it goes! -Tracy
The gift turned out beautiful! I am going to try this. Thanks for the tutorial.
Thank you! And good luck!! -Tracy
Vicky Ellis says
This is very good information I can’t wait to get my cricut so I can get started
Thank you. Good luck!!
What did you use the gloves for?
I wore the gloves while working with the etching cream to be on the safe side. -Tracy
I bought some glass jars with metal screw on lids from the Dollar Tree at Valentines . I etched various Valentine messages and filled them with candy. Looked expensive and beautiful. I was also excited that something so easy and inexpensive would be so pretty!
That’s a great idea! I’m so glad it worked out so well. -Tracy
How do you care for this product? hand wash only?
Your design will be permanently etched into the glass, so you can wash as you would any other glass. Dishwasher use should be fine. -Tracy
The glasses look great! Why do you need the transfer tape if the vinyl is sticky?
Thanks! Transfer tape is generally used for adhesive vinyl to keep the design intact. Otherwise, when you remove the backing and place it on your item, parts of the design and small pieces would not transfer properly. -Tracy
Thanks!!! I have always been afraid to try this, but now I think I will.