December 17, 2014

How to quickly (and easily) etch glass

This post contains affiliate links to help you find the products I mention in the post. 

I've never claimed to be a particularly crafty person. Don't get me wrong. I love to create things, but they don't always turn out well (ahem . . . the newborn hat I tried to knit ended up being large enough for a giant man).

Anyhow. Those days are over. I have found my crafty calling. Etched glass.

It looks phenomenal and uber impressive, but it is seriously one of the easiest things in the world to do! You can have the project completed from start to finish in under 10 minutes, and it is super affordable too (chances are, you probably have half of the supplies in your house right now).

So . . . what do you need?


  • Armour Etch (I found mine at Hobby Lobby and used my 40% off coupon, but you can also find it at Amazon and have it shipped straight to your little ole house - no need to drag screaming toddlers into a store full of shiny breakable objects). 
  • Stickers - Again, I found mine at Hobby Lobby, but pretty much any crafting store will have what you need. You can use any basic sticker that you like. Amazon has a great assortment of sticker/stencils that you can re-position and re-use. My Hobby Lobby had a limited selection of the re-positionable variety, but yours might be better. You cannot use a standard stencil with this because the acid will seep under it. The stencil style will let the letter or image appear etched.(like in the letter "B" on the glass container at the top of the post). The regular sticker will leave the letter/image clear with the area around it etched (Like the name "Sarah" in the bottom picture on the glass). 
  • Brush - I used a basic crafting brush (H.L. once again), but you may have some already on hand. 
  • Painters Tape. 
  • Glass (You can etch pretty much ANYTHING. So far, I've done a wine glass, a casserole dish, a mug, a bowl, and a glass canister.) 
  • Small plastic scraper (optional)
A word about Armour Etch - PLEASE use caution. This is a strong acid . . .it eats through glass, so you probably want to avoid getting it on your skin . . .just maybe. This is also a craft that might be best to do sans kiddos. You will also want to make sure that you store this up out of the each of little hands. It can be fatal if swallowed, and although it comes equipped with a childproof lid, it's better to be safe than sorry. 

That being said, I don't usually use gloves (I work very carefully with it right by a sink), but it probably wouldn't hurt to use a pair of gloves with this project just to be on the safe side. 

If you're a visual learner, I've put together a video demonstration (or you can scroll down for written directions). 


  1. Select a glass dish, plate, bowl, or cup. If you're doing a word or phrase with multiple stickers, I like to create a line with my painter's tape just to make sure that my letters are straight. 
  2. Use alphabet stickers to create the word you would like to etch. Press all of the stickers down completely. Make sure there are no gaps or spaces for the acid to get under. 
  3. Remove the Painter's tape that you used to create your straight line. 
  4. Create a painter's tape border around the area to be etched. I like to leave about half an inch all the way around the text. Make sure the tape is straight and has no bubbles or crinkles in it. Press the tape down to ensure you have a strong seal between the tape and the glass. 
  5. Using your crafting brush, liberally coat the marked off area with the Armour Etch. You want to make sure that you have plenty of product covering the area to be etched. 
  6. Set your timer for 3-4 minutes and allow the acid to do its work. 
  7. (Optional) - to save a bit of money, you can re-use the Armour Etch. Take your small plastic scraper and gently scoop/squeegee the amour etch off our your surface and back into your jar. Make sure not to accidentally lift up your stickers. This step helps your supplies last a loooooooong time. Again, use caution to make sure you don't get it on your skin. 
  8. With most of the acid removed. Take your item to the sink and rinse it under running water. Make sure to remove all the visible acid from the surface. While still under running water, remove your painters tape and your stickers/repositionable stencils. 
  9. Rinse/wipe your dish to make sure you've removed any remaining etching solution. 
  10. Impress your friends with your custom etched glass items!
**Note: If you own a machine like a Silhouette or Cricut, you can cut any number of phrases or images to use in glass etching. If you're like me and don't have one of those fabulous contraptions, you could also try to create an image using contact paper or sticky vinyl. 

Do note that if you place a word on the underside of a dish (not simply inside/on top of it), you will need to make sure the letters are mirror images so that when you're looking through the glass, the word will be facing the right direction.

Want to join the conversation? Come hang out with me on Facebook or Twitter.
Don't want to miss a post? Sign up for posts to be sent to your e-mail inbox!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for visiting! I love hearing from you!