How to Etch Glass Using a DIY Vinyl Stencil
I love etched glass and just realized that I can easily do it myself using my vinyl cutting machine. This process will work with any cutting machine including Cricut, Silhouette, and Brother Scan n Cut. I am using a Scan n Cut for this project. Believe it or not I have had this machine for years and have never used it. It was an impulse buy from a home shopping network years ago. I actually had to get it out and dust it off to do this project. I am feeling confident but I guess we will find out together how this project goes. So here it goes how to etch glass using a DIY stencil.
Of course I headed to Dollar Tree to pick up some glass mugs to try out this technique so I wasn’t out a lot of money if it didn’t work. But it did work and it was so easy to do that I am sharing it with you. This is essentially a two step process, creating the stencil and etching the glass. The best part is creating the stencil. This allows you to personalize the glass anyway you like. Whether you are making this project for you or for personalized gifts using a handmade stencil makes it special. I did manage to finish the mug project but could not get it to photograph well so I created these colored wine glasses instead. The process is the same.
What you will need:
- Vinyl Cutting Machine
- Sticky vinyl
- Vinyl Transfer Sheet
- Glass mugs
- Glass etching cream
- Foam brush
- Isoprypyl alcohol
Step 1: Make your Stencil
Each of the cutting machines has a design space where you can create your stencil. You should follow your manufacturers instructions on how to use your machine’s design space. For the Scan n Cut it is called the Brother Scan n Cut canvas. You can import designs from your manufacturer’s website, other vendors or use the design space to create one of your own. I decided to use my design space to create one of my own.
Step 2: create your design
I decided to go with a his and hers theme for my mugs. I used two standard shapes and the text tool to make my stencil. Simply place a box onto the work space then place a crenelated circle in the center. Add text using the text tool and meld the image together. Keep in mind that the text needs to be slightly larger than the circle so that when you remove the inside of the circle the text remains attached to the box. You can follow my step by step instructions by watching this video.
You can always import a design from among the numerous free SVG file sites that are out there. I imported an SVG file from a free site that had a hibiscus and the phrase beach girls. I changed the phrase to my name using the text tool and put it on a wine glass. This is a very simple process. Check out this video.
Step 3: Load your design
Load your design onto your machine either via the internet or by USB. I chose USB for mine. Simply plug in the USB and choose from saved data. Click on the USB symbol and your designs will come up on the touch screen. Touch the design you want and it will pop up ready to be cut.
Step 4: cut your stencil
Place your vinyl onto your cutting mat and load the mat. Press cut and cut out your stencil. I used a cut pressure of zero and a knife length of 4.5. This allowed me to cut through the vinyl but not the vinyl backing. Weed out the portions of the stencil that will be blank and that the etching cream will etch. In my design it is the area of the crenelated circle. In my imported design it was the hibiscus and my name.
Step 5: PLace your stencil
Clean your mug using isopropyl alcohol to make sure it is clean of all oils and residue. Place your stencil on your mug using the vinyl transfer sheet. This is a simple process. Place the transfer sheet on top of the vinyl stencil and burnish so that it sticks. Lift the entire design from the mat and remove any remaining backing material. The transfer sheet allows you to place the stencil easily onto the mug without it getting caught up in your fingers. I placed mine on the opposite side of the handle. Make sure that there are no bubbles in the vinyl and that it is suck securely on your glass.
Step 6: Add the etching cream
Liberally add the etching cream to your stencil making sure not to get any on surfaces where you don’t want it. Leave the etching cream on for the length of time recommended by the manufacturer. I used Armour Etch and the manufacturer recommended 1 minute only and no longer so that is all that I did.
Step 7: rinse the stencil
Once you have waited the recommended time rinse off the stencil so that there is no more etching cream left.
Step 8: Remove your Stencil
Carefully remove your stencil from the glass. You will not be able to use this stencil again. Throw out the stencil and admire your beautiful etched glass.
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