Blog Background

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Etched Glass Tutorial

For part of my Christmas gifts I made personalized mugs with the first initial of some of my family members.  I had fun making this simple, but gorgeous mugs.  I even made one for myself, as a "test run", of course! :)

Just a warning... this post has lots of pictures in it to help explain the process.  It's very easy!
Here is what you will need:
  • a glass mug ( I found mine at Wal-Mart for $2.50 -our Dollar Tree doesn't have much selection or I would have gone there)
  • vinyl or contact paper (I used contact paper from my days as a teacher)
  • a die cut machine or a way to cut letters in your contact paper
  • etching cream: Armour Etch is what I used... it's very powerful and works well.  You can find it at most hobby stores. 
  • sponge dauber
You are ready to go!

Step 1:
I cut out the initials using my Cricut Expression 2.  I love my Cricut, so many great uses... I taped down the contact paper so it wouldn't move while cutting.

Step 2:
I took out the initial, you want to be left with the negative image cut for this project so that you can etch the actual initial onto the glass.  Before I peeled off the negative, I actually covered the letter with a second layer of contact paper.  This helps hold all the little details in place to lay it over the mug.  I know you can't see it in the picture, but there is a second layer here!  You'll see what I mean in a minute.

Step 3:
Now you peel off the backing of the contact paper, or vinyl so that you are left with the sticky side.  Peel off all the little pieces, but make sure none of the second layer comes off, very important!  I had a few little pieces peel off for me, and I had to stick them back on.

Step 4:

Carefully place your initial onto your mug.  Carefully line it up and make sure it is straight.  After you have it on there, peel off the top layer of contact paper.  You will leave the letter layer on the mug.  This is your stencil.  Make sure you don't peel up any of the tiny pieces from inside the letter. ( I did a few times and had to put them back!)

Step 5:
Now you are ready to put on you etching cream!  (You'll see different letters because I made several of these at one time- but it's all the same process)

Step 6:
Add the etching cream with your sponge dauber.  You'll need to add a very thick layer.  But make sure you don't go outside of the contact paper or you'll have random spots on your glass.  (I did that to mine, the "test run", see why I made one for me? :)
The cream says to wait about 5 minutes for the etching to take places (essentially it creates a frosted look on the glass by taking off a top layer of the glass).  However, this was a very thick glass mug, so I gave mine an hour.  I've used this cream before and had to wait about 30 minutes for it to set.  I gave it 1 hour this time.  I'm glad I did.

Step 7:
After the 1 hour, use the sponge dauber and scrape off the excess cream.  Save it!  You can use it again for other projects, just put it back in the original container.  This cream is expensive, you don't want to waste it.

Step 8: 
Rinse the mug under the water and get all the excess cream off.  Give it a good scrub to make sure it all comes off.  You don't want any residue.

Step 9:
Dry off the mug just a little bit, and then peel off all the contact paper, even the little tiny pieces. :)  They can be hard to find...

Step 10:
Now you have a beautiful handmade mug ready to gift (or keep for yourself!!).  This can be put in the dishwasher, it won't ruin your hard work.  It's scratches off the top layer of the glass and frosts it, remember?  You can't undo this! :)

Now enjoy some hot tea, or hot chocolate!! You deserve it! :)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave a message. I would love to know what you think!