Etching glass is a unique way to customize glassware like mason jars, wine glasses, and almost anything else you want.
The technique used to do this is pretty straightforward thanks to Armour Etch glass etching cream and Cricut vinyl stencils.
Do you want to carve a unique design into a piece of glass? In this step-by-step tutorial, we will show you how to produce glass etching stencils using Cricut stencil vinyl.
We will also share all the tips and tricks you can use for ensuring that your creation comes out nicely – even if this is your first time etching glass!
The etching of glass is a very popular do-it-yourself project. Glass etching is an easy, pleasant, and very cheap process!
This tutorial will walk you through the process of creating an etched glass object using Cricut vinyl stencils and Armour Etch Cream. If you follow these guidelines, you’ll be able to create your unique etched glass in no time!
Quick Note On Colored Glass
Before you jump into your glassware project, we just want to note that this project is probably not suitable for colored glass. This only applies to glass that has been colored using a coating though.
This is because the coating does not allow the etching cream to completely adhere to the surface of the glass.
If you are using glass that has been properly colored within the glass itself though, this technique should still work well.
How To Etch Glass
Let’s get into what brought you here and look at how you can etch on glass with a Cricut machine!
You Will Need
Use the following list to gather your items together before beginning your project.
- Glass base – can be a wine glass, jar, cup, etc
- Rubbing alcohol – also known as Isopropyl alcohol
- Transfer tape
- Cutting mat
- Protective clothing – as you are working with glass, you should wear protective eyewear and gloves just in case
- Etching cream – Armour Etch is a safe bet but any cream will do
- Painters/masking tape
- Cricut machine – to make the stencil
Now that you have your items, you can follow the steps below.
Clean The Glass
Using the rubbing alcohol, clean the whole glass inside and out. This will get rid of any grease, fingerprints, or dust from the surface. Make sure that it is completely dry before moving on to step 2.
Make A Stencil
To make a stencil with your Cricut machine, you must first set it on the canvas in Design Space.
When it comes to etching, simplicity is ideal. Due to the fact that the vinyl must lie flat on the drinking glass, a smaller design is preferred than a larger one.
Make sure that once you have your design ready to go, you scale it down to the correct size to fit onto your glassware.
Unfortunately, the stencils are one-use only, so if you are etching a lot of glassware, you will have to keep printing stencils.
Put the vinyl on the cutting surface and choose “vinyl” on the Cricut dial. Begin by feeding the cutting mat into the Cricut machine.
Once it is all done, remove the mat and peel away the vinyl. This is known as weeding.
This is achieved most easily by facing down the mat and peeling it away from the vinyl. This helps to maintain the vinyl’s condition.
Apply The Stencil To Glassware
Adhere the weeded design on the clean glass surface using transfer tape. With caution, adhere the stencil to the glass surface, pressing firmly to smooth out the design.
Reduce the size of the bubbles and as much as possible when smoothing out the pattern.
Additionally, you may bend the design to make it adhere to curved surfaces easily.
Using masking/painter’s tape, border the vinyl to protect the rest of the glassware for the upcoming steps.
Quick tip – Hold your stencil and glass up to the light to inspect for any holes or tears in the vinyl caused by the cutting process. If the etching cream comes into contact with certain portions of your design, they may be etched as well. Tape them together to prevent unwelcome etches.
Etch The Glassware
Safety is very important in this step. The very first thing you should do is put on protective clothes before touching the etching cream. After all, it is an acid that erodes the glass’s surface through a chemical reaction.
Shake the container of etching cream to re-distribute any cream that may have settled at the bottom of the bottle.
Then, using the little paintbrush, generously coat the stenciled area with cream, ensuring that it is thoroughly coated.
Bear in mind that the cream reacts instantly when it comes into touch with the surface. To obtain the best results, apply the cream properly, quickly, and evenly.
Allow the cream to sit undisturbed for a few minutes. Armour Etch recommends a wait time of one to five minutes, though this depends on the glassware.
A little trial and error may help you perfect your results, which can vary depending on the amount of cream and the base material utilized.
Lead-based glass, like crystal, is more resistant to etching cream, and there is a chance that it will not be able to etch.
Allowing the etching cream to rest on the glass for too long will make it “scorch.” On the flip side, if the cream is not left on long enough then it will not etch properly.
We recommend that you follow the manufacturer’s directions and that you leave it on for no more than five minutes.
Clean Off The Cream
Rinse off the etching cream when ready. While water will probably work fine if the cream is a bit stubborn then add a tiny amount of dish soap.
You may have a bit of an issue with this step if you have porcelain or enamel sinks in your home. This is because the chemicals used in the etching cream can react with these materials, causing your sink to become dull.
While this is only a big issue if you plan to etch glass regularly, it is still something that you should keep in mind.
If possible, cleaning the glass in a plastic bowl or stainless steel sink is the best way to go. If you cannot do this, then you could use a wet paintbrush to clean off the cream.
The Final Product
Once the glassware has been cleaned and dried, you can remove the tape and then gently peel off the vinyl stencil.
Then clean the glass again with rubbing alcohol. After all, this is done, you should be left with a beautifully clean etch on your glassware.
The glassware does not require any special cleaning method once it has been etched, you can clean it as normal without causing any damage.
By following these simple instructions, you should be able to create beautiful and unique designs on almost all your glassware.
Etching glassware is a great way to make a personalized gift for someone special or to spice up your home with your very own designs.
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