How to Etch Glass

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How to Etch Glass
23 Steps
Supplies
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1

Wash and dry the glass object you would like to etch. It's a good idea to test a small inconspicuous spot to ensure your glassware is etchable. (Some manufacturers put on a resistant coating)

2

Design keeping in mind less is usually more. You can either use a computer and printer, or draw by hand.

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If you've chosen a computer and printer...

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Using the lightest printing option (draft setting) print your design onto a piece of white contact paper, trimmed to 8 1/2 x 11. Be careful as the ink smears easily.

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Three simple snowflakes will look nice I think.

Three simple snowflakes will look nice I think.

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If you've chosen to hand draw simply use a sharpie to design your etching.  I have chosen to draw a mediocre cat. I have to tell you this because I am a mediocre artist.  Don't judge...

If you've chosen to hand draw simply use a sharpie to design your etching. I have chosen to draw a mediocre cat. I have to tell you this because I am a mediocre artist. Don't judge...

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After the inks have set up for a few minutes (they should appear semi-dry) affix the clear contact paper to your images. Use your fingers to work out any bubbles.

After the inks have set up for a few minutes (they should appear semi-dry) affix the clear contact paper to your images. Use your fingers to work out any bubbles.

8
Trim your image to fit leaving a generous boarder. Peel the paper backing and  stick the contact paper to the cleaned glass.

Trim your image to fit leaving a generous boarder. Peel the paper backing and stick the contact paper to the cleaned glass.

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Use your fingers to remove bubbles.

Use your fingers to remove bubbles.

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And to ensure the contact paper in firmly affixed.

And to ensure the contact paper in firmly affixed.

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Using an exacto knife, cut away the areas you would like etched.

Using an exacto knife, cut away the areas you would like etched.

12
Carefully peel away.

Carefully peel away.

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Some of the smaller pieces can give you trouble.

Some of the smaller pieces can give you trouble.

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I found my etching cream at hobby lobby. A 10oz bottle should run you about 20 bucks, but will go a long way. This is the good stuff...dishwasher safe.

I found my etching cream at hobby lobby. A 10oz bottle should run you about 20 bucks, but will go a long way. This is the good stuff...dishwasher safe.

15
Apply a generous amount of cream, but try to make the application even and smooth.

Apply a generous amount of cream, but try to make the application even and smooth.

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Wait approximately 15 minutes then rinse in cold water, remove contact paper, then rinse some more. I say rinse, but this stuff is pretty stubborn. You may have to scrub.

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The etching won't really show up until your glassware is dry.

The etching won't really show up until your glassware is dry.

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At this point I would recommend a quick trip through the dishwasher. Happy etching!

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