Etching Glass Tip

Lisa Cain
by Lisa Cain
3 Materials
2 Hours

I love to etch glasses, but sometimes the shape has the etching falling all over the glass, where you don't want the etching to be. While I was working on a glass the other day, I came up with a solution. Here's a quick tip for how to etch glass.

First make your stencil. I used a silhouette machine for mine, but you may use other things or even pre-made stencils. This is one of two designs I'm using on my glass. One is a date, the other is a name. Make sure the area around your stencil is about 1-2 inches bigger (if not more) than the stencil. This is the stencil with transfer tape over it.

Apply the stencil to the glass using transfer tape or any other type of tape you may prefer. Curve the outer edges in and the bottom edge up after the stencil is applied. This will be the "lip" that catches your etching so it doesn't get anywhere else on the glass.

Here is another view. Curl, curl, curl....I wish my hair was as easy to curl!

Next, I like to set the glasses in these little baskets from the dollar store. They seem just the right size, and you can lean them towards an edge to keep the glass from falling either way. Pretty nifty!

Another view. This is one side, and when dry and washed off, I will do the other stencil on the other side, using the same directions as above.

And there you have it. Beautifully etched glass, with no runs, no added etching marks, and a gift the bride and groom will cherish. I hope these two tips of curling edges and laying in a small basket will help you. It sure has helped me!

Etch away my little pretties!

Suggested materials:
  • Pint Glasses   (Store)
  • Etching Cream   (Store)
  • Wire Baskets   (Dollar Store)
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 10 questions
  • Ruth Tramison Ruth Tramison on Jun 18, 2017
    Can i paint the etched part? We have beer mugs etched with people's names in the freezer. When the mugs are pulled out, they are all frosty and it's very difficult to read the names.

  • Abe8869233 Abe8869233 on Jun 22, 2017
    Where do u get the etching cream? And can u use a dremel to etch?

  • Jen R Jen R on Jan 19, 2018
    Do you have any suggestions for how to make a stencil when you don't have a silhouette machine? And you can't find a pre-made stencil of the design you desire.

Join the conversation
4 of 31 comments
  • I also have etched pints and wine glasses. I cut my stencils out of contact paper with an Xacto or disposable scalpel. I have found that it takes much longer to etch the glass tan it says on the etching creme. paints or permanent markers will work on the etched glass - I like the metallics, but they do fade with use and washings. The etching lasts.

    • Lisa Cain Lisa Cain on Jun 23, 2017
      Yes etching lasts much longer and can be hand washed without fading. I let my cream set for at least 30 min.

  • Sue Lilly Sue Lilly on Jul 02, 2017
    Brilliant to do with granddaughter