Make Your Own Etched Glass Candleholders

I love pretty candles and luminarias at Christmas, so when I discovered an easy way to make these etched glass candleholders, I knew I had to try it out. It turned out to be easier than I realized and now I want to etch everything in my house!
The secret is to use an etching cream, like this Easy Etch by DecoArt, rather than trying to use a liquid.
All you need are: glass containers, Easy Etch, stickers, rubbing alcohol, and gloves and apron.
First, clean your glass container well with rubbing alcohol.
Add stickers wherever you want the glass to be clear. I used these foam snowflake stickers, but you could use any design you want. Tape off any areas you don't want etched. (For this project I etched the whole thing.)
Using a plastic knife or palette knife (while wearing rubber gloves and apron), spread a thick coat of the etching cream onto the glass. Be sure to get into all the nooks and crannies of the stickers.
Look from the inside out to see that you've evenly coated everything. Wait for 15 minutes.
Scrape off as much of the etching cream as you can and return it to the bottle, to be used on another project. Rinse the glass in the sink, remove the stickers, then clean well with soap and water.
As the glass dries, your etching pattern will show up. Then just fill the candleholders with a little epsom salt in the bottom for a snowy effect and a votive or tea light candle.
See my full tutorial on the blog for more details and tips!

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Meredith Wouters

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

8 questions
  • Nancy
    on Nov 13, 2015

    I wonder if the spray etching would work as well ... ???

    • V Valencia
      on Nov 13, 2015

      @Nancy Yes, I thought there might be an easier way to etch glass

    • Brenda Brown
      on Nov 17, 2015

      @Nancy That's what I'm thinking as I have a spray can of that already. Should work. I used it on a glass candle holder and used tape to mark off areas and it worked well.

    • Meredith Wouters
      on Nov 17, 2015

      Is the spray etching permanent also?

    • Kathy Meador Wells
      on Nov 17, 2015

      @Meredith Wouters It is semi permanent, if you wash it repeatedly it will start to flake off. The only reason I know this is due to living in an older house that had a window in the tub/shower area.

    • Renata
      on Nov 18, 2015

      Crap! I just spray painted my clear jars!!

    • Paula Lotte
      on Nov 18, 2015

      I like the idea of being able to reuse the left over cream where with spray you can't.

  • Susan Bechamp
    on Nov 17, 2015

    if you use a stencil and etching cream, can you dry brush paint over the etching after it has cured? I'm thinking of colored etching to disguise an oversized mirror glued to the bathroom wall. If etching and paint work together maybe some of that mirror will disappear.

    • Meredith Wouters
      on Nov 17, 2015

      @Susan Bechamp that's a really good question. I don't see why you couldn't. I'd love to see what you do - please share!

  • Ellen
    on Nov 17, 2015

    Is spray etching the same as frosted clear spray paint? That would also work.

    • Meredith Wouters
      on Nov 17, 2015

      @Ellen that's a good idea. I'm not sure how permanent it would be, though? I don't know much about the spray stuff.

  • Madeline O
    on Nov 17, 2015

    When you say scrape off as much cream as possible and then wash, you don't mean in the sink, do you? Seems to me it could damage sink and plumbing.

    • Meredith Wouters
      on Nov 18, 2015

      @Madeline O yes, actually! If possible, you should use a fiberglass or stainless steel sink. But if you rinse with lots of water (you'll find that you need to anyway) then your plumbing will be fine. I would also recommend rinsing out the sink thoroughly afterwards too.

    • Elaine
      on Dec 2, 2017


  • Michaela Edwards
    on Nov 17, 2015

    I wonder if that works as well with the spray that makes glass look edged?

  • Lori Nordine
    on Nov 19, 2015

    Could you mix the epsom salt with glue like they do to coat outside of glass to look snowy so the epsom won't spill out when you put it away or have Grandbabies like I do?

    • Meredith Wouters
      on Nov 24, 2015

      @Lori Nordine I'm sure you could! Epsom salt is so easy to work with. Give it a try and let us know how it goes!

  • Lynda
    on Nov 23, 2015

    I was wondering, if you have some spots that didn't etch well, can you re-do those areas?

    • Meredith Wouters
      on Nov 24, 2015

      @lynda I think you could. Just dab a little on that area and follow the rest of the steps.

  • Stacy Humphrey
    on Oct 14, 2016

    I have never heard of etching cream. What is it and where do you get it? Couldn't you also just spray paint it with like a snowy type affect spray

    • Meredith Wouters
      on Oct 14, 2016

      There are a few different brands of etching cream, and both are available at craft stores like Michaels or Hobby Lobby. It's basically an acid in a cream form (rather than liquid) which makes it easy to apply and less messy. My favorite is the DecorArt Easy Etch. And yes, you could also spray it with the snow sprays, but I think this way is more permanent.

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