How to Etch Glass in 5 Minutes

We'll show you how to etch glass and create beautiful designs on almost any type of glass in just a few minutes. You'll be surprised how easy it is!

blank630x20

I’d always wanted to learn how to etch glass but assumed it was difficult, taking all kinds of funky chemicals and a lot of time. Silly me.  5 minutes. That’s how long it took me. After my first one I proceeded to search the house looking for things I could etch designs onto. It’s a bit addicting.

silhouette.pattern.includedIt does require etching cream and sticky type stencils. A small bottle of the etching cream lasts a long time.  If you have a cutting machine, such as Silhouette, you can make your own stencils, which is what I did.   (Hint: Grab your etching cream at Michael’s or Hobby Lobby using a 40% coupon.)  FYI You can grab the free sketching images below. There is a pdf version and a Silhouette cutter version.

One fun use for etching is to decorate up your own personal glass water bottles. You can also learn Why Glass Water Bottles are Better!

blank630x20

 Supplies for Etching Glass

blank630x20

Download

PDF

Silhouette studio3 File (zipped)

blank630x20

Instructions

The stencil is adhesive vinyl I cut myself on my Silhouette machine. You can purchase all types of designs.

We'll show you how to etch glass and create beautiful designs on almost any type of glass in just a few minutes. You'll be surprised how easy it is!blank630x20

Carefully  adhere your stencil /label to your object.We'll show you how to etch glass and create beautiful designs on almost any type of glass in just a few minutes. You'll be surprised how easy it is!blank630x20

Apply the etching cream over the open parts. You don’t want it too thin. Be very careful not to get the cream on your skin. Wash your brush with water when done. We'll show you how to etch glass and create beautiful designs on almost any type of glass in just a few minutes. You'll be surprised how easy it is!blank630x20

You can let it sit from 2 to 3 minutes according to the directions, though the time can vary. I did 5 minutes. After that time rinse off the cream.We'll show you how to etch glass and create beautiful designs on almost any type of glass in just a few minutes. You'll be surprised how easy it is!blank630x20

Rub the remaining cream off with a sponge.We'll show you how to etch glass and create beautiful designs on almost any type of glass in just a few minutes. You'll be surprised how easy it is!blank630x20

Remove the stencil  and give it a final cleaning. NOTE: You won’t be able to see the etching well until the glass is dry. That’s it!We'll show you how to etch glass and create beautiful designs on almost any type of glass in just a few minutes. You'll be surprised how easy it is!blank630x20We'll show you how to etch glass and create beautiful designs on almost any type of glass in just a few minutes. You'll be surprised how easy it is!blank630x20 We'll show you how to etch glass and create beautiful designs on almost any type of glass in just a few minutes. You'll be surprised how easy it is!blank630x20

 

73 Comments

  1. Mary

    Nancy, I love this crafty project of etching on glass. My only question is…if the etching cream is dangerous to use (therefore you should protect your skin), then how dangerous would the etching cream be on your pipes, if you rinse it down the drain. I did see that the etching cream can be reused and to wipe as much of it off before rinsing or washing the glass and sticky stencil…..which leads me to believe that the potency is not only strong enough to damage skin, but also lining of drain pipes as well?

    Reply
    1. Nancy Author

      Hi Mary!
      I honestly can’t answer that. I would think steel is stronger than glass and the cream does have to sit in order to make its mark on the glass. So I’d assume it would not do any damage to pipes unless a LOT of it was constantly flushed down on a regular basis. That’s just a hypothesis though. Ü
      Nancy

      Reply
    1. Nancy Author

      The etching is actually “burnt” into the glass so its permanent. You should be able to use it on any type of glass though I’ve not personally tested that theory. Just make sure to wash things thoroughly before use.
      Thanks for visiting!

      Reply
    1. Nancy Author

      Hi Rae… yes the paste is VERY abrasive and can burn skin so you want to make sure to not get any of it on you. But once washed off the object is fine of course. Just use gloves when doing the process. Ü

      Reply
  2. Tammy

    Hi Nancy. I have wanted to do this for a long time. Thank you so much for your great tips. Would you be able to use that cheaper contact paper for stencils? You know, the kind you use in cupboards and draws? Thanks again!

    Reply
    1. Nancy Author

      Hi Tammy! I would think that would work fine. I used sticky back vinyl from my cutting machine to make mine which is similar. You might want to do a test run on a jar you don’t want though, just to be sure. Ü Good luck!

      Reply
    1. Nancy Author

      I honestly don’t know Maggie. I would think you could possible “stain” it somehow but paint seems like it would make the etching not show. Might be worth testing on a small jar. Ü

      Reply
  3. Regina Fordyce

    I think I found a new passion I can do, and I praise God for the instruction from you. So CLEAR………..I think it would also be a great thing for disabled or autistic children and whoever else that wants to be creating something. I pray God uses this to open other’s passions…………………in FIVE minutes……………………………..Wonderful timing for children especially developing their skills.

    Reply
  4. Tonya

    Hi I am trying to put a something on glasses but having hard time finding how to do it wondering if this would work and how. It would be a saying from our family reunion

    Reply
    1. Nancy Author

      It would work wonderfully… however you would need a Silhouette or Cricut machine to make your own label. Small text might not work either. I’d do some testing on old mason jars etc. Ü

      Reply
    1. Hazel

      I’m trying to etch on a Pyrex fish and it won’t take. I’ve left the armour etch for as long as 30 min. Is it because it’s tempered glass? Can this not be done?

      Reply
  5. Zar Ahsan

    I stopped at your page by chance as i was browsing through pinterest. Never knew etching could be so simple. Would love to try it out, unfortunately I dont think the sticky vinyl or etching cream is available in my place. Will definitely find out at the local art supplies store.

    Reply
  6. Anonymous

    My dear crafty ladies don’t forget to download your 40% off coupons from Hobby Lobby, Joans or Michaels before you get the etching cream, can be pricey!

    Reply
    1. Nancy Author

      Very true! I use them all the time PLUS almost all of Michael’s and Hobby Lobby’s merchandise rotates on sale which can be 40% off or more. (I don’t know about Joans) I hardly ever buy things normal price. If its not on sale one week it usually is the next. Ü

      Reply
  7. These are simply lovely. Exactly what I wanted to know to make some solar lites with my Starbucks bottles for my daughter & son in laws new home . Perfect just absolutely parfect! Thank you so much. Can’t wait to get started! I love ❤️ these.

    Reply
  8. Gail

    Tried this on some glass ornaments with two friends and it didn’t work for any of us. We even left it on for 15 minutes. They all came out blotchy, streaky and much of the area still clear. Do you think it was the type of glass? We were really disappointed. We used Armour Etching Cream.

    Reply
    1. Nancy Author

      Hi Gail! Wow… I have no idea what would cause that unless it was indeed not completely a glass item. I’ve never had it do that. But I’ve only done it on bottles and jars. I’d suggest doing a test of the same thing on an old mayo jar or something like that. Just do a small stencil as the instructions say. If that turns out well then you’ll know it was most likely something in the glass.

      Reply
    2. Lynn

      Not all glass is created equal. I have etched on glass made from many different manufacturers. Newer Pyrex is the only one that has given me problems. I guess thier glass is too high of quality.

      Reply
  9. Nancy Balow

    What do you use to keep your stencil in place on glass? I have used a craft spray adhesive but after a few uses it builds up and is difficult to remove the adhesive from the stencil. Also, where can I purchase stencils that are of various sizes, like 2″ x 10″? Can’t find them anywhere in store or online. Thanks for your help.

    Reply
    1. Nancy Author

      Hi Nancy!

      You have to use sticky back stencils for this. I believe I linked to some under Supplies. I used my Silhouette machine to cut mine. But you can also by vinyl sheets at a craft store like Hobby Lobby in singles and then cut a design yourself using an Xacto knife. Works great. If its not too detailed it won’t be all that tedious. Amazon has the 12×12 sheets in a 5 pack for 6.99 http://amzn.to/2wO7NbN For ready made adhesive stencils again larger crafts stores like Hobby Lobby or Michael’s will have them and so does Amazon. Here is the link I posted to one and if you scroll down the page you’ll a lot more shown below: http://amzn.to/2xTWe1r

      Good luck!
      Nancy Ü

      Reply
  10. Eric

    I like your site! Wanted to see if you would be open to test out my glass etching supplies for free in exchange for feedback. Will you please let me know by email? I will try to come back to this page later to see if you replied in the comments too. These will be shipped directly to you at no cost. Urgently, waiting for your reply. I would really appreciate it Eric

    Reply
  11. Mary

    Wow, looks great and fun! Can you use a regular stencil or does it have to be a sticky one? I have many and would like to use what I have.
    Thank you!!

    Reply
    1. Nancy Author

      Thanks Mary! It needs to be the sticky kind I’m afraid. The right kind is like thin vinyl. There’s just no way to get a regular to keep the etching cream from going under it. I know what you mean… I had regular labels I wanted to use too!

      Reply
  12. How adorable is this?? I’ve been thinking of doing some glass etching but I’ve been way too afraid to try. You make it look easy, simple enough for even ME to do. LOL Thanks for sharing! (Stopping by from Show & Tell Link Party)

    ~Taylor-Made Homestead~
    Texas

    Reply
  13. Thank you for sharing this. Like you, I like etched glass, but I thought it would be really difficult. I will be on my way to the craft store soon to get supplies to try this out!

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.