With a little research and some DIY determination I created my own set of etched barware. The glasses are a set I already had – garage sale find – and the stencil was made from a roll of contact paper I found stashed in the back of my closet. Total spent was around $9 for the etching cream.
Turns out glass etching is a super easy process once you make your stencil/pattern. If you have a Cricut or another one of those fancy-pants-die-cutting-machines you’re already way ahead of the game. Here’s a quick photo tutorial of what I did.
1. I typed everything on the computer, printed it, and, using a sunny window as a makeshift light-box, traced the text onto the contact paper.
2. Then I peeled the paper backing off the contact paper and carefully stuck it to my glass exactly where I wanted the etching.
3. Using an xacto knife, I cut along the traced lines.
4. I applied A LOT of etching cream over the newly cut stencil and left it on for 10 minutes. (I actually poured the cream from the bottle onto the glass rather than brushing it on like the instructions said.)
5. Rinsed off the cream.
6. Lastly, I removed the stencil, washed and dried the glass, and admired my work.
Here are a few tips/things I wish I would’ve known before I started:
1. When working on a curved surface mask off/cover all the area you don’t want etched, even if you don’t think you need to. My #1 glass has a funky little drip mark on the back because the etching cream ran down the side and onto the exposed glass. Ooopsies.
2. The directions say to leave the cream on for a max of 1 minute. They lie. One minute barely left a mark on my glass. Some other tutorials I read said 5-10 minutes. I did 10 and they came out great.
3. When you rinse off the etching cream it will look like nothing has happened. Don’t panic. Take off your stencil, wash and dry your glass. Then it will show up. I promise.
Nate, if you’re reading, yes I am available to come on your show. It’s the least I could do since you inspired this whole project. Call me.