For years I was daunted by glass etching since it seemed borderline dangerous, what with the acid needed to "burn away" the image onto the glass.
But then I discovered Armour Etch creme and etching glass is one of my favorite ways to make personalized gifts for family and friends. I name Armour Etch only because it is the most widely available creme for this purpose and it is very simple to use.
Once you've picked out your glassware, you will need rubbing alcohol, contact paper and the etching creme.
Use the rubbing alcohol, not glass cleaner, to thoroughly clean the glass area you want to etch. Cover your work area with newspaper and wear latex gloves if you wish. Done correctly, you need never touch the etching creme with your fingers at all.
I chose a nice elegant font for these two steins and printed them out. I taped them on top of the checked contact paper ready to cut out with a razor cutter. I've already cut the "t" in Whit. I had this checked contact paper in my stash and I like how the squares help me keep my design straight.
You can see how I've simplified to font for a cleaner look and also made it much easier to cut. Remove the paper pattern and you're ready to etch.
Do NOT touch the creme to your bare skin! It contains hydrochloric acid in a creme suspension and it will burn you! Be sure to work in a well ventilated space as this stuff is stinky. Only cover the cut out areas of your stencil and don't be stingy. You want a good layer of creme to get a good pattern.
I use cheap Dollar Store q-tips to apply the creme. Usually the creme is a greyish white when new and also has a bit of grit, but this is an older jar. Don't be put off by the color of the creme I am using. I bought this jar several years ago and it is a long way from being used up. Exposure to air over time turns it brown but it works perfectly fine.
Without removing the contact paper, set your glassware aside for 5 to 10 minutes so the acid can do its work. Better to leave it on longer for a good etch. It will not hurt the glass or burn through it in that time span.
Before peeling off the contact paper rinse your creme covered glassware in cold running water. Rub the creme off with a paper towel or an old toothbrush til it is completely gone. Pat your glassware dry.
Here comes the fun part! Peel the contact paper from your glassware and grin like an idiot when you see how the etched glass looks. Yeah, I do, every time.
I made these for a young couple whose birthdays are very close together. They loved them! And now they report that they use these steins for root beer floats or just pack 'em full of ice cream.
The etching creme is available at crafts stores and with a coupon is very affordable.
The Dollar Store stocks cheap contact paper. Once you have these two items you can etch glassware for years and make beautiful personalized glassware for very little money but quite a bit of impact. The Dollar Store and thrift stores are chock full of unique glassware. Just think of the possibilities.
You can do this!
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