This project was probably one of the most enjoyable that we did this past Christmas. Hazardous, yes, because you are dealing with a caustic liquid and its attendant dangers, but fun nonetheless. This is NOT a project you can do with children. You need to work in a well-ventilated area and you need to wear rubber or latex gloves as well as safety goggles while you are doing it.For etching glass I used Armour Etch, a glass etching cream that I picked up from Lee Valley. You can get it at Michael’s as well, if you are prepared to pay about three times the price for it. It’s good stuff. Keep in mind it does not work on plastic and most Pyrex.
First, however, you need to create your stencils. I printed out some images from the internet and then traced them onto clear vinyl masking (also from Lee Valley).The tracing and cutting out is really the hard part in all of this.Next, carefully peel the backing form the mask and apply it firmly to your clean and dry glass. Make sure there are no bubbles or gaps.You can also use masking tape to outline certain areas.Next, very (very) carefully paint on the etching cream in a thick layer in the area you wish to be etched. If you accidentally get cream anywhere else than you intended, it will leave a permanent mark.The instructions say to leave the cream on for 5 to 10 minutes, but I found it worked better if I left it on for 20. In some cases you may also find that a second application is in order.When your time is up, rinse the glass object thoroughly in warm water. I found the cream came off best if I brushed it with the paint brush. As a side note, do not rinse off the etching cream in an enamel sink — only rinse in a metal or plastic sink or you will find yourself without an enamel sink …Peel off your masking and throw it away. You may have to rinse the glass again if there was any cream caught in the crevices of the stencil. Dry the glass thoroughly and you’re all done. This is a jar for my brother-in-law Rusty to keep his keys and phone in so he doesn’t lose them. If you don’t recognize it, that’s the Rebel Alliance insignia from Star Wars.I also used the cream on a vase for my sister-in-law Meg:Some cups and saucers for the Mtree Duo:An AT-AT jar for my brother Ando (in keeping with the Star Wars theme):And a coffee jar for the ever-caffeinated Cait, among other things:This was so much fun the Pie and I agreed we would try to think of new glass objects to give people for Christmas next year. You can pick up glass items from pretty much anywhere for relatively little: IKEA (where I got the jars), Winners/Home Sense (where Rusty’s and Meg’s vases came from), and let’s not forget second-hand shops (Mtree duo’s cups and saucers came from there). Get creative!