CRAFTY with Market22
ONE OF MY FAVORITE THINGS TO DO is make my own versions of expensive home decor items. I've done it for may years, before the internet and before it was cool. Some of my first projects were large wall clocks and Mandala wall hangings. Things I loved and desperately wanted, but could not afford on my 1990's vet tech salary.
Jump ahead a few years, and I still love everything DIY, and saving cash. If you've been to my Etsy shop or any of our events, you likely know I make my own signs and t-shirts. I also love to make jewelry, etch glass, silkscreen and stencil tote bags, pillow covers, tie-dye pretty much anything, and on, and on....Let's just say I always have a project.
Todays DIY project is glass etching. I am using my Cricut Explore 2 and glassware from a local home store.
Cricut Explore or Cutting Machine
Glassware of your choice
Vinyl Stencil Material or 651 Vinyl
Newspaper or Butcher Paper
Nitrile gloves & Eyewear
WHAT I USE
I use my Cricut Explore 2 cutting machine and 651 vinyl.
I purchase glassware at either Target or World Market, as they tend to both have great quality glassware for a great price. You can also use dollar store glasses, but be aware the quality is not there and they tend to chip easily.
The etching cream I use is Armor Etch, available at most craft stores.
I buy my foam brushes, painters tape, and nitrile gloves at Home Depot.
To get started, create your etch design using your cutting machine. The ideal size for a standard glass is about 2x3", but you can play with that depending on the design you choose, and how you want it positioned. Perfectly straight glassware works best for large designs because its easier to position and adhere the stencil. Glassware that is conical can be trickier as air bubbles tend to form in the vinyl.
I usually recommend smaller designs to start for that reason.
Cut your stencil design, and weed it. Remember you may be reverse weeding since you will want the design to be open for the etching cream. I personally prefer to use 651 vinyl vs. stencil vinyl for etching, since the 651 adheres so much better, but the choice is yours.
Next you will want to use transfer paper over the entire design, excess vinyl and all, to adhere it to your glass. Position it carefully, and apply the center first, then laying one side flat, then the other. Use your spatula to get good grip and to remove any bubbles, then peel off the transfer paper.
I use painters tape around the outside of the stencil, to protect the glass from the etching cream. It allows for a wider work surface and literal margin of error. Ha.
You are ready to etch. I lay the glass down on my workbench covered in butcher paper, between 2 pieces of scrap wood to hold it in place. I will do a few glasses at once, so I just put them next to each other, separated by more 1x2" pieces of scrap wood.
Put your gloves and protective eyewear on and open your etching cream. Carefully dip your foam brush in and pick up some cream. Gently and carefully apply it to your glass stencil area in a thin layer. Repeat 2 - 4 more times until it is completely uniform and very well covered. Uniformity is important with etching, or some areas may be less etched. This causes a "splotchy" effect in the appearance of the final product.
Let sit per the directions on your etching cream. I usually add some time, but you may need to figure this out by trial and error the first couple of times you etch.
Once done, rinse the etching cream under warm water, using your gloved hand to remove all the cream.
Once it is rinsed clean, use a mild dish soap to wash the area well, and pat dry. Next, remove the stencil vinyl very carefully using tweezers that will not scratch the glass. Oftentimes the water wash will help the stencil to lift.
After the stencil is removed, wash the glass again with dish soap and warm water, dry, and check your design. VOILA!
I recommend running it through the dishwasher before use.