Friday, July 1, 2016

Show and Tell: Etched Glass Tumblers

Hi everyone! Miss Abigail here. About a week ago a friend of mine gave me these "etched glass kits" and asked me if I wanted to give it a try (with warnings of "this is acid, so you'll have to be really careful and dextrous.") Judging from the cover of the kits, glass etching looked like one of the coolest and classiest crafts ever!

Fast forward to Wednesday. I opened up the kits to get the party started, and after reading through the instructions and preparing a work space (because protecting the kitchen table is always a good idea, right?) I decided to jump right in. This was going to be awesome!

Isobel was right when she said the etching cream is dangerous. The bottle says that it causes severe burns and damage and may be fatal, and according to ye olde Internet, it is on the same scale as battery acid. How fun. This is why nitrile gloves exist!

So after being warned about the dangers of glass etching cream, I started playing with different designs on the glass tumblers that came in the first kit. I ended up going with a simple double stripe design to start with.

The process of creating your design and taping it onto the glass is pretty easy. You just cut strips of vinyl tape and arrange them how you like on the glass. It's a lot like placing an adhesive stencil - except you're the one creating the stencil with strips of tape. Really, the hardest part is deciding on a design. If you're like me, you can't decide whether to go with this idea or that one. (The etching cream bottle did say "permanent," after all, in bold letters.)

So I decided on a simple newbie design and got to the real work/fun/potential finger-destroying action. I pulled on my nitrile gloves, stirred my bottle of acid cream, and started spreading it over the areas within the tape. It's crazy how similar this is to stenciling. Just think, Abby, years ago you were  a fresh-faced ten-year-old just learning how to paint within the lines. Now you've graduated to using those techniques to make classy tumblers that you can use at dinner parties, or other events that call for fancy glasses.

So after I finished with the etching cream (fingers still intact so far) I had to let it sit for about five minutes, to allow the acid to do its work. Then it was time to rinse it off, wipe away the stubborn remaining globs, dry it and peel away the tape. Aaaaand....

...Ta-da! It looked great! Now I know how one achieves that "frosted" look on a glass. After I finished the other one I put them together in their own little set.

Then I got started on the other kit, which was a pair of glass flutes in need of classy etching. I tried a much more intricate design on those (shamelessly stolen from the cover of the box, because I really liked that design and my first initial happens to be A.) They turned out really nice too, and I think they'll make great little juice glasses. So I'm pretty pleased with how things turned out, and happy that I tried something new. I think we need to go to Walmart now and get more glasses! This glass etching business is definitely something I could get used to.


  1. They look great. Continue to use some caution, but we have never had an issue with using the cream. You can leave it on longer than 5 minutes to do a more pronounced etch. Clear glass ornaments are fun to etch and glass containers from craft stores like hobby lobby or michaels. A bottle of cream last a long time. You can also use stenciis (the ones with a sticky back) to etch items ~ great for making sets! Have fun! donna

  2. I've played around a little with glass etching and it is really fun. Those look great Abigail!

  3. Those look great! I love the design you did on the glass flutes!

  4. Those are wonderful! Another use is to etch a name or design on the bottom of glass casserole dishes, great for getting your own dish back after a potluck. And of course it makes a really special gift.

  5. Wow! Those are beautiful, Abby, and your commentary makes me want to give it a whirl!


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