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.
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!
Supplies for Etching Glass
- Etching Cream (A small bottles lasts a long time.)
- Sticky Stencils (or use a cutting machine to make your own such as a Silhouette)
- Paint brush
- Glass stuff to etch on
Silhouette studio3 File (zipped)
The stencil is adhesive vinyl I cut myself on my Silhouette machine. You can purchase all types of designs.
Carefully adhere your stencil /label to your object.
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.
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.
Rub the remaining cream off with a sponge.
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!
One of the best tutorials for exposing the art of glass etching with Armour Etch!
HOWEVER, you only mention wearing gloves! Armour Etch is diluted hydrofluoric acid. Always wear safety glasses, AND wash out the sink drain completely because the combination of hydrofluoric acid and ammonia will produce a toxic gas! While in a small amount, it is best to be safe!
I have been doing custom glass etching since 1978. Over the years, I have etched glass, mirror, glassware etc. for banks, churches, restaurants, country clubs, schools, colleges and once for Dover Downs Race Track.
The vast majority of my work has been by abrasive blasting with 000 sand, aluminum oxide, glass bead, but have used Armour Etch for many projects over the years. Particularly for etching the surface of lakes, rivers etc. in wildlife scenes.
Current project is the back etching of a bar back mirror so led lights will shine thru the logo.
My motto is……… “ Only imagination is the limitation!”
Anything can be etched. I visit Goodwill weekly and have found loads of projects that can be transformed into lovely profitable items or just for practice. Also, I find loads of designs from surfing the internet. Modify the artwork and you can produce some amazing designs.
, but always be safe!
Could a stencil be made with contact paper. I have tons of it,
That is what I use.. works great.
What type of material did you use for the stencil that can cut with for your silhouette machine? Thank for this idea.
I see that you wash it down the drain . Is it environmentally friendly? Lots of health warnings on the Etching Cream.
I don’t know about environmental. But economically it’s beneficial to scrape all excess you can back into bottle. It saves product and still works.
What happens to the glass if some of cream gets off stencil…will it leave marks on glass
Yes it does, that’s why you have to make sure there’s at least 1/2 inch to 1 inch of extra vinyl on the edges. And if you still think you’ll go outside the stencil, then put some painters tape on the edges too.
Can the stencil be used more than once? Is there a way to have muilt. stencils made to your
personal design, one design?
Hi Jim! Sorry for the late reply. Due to the type of stencil needed you can’t use them more than once. I made my own using a Silhouette Cutting machine. the info is in the post. Ü
Hi! Thanks for this tutorial, it looks interesting and I’ll be giving it a go!
Just wondering if you have tried the opposite, that is etching an entire bottle for a sea glass type effect, or else using “negative space” and etching all EXCEPT areas covered by a stencil /sticker? Do you think either of those would work?
More than Thursday.com has coloring your etchings.
I am very clumsy crafter but this is something I think I can do and it’s beautiful finished. Is there anywhere that I can buy ready made stencils? Not good and cutting at all!
At craft store like Michael and Hobby Lobby
michaels has lots of stencils, you can use a can of spray adhesive to attach the stencil to the container to do the job.
You can get stencils at the dollar tree to just have for a first try.
Is there anything that can be added to the etching cream to make it a different color?
I’m not sure on that Rosemary. You’d have to give it a google. Sorry for the delay in replying. Ü
Apparently you can use Chalk Couture paste by mixing it with the etching creme before you put it on your glass. You can also use Chalk Couture stencils. Check them out in my shop! https://chalkcouture.com/jenscraftmenagerie
Armour Etch brand stencils that are made for etching work well on glass also.
I did some in the past and they came out great.
I want to right a memorial saying on a glass lantern but don’t know how to add the letters
If you have a computer & printer, you can center your text & choose a font large enough to be cut out & used as a stencil. Put your printed sheet on top of contact paper (adhesive side down) cut out the letters out of the contact paper. Reveal the adhesive & put onto object to be etched. Make sure it’s tight on the glass, use a skewer or wooden clothespin to burnish. Follow directions above & you’re good to go!
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?
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
The cream how much area cover what qty
And also price
Please let me know
Contact no 9246128825
Sorry phone no 9246118835
Sorry phone 9246118825
Is it safe to put on wine glasses? Does it wash off cleaning the glasses after use?
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!
I’ve etched wine glasses before. You should check the thickness of the glass itself. (Look at rim of glass.) If it looks like a thinner glass, just use the etcjing cream for less time. You may just have to experiment a little bit.
Great idea for wedding decor!! ‘‘Tis the season ❤️
do you know if the paste is a toxic acid? i am hoping to do a frosting/etching job on a bathroom door. thanks, rae
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
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!
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!
Can you paint the bottle after you etched the glass
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
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.
I’m so glad you found it helpful Regina!
Etching paste can be fatal if not used correctly. It is not a craft item to be used by disabled or infirm people (like myself). Gloves, protective eyewear and respirators need to be used with some etching pastes because they are so corrosive even breathing the fumes can kill you. Please read all warning labels and follow directions carefully.
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
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
I have also discovered that if you use the back of a plastic spoon in circular motions you get no brush strokes.
Great idea Theresa!
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?
I’ve never tried that Hazel. If you’re not having luck then I would say it won’t work. pyrex is unique. If you figure it out please share!
I’ve done Pyrex a few times, wedding gifts, worked fine.
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.
If not you can get it on Amazon… if that’s an option. Ü Good luck Zar!
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!
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
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.
Glad you found it helpful Patty. Good luck on your project and thanks so much for stopping by!
I have a really old bottle of etching cream. Do you think if I stir it really well it will still be good?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Thank you so much Nancy, I really appreciate your input.
Don’t wash it down the drain. Scrape off as much as you can BEFORE rinsing and reuse the cream!
Didn’t know you could do that. Ü If so its a good idea!
Thank u great info. But what type of etching cream do u use?
I use Armour Etch. Its linked to it under the Supplies list. It works great and a small bottle goes a looong way. Thanks for stopping by!
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
Grt one…I love it…
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.
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!
his..veri nice this bottle.
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SWEET. Love the stencils, too. Best wishes, Linda @Crafts a la mode
Thank you Linda. Ü
Wow, I always thought that etching glass would be a difficult process too. Never thought to actually look into it. Thanks for the easy tutorial!
You bet Jen. Thanks so much!
Nancy – I love etched glass and have never thought of doing it myself, I love that i found this tutorial and you made it super simple to follow. Hobby Lobby here I come. thank you for sharing at #Titus2Tuesday
Thanks Debbie. Have fun!
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)
Appreciate you stopping by Taylor!
Wow! that is easy! Looks like a great new craft to get into. Thanks for sharing! Pinning
Appreciate you stopping by AnnMarie!
cute, simple idea! Thanks for sharing.
You’re so welcome Liz!
My grandmother works for a stained glass company, and amidst all the glass supplies is armor etch! I haven’t etched any glass in years, but I am definitely going to pick some up! It’s so addicting!!
I’d love for you to share this at my weekly link party!!
Thanks so much Ashleigh. Appreciate you stopping by!
Great tutorial and great that it’s so easy – my kind of projects! Visiting from Happiness is Homemade party.
Thank you Victoria. Ü
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I love this! So easy, I can think of so many things to etch! Thanks for the tutorial!
You’re so welcome Tina. Thanks for stopping by!
This is such a great tip! I love how easy it is and how I don’t need anything fancy!
Thanks for stopping by Morgan!
So cool! I’ve always wanted to try this! Found you at SITS, awesome!
Thanks for stopping by Kristen. Ü
Etching always seemed so intimidating – I had NO idea it was this easy! Yours turned out so beautifully. I am definitely going to try this now. Thanks for sharing 🙂 Pinning!
Glad to inspire you Jelica. Thanks for stopping by!
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!
Thanks Teresa! I think you’ll enjoy it!
Would you believe I had no idea there was such a product as etching cream?! These would make great gifts and so easy, too!
I wasn’t aware of how to do it either. Once I learned how simple it is I had a ball doing it! Thanks for stopping by Emma!