glass etching

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!
i’ll give you a moment to leave if needed…you know who you are :)

okay…so here’s the finished project that i hinted at in yesterday’s post:
Monogramed Trifle Bowl

wanna know how to make one too?? here’s what you need:
any glass thing that you want to etch
an exacto/craft knife
a template for the letter you wish to use
Contact paper (make sure its Contact brand…not cheap stuff)
Etching cream…i used Armour Etch brand, and i bought it at Michael’s. its expensive, so bring along a coupon!! but at 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
begin by printing from your computer the letter you want to use. i used Apple Chancery font (but changed it a little bit) at 450 size.

cut a piece of contact paper so that its at least 1 inch bigger than your letter on all sides.

attach the contact paper to the bowl, making sure that there are no air bubbles. note that i used this cute, decorative contact paper. 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. however…this pretty paper was the same price as the clear kind, and it was kinda calling out my name from the shelves of Target, so i just couldn’t pass it up. i figured if i was going to spend the money, i was going to get something i liked and could use again for some other project.
tape the template onto the contact paper, making sure its straight and positioned the way you want it to be after etching. ( i actually had to redo this whole thing a second time after cutting because i didn’t make sure it was straight to begin with, and i had positioned it all crazy. 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 maybe should’ve thought of that, but it worked out fine in the end.
using an exacto knife, cut carefully around the template, making sure that you cut all the way through the contact paper. wherever you make your cut it how the stencil will be, so cut carefully.
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.
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. ps: 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.
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.
after 10 minutes, scrap off the cream using the brush, back into the jar. you can use it again!! (saves big $$$).
then apply the cream one more time in the same manner as above, leaving on for another 10 minutes. scrap off again into jar, and then carefully rinse the bowl 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, but you get the gist!

i included 3 of my favorite trifle recipes, tied the bottom with a big bow, and gave it as a wedding gift this weekend. you could use this technique on any glass object…i already have lots of ideas floating around my brain!!

if you attempt it, let me know!