DIY Glass Etching Tutorial

In my opinion, the best Christmas gifts are ones that have a personal meaning (well, and cash. Who doesn’t love cash?) We all have those people who we’re just not sure what to buy, but we want to get them something affordable and lovely. Today’s DIY glass etching tutorial definitely fits the bill.

My friend and coworker, Marsha, put together this DIY etched glass tutorial. She wanted to try something new (she’s the crafty type, like me, which is why I love her so) and what she came up with was simply amazing. I can’t wait to try this myself.

DIY Glass Etching Tutorial

  • Anything glass:  jars, vases, candy dishes, casserole dishes (Anchor Hocking works best; available in department stores and online — double casserole dish set for $14)
  • Gloves
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Blue painters tape
  • Paper towels
  • Alcohol
  • Armor Etch (get the small bottle; you won’t ever use it all.)
  • Scissors (Honeybee Craft Scissors are awesome if you’re a crafter — they don’t stick to sticky surfaces!) ruler and X-Acto knife
  • Cricut Cutter or stencils
  • Cheap shelf liner/contact paper in clear and any other color (this is for use this in your Cricit Cutter)

1.       Cut your design for your DIY glass etching with a cricut cutter or free hand it with scissors or exacto knife.

2.       Remove the positive part of your design leaving the paper backing on ( I removed the flowers)

3.       Cover the negative part of your design with clear contact paper (this helps keep the shape so you can move it around and reposition if necessary).  I used the blue painters tape to expand the areas you want to protect from the Armor Etch cream since my margins around the design were rather small.


4.       Select the area you want etched and put your gloves and clean the glass with alcohol.

5.      Peel the paper backing off the contact paper-revealing the sticky side of the brown.


6.       Position the sticky side on the glass.  The contact paper will allow you to move the whole design at one time which is handy when there are letters or multiple pieces.

7.       Smooth with firm straight edge. I had a tool but you could use a spatula or a popsicle stick.

8.       Slowly remove the clear contact paper

9.       Sometimes you need a little help to hold down the image to remove the contact paper.

10.   Smooth all the edges down etching cream can get under the tape if they are not pushed down well.

11.   This is how it should look and this is the bottle of Armor Etch etching cream ( you can purchase smaller ones and you will be fine.)

12.   Apply cream evenly with popsicle stick (cheap and disposable.)  Cover all areas that exposed (all the positive areas of your image.)

13.   Cover it all.  Since this was my first time I realized you don’t need quite as much as I used.  Be careful it runs.  I just kept turning my piece upside down.

14.   Here is a look from the inside-it is good to look from the inside or underneath to make sure the cream is even.

15.   Set a timer for 5 minutes.  At about 2  and 4 minute mark I took popsicle stick and just rearranged the cream to make sure it was even and had reached where.  If there are any clump I just slid them over to the taped area.  For casserole dishes I waited 30 minutes and just rearranged about every 5 minutes.

16.   Scrape off your etching cream and put back in the bottle. You can use it over and over.  Then wash the cream off in a stainless steel sink (not a porcelain sink) and remove the tape and image.

Here is what my first design from the DIY glass etching tutorial looked like.  It was a 1 qt. pickle jar from the recycling bin.  I plan on painting the lid.

1 gallon pickle jar with branch and bird:

I am getting braver now — a 13×9 Anchor Hocking casserole dish (from Wal-Mart $6.00)  I tested a Pyrex one and it would not accept the Armor Etch etching cream.  (hint-I tested each of the different types of glass with a small round dot on the bottom to make sure they were etchable)  I put my name on this dish, and on the other side  of the dish a bird on a branch.


And a couple more options for candy and treat jars from the DIY glass etching tutorial:

This was such an awesome use for Armor Etch etching cream, and I can see myself making these jars from recycled glass products and filling them with Christmas cookies. Even think about personalizing wedding gifts with this DIY glass etching tutorial!

Thanks Marsha for this great DIY glass etching tutorial and for your friendship (everybody say awwwww!) Follow Marsha on Pinterest to pin some of her great DIY finds.

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