Nothing says “I love you” or “I care about you” more than a handmade gift. These Easy DIY Etched Glass Gift Ideas are the perfect personalized gift for any person or special occasion. Learn how to etch any glass surface with this easy step-by-step tutorial.
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I’ve been wanting to etch glass for ages! I’ve seen so many fun tutorials on Pinterest and it looked simple enough that even I could do it. Not to say I’m not a crafty person, I throw craft parties often, but my expertise level is probably smacked dead in the middle of beginner and expert.
And sometimes, at least for me anyway, things can look super easy at first when I’m watching a video or reading through a tutorial but it is only until I try my hand at making it on my own that I quickly realize I couldn’t recreate it even if my life depended on it. Please tell me I am not alone…
And etching glass seemed like it would be one of those types of projects for me. There’s just a classiness about it that made me intimidated. As simple as all the etch glass tutorials looked, something about it made me put it off for a very long time.
Here’s the truth. I bought my Armour Etch cream when I still lived in Tampa. I haven’t been in Tampa for six years so it has been at least that long since I have been stashing this etching cream away with all my other crafting supplies. I had hopes of using it one day but I just didn’t know when.
Fast forward to now. One of my favorite craft blogs, JenniferMaker.com, created a couple of posts and videos on how to etch glass that I came across on social media. One of her videos, in particular, caught my eye. It happened to be all about etching casserole dishes.
I saved the idea for later use, I literally have a Pinterest board I keep for “things I want to make”, and once again I moved on with my life. But then March came which brought the dreaded Coronavirus which in turn turned every single aspect of my life upside. And I’m sure yours too, right?
Besides our normal day to day routine going out the window, major life events such as my birthday, Zach’s 17th birthday, and Easter all looked completely different. I found myself trying to pull out every creative bone in my body to try and make these times “special” during this troubling time.
And I did pretty well! I was pleased with how all the above went down but found myself super relieved to have them all behind me at the same time. April was exhausting!
And then May came. What’s special about May? Well, it’s the month of Mother’s Day, of course! The holy grail of days to show your love and appreciation for all the things your mom has done and continues to do for you on a daily basis.
Every year we get together as a family to celebrate one another. With social distancing still taking place, that just wasn’t going to be an option this year. But I couldn’t imagine not seeing my mom on Mother’s Day.
I was hopeful I still had a few creative bones left to come up with an idea to celebrate my mom on this special day.
Then a lightbulb went off. I could still make my mom a special meal for Mother’s Day and bring it over to her house as a surprise. And that’s exactly what I did. The meal consisted of a caesar salad, baked ziti, garlic bread, and a fruit tart for dessert left on her doorstep.
But here’s the best part! That baked ziti I made happened to be prepared in a casserole dish that I etched all by myself. Yes, I finally etched my first piece of glass and it was the easiest thing ever.
I etched the casserole dish using an SVG file I uploaded onto my Cricut Design Space. It was a free file I downloaded from JenniferMaker.com that I was able to customize with my own name. The casserole dish read, “Made with love by Tiffany”.
I seriously can’t begin to tell you how simple it was to do. And you don’t even need to have a Cricut machine to do it either. It does make it a little easier, but it’s totally not necessary.
What are some other Easy DIY Etched Glass Gift Ideas?
The best part about learning this process is once you learn it you can literally etch any glass surface. Think wine glasses, mugs, tumblers, platters, glass containers that hold coffee, cotton balls, q-tips, etc., candy dishes, candle holders, vases and so much more.
These personalized pieces are perfect gifts for baby and bridal showers, weddings, birthdays, housewarming parties, birthdays, Christmas, Mother’s Day, and everything else in between. The possibilities are truly endless.
A great place to shop for glass pieces to etch is the Dollar Tree! Grab yourself a simple one-dollar item and make it extra special with your glass etching cream. I promise you it will be a hit with the recipient. And it will allow you to practice your etching skills too and if you mess up you’re only out a dollar or two!
Because I had such a fun time making my mom’s Mother’s Day casserole dish, I decided to make a couple of wine glasses for myself to use. I figured I could feature them on my weekly Thirsty Thursday cocktail series. And because I am now officially obsessed with etching glass, I’m pretty sure I’ll be making a set of tumblers and collin glasses too in the near future.
Easy Step-by-Step Tutorial for Etching Any Glass Surface
- Armour Etch Cream
- Glass – this can be any glass item of your choice
- Vinyl cut out (using a Cricut or Silhouette) or Adhesive Stencils
- Transfer Tape (if using vinyl)
- Paint Brush
Step 1 – Determine your design
Begin by determining the design you want to place on your glass item. Like I mentioned before, I used a pre-made SVG file for my casserole dish. I uploaded the SVG file to my Cricut Design Space and customized it with my name. It was super simple and made my life really easy.
For the wine glasses, however, I decided to create something on my own to etch into the glass using Cricut Design Space.
As I am sure you can tell, I am no stranger to using a Cricut machine so I’m comfortable enough to do my own thing. If you aren’t, I recommend starting off by downloading an already made SVG file and going from there. You can find many free SVG files online as well as sellers on Etsy who are willing to customize ones for you to download.
*If you do not have a Cricut or Silhouette machine, no worries. You can find all different kinds of self-adhesive stencils at Michaels or your local craft store. And if you’re super crafty, you can even create your own stencil by hand.
Step 2 – Prepare your design
Once you have determined your design, it’s time to cut it out. Again, this is a really simple process even if you are fairly new to using a vinyl cutting machine. I recommend watching this video I used when making my mom’s casserole dish. It gives a really thorough explanation of how to properly prepare your design.
Note: You never want any food or beverage to come in contact with your etched surface. For the casserole dish, I etched the design on the bottom of the dish. To do this, I had to mirror my image so the words could be read when looking down into the dish. For the wine glasses, I didn’t have to mirror my design because it stayed on the outside of the wine glass. **Steps 3 – 5 can be skipped if you’re using adhesive stencils instead of vinyl.
Step 3 – Reverse weed your design
Using a weeding tool, remove all the vinyl you want your etching to appear under. Basically, you’re removing the design elements and leaving the rest of the vinyl around it. Notice how I kept the tiny piece in the letters “a” and “e”.
Step 4 – Trim around your stencil
You want to trim around your stencil so it’s even on all sides. Believe me, it makes your design so much easier to center when you have even sides all the way around.
Step 5 – Cut a piece of transfer tape and transform your stencil to it
At this point, you’ll want to cut a piece of transfer tape the size of your stencil.
I like to use my scraper to really rub the transfer tape so it sticks to the stencil well.
Once you think your stencil has adhered, remove the backing from the vinyl leaving only the stencil attached to the transfer tape.
Step 6 – Adhere your stencil/design to your glass
Making sure to position your design properly, adhere the vinyl to your glass. Again, you can use adhesive stencils instead of vinyl here. I like to use my scraper to make sure the vinyl design has adhered well to my glass surface without any bubbles or creases as best as I can. Mine didn’t come out perfect!
I find it easiest to place my scraper in the center of the design and work my way out to the edges. I also cut tiny slits around the edge of the stencil to help it adhere to the curved surface of the wine glass. Again, it wasn’t perfect but I gave myself some grace. I’m sure I’ll get better the more I do these kinds of projects!
Note: I added a little bit of painter’s tape around the edges of my stencil because I didn’t want the Armour Etch Cream to get anywhere else on the glass. I did this for the wine glasses because they had a smaller perimeter around the stencil but didn’t have to worry about it when working with the casserole dish.
Step 7 – Time to etch your glass
Wearing a pair of gloves, give your cream a good stir with your paintbrush before adding your etching cream onto your stencil. You don’t need to cake on the cream. Just brush a small layer of it all over your stencil.
For about five to ten minutes, simply continue moving the cream into every little piece of your stencil. Note: You aren’t adding additional cream as you’re brushing, you’re simply just moving around the cream that is already on your glass.
Step 8 – Rinse off your etch cream
After the five minutes is up, rinse off all your etching cream. Make sure to get it all off! You don’t want to accidentally touch it with bare hands and burn your skin.
Step 9 – Remove your stencil and give your glass a good washing
Once you’ve removed all the cream, remove your stencil and give your glass a good washing. You did it so celebrate!
Honestly and truly, this process is so easy. It seems like a lot at first glance but it’s only because I wanted to be thorough with this tutorial. Now that you know the steps, the possibilities are truly endless on the gifts you can make for family and friends. Or be selfish like me and just make pieces for yourself. Happy Crafting!
Want to remember this? Post these Easy DIY Etched Glass Gift Ideas to your favorite Pinterest board!
WELCOME TO THE WEDNESDAY LINK PARTY! MEET YOUR HOSTS:
Jaclyn from Coffee, Pancakes, and Dreams
Brittany from Dreams and Coffee
Mary Leigh from Live Well Play Together
Tiffany from Lake Life State of Mind
Lindsay from Lindsay’s Sweet World
Keri from Cultivate an Intentional Life
Holley from Bee Simply Organized
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Jaclyn Musselman says
This is so cool Tiffany! I need a vinyl cut out machine-they look so fun and so many things you can do with it.
I love my machine! I don’t use it enough but every time I do I kick myself for not using it more often. You’ll love it!
Brittany Boyce says
I️ love these! What a great gift idea, too – I’m always looking for fun, meaningful ideas for friends and family <3
Me too!! Now I know what everyone is getting for every occasion in the near future!
Holley Cavaliere says
You did such a great job! I’ve always wanted a cricut but haven’t invested in one yet and I also love Jennifer Maker!!
-Holley @ beesimplyorganized.com
Isn’t she the best! I love all her craft ideas and she’s an awesome help to bloggers.
Sharlene Habermeyer says
I’ve always wondered how people do etched glass–and now I know! These are beautiful, Tiffany! I especially LOVE the casserole dish you made for your mother for Mother’s Day–what a clever idea for a lockdown–a personalized dinner at the doorstep! I”m sure she loved the creative touches! Now–I don’t have a Circut machine–but I think if I follow your directions and tutorials carefully, I can do this. Question–I am taking my grandkids all day Monday and Tuesday until school starts–what ages do you think would be able to do this? I understand all the precautions–with gloves, etc., but I”m wondering if a 10-year old could do something like this. I love your creative, fun ideas–and I want to pass them to my kids and grandkids. Thank you–I LOVE this!
My mom absolutely loved it!! It really is a great gift idea for these crazy times we’re leaving through. I definitely think that your 10-year-old grandchild could do this. It really is so simple! If you do try it, make sure to share your results. I’d love to see them!