Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Weekly Holiday Craft-a-long: Week 2: Etched glassware

This week's project was WAY easier than I expected it to be. I've always thought it would be really cool to try glass etching and I would have tried it ages ago if I'd known it was this dead simple. I started with a very basic project - etching some grapes on wine glasses.

The supplies are pretty easy. I bought a glass etching starter kit online, as well as an extra container of etching cream and some re-usable stencils. In addition to the cream in the kit, it comes with some one-use stencils, rubber gloves, a popsicle stick, and a piece of practice glass. I live on the edge though, so I practiced on some spare wine glasses, skipping the practice glass. You could get all sorts of great, cheap glassware to etch at the local thrift stop or at Ikea. You will also need a roll of masking tape and an old paintbrush. 

The first step if you're using the one-use stencils is to masking tape them onto the glass. The directions say to measure to make sure it's lined up right, but again. . . I'm lazy and living on the edge, so I didn't measure. If anyone is going to measure the etchings on my wine glasses, it's their problem, not mine. If you are using re-usable stencils, you will tape them on (and make sure the edges are masked well to avoid spillover etching cream)  in the appropriate place and skip the next two steps.

When using the one-use stencils, you'll need to rub the stencil on to adhere it to the glass. It's just like the rub on letters that you can use for Easter eggs or scrapbooking. Just make sure that the entire stencil is rubbed onto the glass and remove the tape and clear backing.

With the one-use stencils, you'll need to use the masking tape again. This time it's not to hold the stencil on, but to mask the edges of the stencil so the etching cream doesn't spill over outside the design.

Wearing the gloves and using a paintbrush you don't much care about, cover the stencil with a generous amount of etching cream. Let it sit for exactly one minute.

When your minute is up, wash the glass carefully in lukewarm water. The one-use stencil will sort of fall apart and wash off when you do this. You can then remove the tape and remainder of the stencil and carefully hand wash the glass. If it's normally dishwasher safe, it'll be dishwasher safe after this process, but the etching cream is nothing to play around with and I really don't want it in my dishwasher. I recommend hand washing first. 

The etching turned out pretty light on these glasses, which is ok for a wine glass. You could play around with leaving the cream on longer on heavier glass. All in all, this is a great, cheap, quick little gift project that could work for many different holidays and celebrations. It would even make for great wedding or shower favors.

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