Christmas Gifts – Glass Etching

I’m currently trying REALLY hard to keep up with all my goals and resolutions for the New Year, like blogging once a week. But things keep happening and next thing I know it’s been ages since I’ve posted! So very sorry about that. I’ll have my star chart up and running shortly which will hopefully keep me on track!

Anywho, onto this week’s post: glass etching
One day while cruising Pinterest I came across this cool idea to personalise a glass baking dish (particularly awesome idea if you go to a lot of pot luck dinners). I knew straight away the idea would be perfect for a couple of Christmas presents. I was already planning to get my mum and my mother in law a baking dish and filling it with goodies, so this was a perfect handmade touch to add!

First of all I did a lot of researching and found some Glass Etching Cream on TradeMe. After buying this and some glass dishes I deliberated a long time about the design to put on the bottom. Finally I came up with something, created a stencil from contact paper (Duraseal) and set about my etching. I was freaking out. The cream seems pretty lethal and I was terrified it was all going to go wrong.

It turns out it did go wrong, but not really the way I expected. You see, NOTHING HAPPENED!!!!! I couldn’t believe it. After 15 very tense minutes I washed the cream off, peeled away the stencil and…. Nothing. Not a mark on the dish. It turns out because it’s oven proof, it doesn’t etch. A real big dampener on my project. Oh we’ll, I decided I’d leave it at that and give them the dishes anyway, without customisation.

Then one day while in Stevens I saw these gorgeous glass bowls that were on special. So I bought them, quickly decided on a design and etched them. And boom! Fabulous bowls with a lovely little customised base! The pattern I chose (using google images) worked perfectly on the bowl. I was so pleased (the etching is a little patchy and perhaps a touch wonky, but who’s going to notice that?).

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That process was such a success I thought I’d go one step further and create my Dad a customised coffee set. My dad is BIG on coffee. I bought a plunger and some glass coffee mugs. Now, there’s a bit of a story with the mugs, because just before I came up with idea I quizzed him about why he used the oldest, ugliest coffee mug every time he had his coffee. Apparently it was the ‘perfect’ size cup for the amount he liked. So, because of this, buying coffee mugs became a great exercise. You can no longer buy the mugs he liked, so I’d have to get crafty.

On one side of the mug I etched “Poppa’s Brew”, on the other I etched a fill line. I used the so called perfect mug to measure out the perfect amount off coffee to fill the new mug to, then used some tape to create the stencil to etch the line.
I also created a stencil reading “Poppa’s Brewing Machine” to put on the plunger, along with a small graphic of a steaming coffee cup.

A word on the stencils, I tried cutting out the stencil before putting it on the glass and also putting it on before cutting it out. I found the latter to be much easier! I didn’t get air bubbles under the stencil or have it wonky.

Anyway, etching a vertical surface was much, much harder than the flat surface of the bowls. I had to keep a close eye on the cream to make sure it didn’t run down onto the glass below the stencil. It was very stressful. In the end I had a few etched smudges on the glasses.

Aside from the smudges I was really happy with the mugs. The coffee pot was another story however, because this also must be heat treated glass, and therefore I had gone to a lot of effort for nothing, as it also didn’t etch! I was very upset. I’d spent so much time getting the stencil ready, and worst of all, it was a day or two before Christmas and half his present hadn’t worked!!!! (Luckily I had some fishing baits on hand which kept him happy).

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So the glass etching experience was a bit of a mixed bag. But I did enjoy it and I like the results. I often see things now that I’d like to etch. Imagine a little girl’s bedroom mirror etched with a border of flowers and butterflies, or adding an interesting design to a corner of a boring window (like the one beside our front door). So many options, so little time for crafty stuff!!!!

So, coming up in my Christmas gift review, I still have coasters, a great gift for veggie gardeners and a handful of great things for kids!
Stay tuned, hopefully it’ll only be a week away!

PS. If you have any comments, questions or most importantly, advice, please leave me a comment below or on my Facebook page! And don’t forget I’m on Pinterest.

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7 thoughts on “Christmas Gifts – Glass Etching

  1. Question for you, how well does the etching diffuse light? Like if I put an LED behind it do you think it will glow nicely?

  2. I love this idea! Would an engraver work on the heatproof Bowles and plungers? That is a freakin fabulous idea customising bakeware. Do you think we could be onto an internet sensation…. Buy your personalised Pyrex here!

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