Wednesday, June 23

{tutorial} glass etching

so who's up for learning how to do some glass etching today?
don't worry...
it sounds SO much more intimidating than it actually is.
in fact...
it's SO easy and quick...
don't go crazy doing every glass object you come across...*wink*

I'm going to teach you how i created the personalized glass "milk bottles" I included in this party bucket
I used as party favors for the Lemonade and Sunshine Party I hosted for my girls.

here's what you'll need:
paint brush
plain cardstock
2" hole punch
glass object for etching
(i used Starbucks frappucino bottles after discovering this post from Celebrations At Home)

i found my etching cream at Michael's

here are the martha stewart stickers i picked up - also from Michael's
(these worked great because they were made of felt - I'll explain why later)

punch a hole with your decorative punch of choice & using the leftover "frame",
create a square "template" using scissors. apply adhesive to template & position as desired on your glass bottle.
next, apply your letter sticker of choice in the center of your "frame/template".
as seen above, on this first attempt i decided to use a square scallop punch and a sheet of notebook paper.
i figured the notebook paper would be easy to work with but after experimenting some more, I prefer to use either cardstock or leftover scrapbooking paper.

now you are ready to apply the glass etching cream.
using a paint brush, just carefully dab on the etching cream...
remembering that any part of the glass touched with the cream will result in a "cloudy" or "etched" finish.

now wait 60 seconds - as the instructions suggest
(the etching cream is thick enough to stand your glass bottle upright during the drying process without it running).

after the 60 seconds, rinse the entire area under running water until all of the etching cream has been washed away.
next, use your thumb to remove/scrape off the frame & any leftover adhesive and then carefully peel off the sticker for reuse. (the felt stickers from martha stewart worked perfectly and were thick enough to withstand the water as well as being peeled off - allowing for use again in the future).

here's the finished bottle...
(notice the imperfections in the scallop)

i then decided to try just a regular 2" circle punch to see if i could get a "cleaner" result

i also applied a lot more etching cream...

and here are the two bottles side-by-side
(the plain circle still had tiny imperfections)

i concluded that i needed a thicker cardstock and that i needed to make sure i was applying adhesive right up to the very edges of the template.
so i decided to try again - this time using a 2" scallop punch

after applying the adhesive, hold your template up to the light to unveil "glue hair".
(you want to remove these because they're the culprit of imperfections)
i found that by just taking my finger and lightly rubbing/patting the "hairs"
they disappeared quite easily.

i was much happier with the result...
and i also found the cardstock was easier to peel off vs. the notebook paper
AND the heavier amount of etching cream did NOT effect the outcome

now you have an adorable personalized glass bottle...
it makes for a GREAT gift.

tuck it into a favor bucket like i did for the recent party i hosted

fill it with candy & give it as an individual gift/favor...
you can do what i'm going to do...
use these around your home to help identify everyone's drinks.
the possibilities are endless really...
change up your template for different looks...
there are plastic templates available in craft stores, specifically for glass etching.
spell out words or entire names instead of just using a single letter.
get creative...
i'm already thinking of doing an entire set of glasses with numbers - how cute would that be for entertaining?!

i hope you enjoyed the tutorial...
if you try it out, you'll have to come back and share!
happy wednesday everyone!

Keeping It Real
Although my original intentions were to have the girls use the starbucks "milk bottles" on the table to drink from during the party & then send them home as favors too...after I etched them, I just couldn't get past the fact that mason jars were much more appropriate for the "feel" I was trying to create. BUT, I had a hard time finding any mason jars that I could actually etch because they all have the "trademark" impressions all over them. I know it wouldn't have REALLY mattered in the end...but it was a detail I couldn't get past so I just used the milk bottles as part of the favor buckets. Silly.


Heather-The Atlantic House June 23, 2010 at 9:54 AM  

How cute! I am going to do this with my kids this week. I am not a crafty person, either, so I appreciate something easy to start with. Thanks for posting photos of the products you use, too! It helps us non crafters identify the product when we go to buy it. I am often intimidated to try a project when the items needed list has things on it that I am not familiar with.

Heather@PartyTinkers June 23, 2010 at 10:10 AM  

What a wonderful craft idea! Thanks so much for's going to be hard not etch everything in my house!!!

{ L } June 23, 2010 at 12:08 PM  

I really want to try this! Thank you, thank you for this info. Yours turned out lovely. I spent almost 2 hours on your blog last night. I've found a treasure here! excited to find you. :) Your blog is simply beautiful.

And thank you for asking to post my picnic post on your fb fan page. I would be honored and it would make my day!

Lindsay June 23, 2010 at 1:08 PM  

These are adorable! :)

Karen June 23, 2010 at 2:00 PM  

I've had the etching cream for months. Now I think I will actually use it! Thanks for sharing all your wonderful, creative ideas. These are adorable.

Anneliese June 23, 2010 at 3:08 PM  

Love the monogrammed milk bottles! Thanks for the tutorial. I'm going to have to give that a try! Love the idea for identifying glasses around the house--doesn't it just drive you nuts to find random glasses all over?

Brittany June 24, 2010 at 4:48 PM  

I LOVE this! I'm featuring it on my blog this month. Thanks for sharing.

julie June 25, 2010 at 12:26 AM  

hi! i just found your blog and love it! i so love this tutorial! thanks for sharing! i gotta get to my craft store stat! cant wait to try it out!

Chris @ Celebrations At Home June 26, 2010 at 9:30 PM  

Great tutorial, and I loooove the favor buckets!
Thanks for the link, too! ;)

Nancy June 30, 2010 at 9:59 AM  

just wondering – will the etching or cloudiness fade with use or repeat washes? Dishwasher safe?

Sorry to ask! You have done an excellent job explaining this process. I think anyone who reads this tutorial will likely save some precious minutes of trial and error because of this wonderful and through posting! Thank you for posting this! :)

jess @ pen n' paperflowers June 30, 2010 at 1:17 PM  

Thank you everyone for loving the glass etching tutorial...I hope many of you will try it and come back to share your creations!! I'd LOVE that!

Nancy...As far as I know the etching will not wear off. This is my first time trying it too so I'll definitely let anyone know if I see any potential issues. I've scrubbed them pretty hard and nothing seems to be phasing them!! July 2, 2010 at 1:16 PM  

Aww, that is so cute! What a sweet favor idea!

Valerie July 18, 2010 at 9:20 PM  

this is absolutley adorable!! i can't wait to try this out. i am filing this at thanks so much for sharing!!

Carol July 19, 2010 at 10:11 PM  

This looks so cute. I went out and bought everything just like you did. I tried the etching cream on a small vase. When I went to wash it off--everything came off. No etching. What do you think I did wrong?

jess @ pen n' paperflowers July 19, 2010 at 10:15 PM  

Carol...that is VERY strange. The only thing I can think is that the instructions say to make sure the glass is completely clean and dry. Could that have been a factor? Otherwise, I have no clue why "everything" came off. I've done this several different times now and have had consistent results. It's been SO easy. Please let me know what happens when you try it again...

Carey Clemons Bailey July 21, 2010 at 1:41 AM  

I am having the same problems Carol mentions above. Any thoughts? I have the same brand etching cream you show. I am getting a slight imprint but nothing like yours.
With Joy, Carey

jess @ pen n' paperflowers July 21, 2010 at 6:40 AM  

Hi Carey -

Since you are the 2nd person to post having problems, I think I may contact the company directly and find out if they have any suggestions for the inconsistent results you two are experiencing. I'm really at a loss because it was SO easy for me. In fact, when I first started experimenting with it, I was just hand drawing swirls and designs and even those were a piece of cake. I'll let you know what I find out.

jess @ pen n' paperflowers July 21, 2010 at 6:59 AM  

Hi Everyone...
I've officially contacted the company and I'm waiting on their response...

Here's what I sent them:
Good Morning...

I recently tried your Glass Etching Cream and had wonderful results with it.
In fact, it was so easy, I posted a tutorial on my blog for readers to try:

Since posting, I've had a couple of readers comment they are having problems with the etching cream working.

One of them said when they went to wash off the etching cream, everything washed off and no etching had occurred.

The other reader said the etching was barely visable.

I am so excited about your product and want to continue to encourage people to try it. I'm at a loss at how to direct the people who are having issues since I didn't have any.

Could you please offer some suggestions that I may pass along to them.
I let them know I would be contacting you.

Thank you so much for your time.
I do hope you'll check out the tutorial and I look forward to hearing back from you soon.

- Jessica

We'll see what happens.
In the meantime -
Carey and Carol...
If you want to try their website, there's a section for "general questions" you could peek at. I found out from the little bit of reading I did that you can't etch "pyrex" or very large surfaces? Here's the link:
or just go their main site under customer service and then to "knowledgebase"

- Jessica

Mal-licious November 19, 2010 at 1:40 PM  

I wrote about your post on my blog. It didn't turn out as cute as yours but maybe I'll try it again! :)

leslie January 27, 2011 at 2:34 PM  

Howdy! I know I'm a little late to the party, but I am drooling over your pink lemonade party! I had a suggestion for glass etching that gives some pretty precise edges. See this post I did on glass etching over at the Jar.

I used a sticker sheet (instead of cardstock or paper) to print my design and cut with an x-acto knife. The edges are very clean because there is adhesive all the way around your design. I L-O-V-E the idea of using a punch and the felt letters...I'll be adding that touch to my daughter's 2nd birthday party extravaganza!

Engraved Glassware March 18, 2011 at 10:51 AM  

Thanks for posting this tutorial. I'll be trying it out this weekend and I can't wait. I've bookmarked your blog to read other cool things later!

3 Peanuts April 21, 2011 at 5:16 PM  

I love these and am doing them for my daughter's birthday but I had only a very light etching and I used the same exact materials. Maybe I did not put the cream on think enough??? I wish the company had responded to your question. I will try again:)

Terri Weston May 6, 2011 at 11:56 AM  

Thanks for taking the time to show how to do it "right" they all looked good to me.

Anonymous,  November 28, 2011 at 10:13 AM  

Love this!

I found jelly jars onlne to use for my parties with the stamped daisy top to use for straws. They are the only ones I could find without all the trademarking.

jess @ pen n' paperflowers November 28, 2011 at 4:41 PM  

Hi Anonymous...

I love the daisy-stamped mason jar lids - they are adorable. I should've looked a little harder to find the ones you are referring to. Thanks for the info!!!

Inspire Me Heather January 21, 2012 at 6:23 AM  

I really liked your bottles and your tutorial is great! I've got this linked to my glass bottles post too today, well done!

Anonymous,  February 24, 2013 at 6:48 PM  

Great post! I am about to try it, and when I was reading your whole post, I noticed that you were looking for Mason jars that didn't have any writing on Michael's they have some that don't have any writing on it! (At least at mine they do!) just a note for next time your are looking : )

Debra,  June 16, 2013 at 3:56 AM  

Thank you, how cool is this and you have given such neat tips and ideas. Thank you again for your time.

Laura Prascher September 10, 2014 at 11:00 PM  

So cute!! Have you tried stencil adhesive? I use that stuff on everything! Might cut out a step for you :D

Jessica Kirkland September 11, 2014 at 9:45 AM  

Hi Laura!! I hadn't seen that before!! Can you use it on any type of material? I will be on the look out for it now. Thank you!!

Laura Prascher September 11, 2014 at 6:40 PM  

Oh my stars, it has revolutionized how I do stuff like this. It's a spray, so it gets in all the little hard-to-reach places, and it's repositionable, so if you don't get it placed just right, just peel it off and try again. It's quite smelly, so I usually spray it in the garage or outside and then bring the stencil back in to work with. Here's a link to it at Hobby Lobby:
Hope it helps!!

Laura Prascher September 11, 2014 at 6:41 PM  

Oh, and I think you can use it on any material - I've used it on metal, fabric, etc.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin
Pin It button on image hover