This requires very few materials, but it’s not a project for children, since the chemical used to etch the glass can burn your skin if it comes into contact and is recommended for people 18 and over. You will need:
- glass etching cream (I used Armour Etch)
- paint brush
- latex gloves
- adhesive backed vinyl, shelf liner, or something similar
- glass jar and lid
You can do this project without the Cricut. You can make your pattern with a stencil and Exacto knife. But I used my Cricut because it just makes it easier and looks better. I think you could also just buy precut stickers and use those too. If you do scrapbooking you might already have some on hand.
Clean your glass jar and lid, and make sure it’s dry. Make sure also that you have the label and all adhesive off.
Decide on your pattern. I decided to use the word LOVE and use a heart for the “O”. Not all that unique, but I was trying to come up with something simple and quick since I hadn’t tried etching before. If it didn’t work I didn’t want a lot of time and effort into something I was going to throw away!
I simply cut out my pattern enough times go go around my jar once. It left some extra room so I cut out some extra hearts and filled in with those. I made sure to outline with the vinyl so that I would have straight lines where the etching ended.
Then I filled in with more hearts on the rest of the jar, just because I wasn’t very creative. I made sure to have a straight line across the top and bottom, so that when I was painting the etching cream on, the edges would be even.
Once you have finished sticking the vinyl on the jar, be sure you press it down well and press out any bubbles. I was not as careful as I should have been and I had a few spots where the etching cream got underneath the pattern. This is not what you want, as it will then etch the glass underneath. A little bit may not be a big deal, but it means it won’t be perfect. So, take care when you are preparing and avoid that.
Wear gloves for this next step, as the etching cream can burn your skin.
Use a paint brush and apply a thick layer of the etching cream on the glass. Remember that where ever you get the cream will be etched, so if there are uncovered parts of your glass that you do not want etched, do NOT get the cream on them. In addition, something I read said it would also etch porcelain sinks. I thought I would be safe and keep it off my counter tops and all of my sinks. I did my work on a large plastic trash bag (which I threw out afterwards) and rinsed it off outside. Yes, this is how much I don’t like dealing with chemicals!
The directions said to leave it on for 60 seconds. I had also read something that said 5 to 7 minutes, so I went with 7 minutes, reasoning that it wasn’t going to eat through the glass, and the most it would do is etch it more, or waste my time. After 7 minutes, I took it outside and rinsed it off very well (still wearing my gloves and being careful not to get it on me or my clothes!)
At first, I was disappointed. It didn’t look like it had done anything. But when I started peeling the vinyl off, I was pleasantly surprised! My glass was etched! It looked pretty good! And it was pretty easy. I brought the jar in and washed it well with dish detergent, made a lid (see my Shell Keeper, I did a similar lid, except I put paper hearts on top) and filled it with Red Hot Tamales. Now, it’s a cute little Valentine gift! Cost almost nothing for the jar (the candy is another story).
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