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DIY: How To Etch Glass

I’ve debated whether or not to post this tutorial now, because there are some events coming up where I will probably give this as a gift and I don’t want certain people to see it yet.…but I figured that might always be the case, so I’m posting it anyway. So if you happen to a have a shower or a wedding coming up in the near future that I will be attending, you might want to just skip this post!

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Materials

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*  Any glass thing that you want to etch…wine glasses, bowls, vases, etc.

*  An exacto/craft knife

*  A template for the letter you wish to use

*  Contact paper (make sure it’s Contact brand…not the cheap stuff)

*  Etching cream…I used Armour Etch brand, which I bought it at Michael’s. It’s expensive, so bring along a coupon!! But a little goes a long way, and you can reuse it! keep reading…I’ll tell you how…

*  Gloves, masking tape, scissors

*  Foam brush, or paint brush

Directions

1. Begin by printing from your computer the letter you want to use. I used Apple Chancery font at 450 size.

2. Cut a piece of contact paper so that it’s at least 1 inch bigger than your letter on all sides.

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3. Attach the contact paper to the bowl, making sure that there are no air bubbles. Note that I used decorative contact paper but it actually probably makes more sense to use clear, so that you could tape the template to the inside of the bowl and actually just make your cuts on the contact paper by itself.
 
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4. Tape the template onto the contact paper, making sure it’s straight and positioned the way you want it to be after etching. You can’t move the stencil once its cut until after you are done.)  If you are using clear contact paper, this is where you would tape the template to the inside of your bowl and not have to cut through both the computer paper and contact paper.  I should have thought of that, but it worked out fine in the end.
 
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5. Using an exacto knife, cut carefully around the template, making sure that you cut all the way through the contact paper.  Take your time and cut carefully.
 
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6. Remove the letter that you cut out of the contact paper, leaving behind a stencil.  Press down on all edges to ensure that the etching cream won’t leak through.
 
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7. Apply a thick layer of etching cream using a foam or paint brush, covering the entire stenciled letter, but not going over the edges of the contact paper.  NOTE: Don’t touch the cream with your bare hands (hence the gloves) and I would suggest doing this project when munchkins aren’t around. You’re working with acid, so you have to be careful.

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8. Basically, any part of the glass that the cream touches will be etched, so you only want it touching the letter itself.  Leave on for 10 minutes.
 
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9. After 10 minutes, scrap off the cream using the brush, and put it back in the jar.  You can use it again!! (saves big $$$). 
 
10. Then apply the cream one more time in the same manner as above, leaving it on for another 10 minutes.  Scrap off cream again into jar, and then carefully rinse the glass in water. (use a stainless steel sink or the hose outside.) Use the water pressure to gently rinse off all the cream on the stencil.  Remove the contact paper, and rinse thoroughly. 
 
Here’s the finished product! Hard to get a great pic with the bad lighting, but you get the gist!
 
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Filed under Etching Glass projects DIY

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