Monday, January 17, 2011

Itching to Etch

This post comes with a warning:
Once you have tried this technique, you will want to etch
the bejeezus out of every piece of glass. in. your. house.
Consider yourself warned.

I've been wanting to try glass etching forever, and finally got on the ball.
This is part of my "Must Finish" mantra for 2011 - as Yoda would say, "There is no try.  DO." 

And who am I to defy a freaking Jedi Master? EXACTLY.

I decided to personalize one of my Pyrex baking dishes. 

 I've tried to use clear labels with my last name on it for when we take dishes to holidays, or get-togethers, etc., but the labels always seem to fall off with the first wash.  And that's a primo pain in the kiester.
A more permanent nametag is etching our name onto the bottom of the dish.

First I cut a stencil out of contact paper.  I used the Cricut to cut our name, but you can do the same thing by printing your word/design on the computer, then tracing it onto the contact paper.  Use a [sharp] Xacto-knife to cut out the contact paper to create your stencil.

**Note: Do not etch on the inside of a dish you will be eating out of. Be sure to etch on the outside (this means you'll have to be careful to print your design as a mirror image on your computer if you'll see your design by looking through the glass. Or if you're using a Cricut or Silhouette machine, feed the contact paper backing-side-up, so you're able to stick it to the bottom of the dish and read it clearly)

Stick your stencil onto the glass.  Make sure it is straight, and that there are no bubbles in the paper.

The contact paper is functioning like painter's tape here, so you want to make sure it's creating a good seal around the etching cream.

Using a paintbrush (regular or foam) load up a liberal layer of etching cream over your design.  Don't let the cream go anywhere other than where you want the design to be.  I kept a couple q-tips on hand in case my brush slipped, so I could get it off immediately.
The directions on the bottle say to let it sit for 5 minutes.  I would recommend 10 minutes for a good, clear design.

After your time is up, rinse the cream off with cool water.  Don't remove your stencil until the cream has been washed off.  I have also heard that it is not advised to rinse off the cream in a porcelain sink, as it could dull the finish.  I have a stainless sink, so I can't verify that.  I do know that it is fine to use in stainless.  So, it might be worth investigating prior to doing this project if you have a porcelain sink.

The result:

Don't Forget:

You're working with acid here, people, so it's best to take all of the obvious precautions (wear gloves, keep kids and pets away, use in a well ventilated area etc.)
Here's a look at some other things I etched on my mad "OMG I LOVE THIS - WHAT ELSE CAN I ETCH???" binge.
This is an awesome way to take yard sale or thrift store pieces and make them look custom and expensive.
This dish was once a filled candle.  When the candle burned down, I popped out
the wax and saved the glass.
With its new monogram, this is just waiting for a fat bunch of peonies this spring!
Or a new candle.
Or for some candy.

A monogrammed apothecary jar will run you upwards of $60 - $70 at
Pottery Barn or many other stores.
I think the etching spiffed up my $8 Gordman's apothecary jar nicely.

What cool things have you etched?
I'd love to see!



  1. How clever are you! What a practical use for the glass etching---the bottom of your casserole pan. I love it. Great idea!

  2. your etching looks great!!! I tried it a few months ago and it was an utter fail :) I might have to try again - yours look great!

  3. Hey looks great... I have been itching to try etching myself. I bought the stuff but haven't taken the plunge yet. Thanks for the nudge!

  4. Love the casserole dish idea. It would make a great gift, too! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Very nice! I can see where it gets addictive! I love the idea of not having labels falling off of the Pyrex dish.

  6. How pretty! I have some glass canisters from PB bought years ago and they were not cheap and we didn't spring for the extra money to personalize. I love that you got a similar fabulous look for your jar and I've got a Pyrex dish just itching for a name:) I've featured you tomorrow at A Crafty Soiree!

  7. Very Nice! :) you did a great job! You make me want to try it! Thank you for sharing.


  8. This is a fabulous idea and much more classy than using labels. Thanks for sharing.