Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Glass Etching Tutorial Using Circut or Cameo

Etched glass is a great way to decorate your home or make a unique gift for a friend.  Etching looks difficult, but it is very easy if you have a die cutter like the Silhouette Cameo or the Cricut.  This glass etching tutorial gives you all of the steps and supplies that you need to etch any glass!

Supplies:
  • Glass to be etched
  • Stencil or vinyl
  • Armor Etch
  • Popsicle Stick or paintbrush
  • Newspaper or other table covering
  • Timer
  • Drywall scraper (or credit card)
I used Inkscape to create my monogram.  You can use a stencil or any die cutter, but I just wanted to be sure it was welded and sized right so I used Inkscape.  I use SCAL2 to cut the image with my Cricut.  For easier weeding, put a square around the image so you have a smaller area to work with.  I used shelf liner contact paper because it's what I had on hand and it's cheap.  You can use vinyl if that's what you have.

Remove the positive of the image and leave the negative image (leave a hole for the image).  Cut your transfer paper a little bigger than your vinyl with the image.  I like it better so it's easier to place in the right spot.  Use a scraper or credit card and smooth out any bubbles and make sure you have a good adhesion to the contact paper.  Place your vinyl on the glass.  Use the scraper to make sure there are no air bubbles because bubbles around the edge can mean a sloppy image!
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You can see the transfer paper is a little over the white contact paper so I could line it up easier.  Using your scraper start to peel off your transfer paper.  I like to hold the scraper against the vinyl and slowly peel back using the scraper as a guide to keep it straight.

 

Now it's time to Etch!  I used Armor Etch cream.  Spread the cream with a popsicle stick or paint brush.   
Put it on pretty thick as you can scrape off the excess and put it back in the bottle to use later.  Be really careful there are no air bubbles because the cream will seep into the bubbles.

Now wait. 

Armor Etch takes 5 minutes, but other creams may take longer.  When it's done, scrape the excess cream back into the bottle, rinse the glass with water and peel off your vinyl and dispose.

Now enjoy your etched glass!

I made these as a gift and unfortunately my camera battery died right as I was taking a pic of the final but they turned out awesome!  I did a set of 4 beer mugs for my dad for Christmas. 

I have been picking up glass at garage sales and thrift stores.  I have a big one for my dining room table and a few for above my kitchen cabinets waiting to be done.  I'm also going to etch my tea and coffee containers that are clear.

Another great idea is to etch the bottom of a glass pan (be sure to reverse the image!) with your last name so you know which one is yours at a pot luck.  Great bridal shower gift!