DIY Glass Etching: Thrift, Tape Go!

DIY Glass Etching: Thrift, Tape Go!

Etching cream is one of the simplest ways to get started with DIY glass etching, and you can even make custom stencils to fancy things up!

DIY glass etching is such a fun way to add a little bit of love to plain, thrifted glassware or jazz up some glasses from your own kitchen. You can etch any design you like onto your glass, and custom etched glasses make a pretty snazzy handmade holiday gift, too! Just sayin.

Related: DIY Holiday Gifts for Everyone on Your List

The etching cream itself is not the greenest material, so you do want to make sure you’re working in a well-ventilated area when you’re doing glass etching, and it’s a good idea to wear rubber gloves when you’re handling etching cream. Once you’ve taken the proper safety measures, hit the thrift store or your own cabinet for some old glasses, and you’re ready to etch!

DIY Glass Etching


+ Thrifted glasses, Mason jars, etc that you’ve cleaned and deodorized.

+ Etching cream

+ Gloves

+ Paint brush

+ Contact paper

+ Scissors and/or an Exacto knife


1. Cut whatever shapes you want out of the contact paper. The annoying part is that you have to cut a stencil for each piece you’re etching. A die cutter would make this SO much easier. Remember: you’re going to paint the cream on the negative space, so the shape you cut out isn’t your stencil – what’s left is.

2. Stick the contact paper stencil to the clean, dry glass.

3. Glob on LOTS of etching cream. Don’t be shy!

4. Let it set for 10-15 minutes. I know, the box says 5 minutes, but whoever wrote that is crazy. It takes at least 10 minutes to get a nice, clear image.

5. Put on your gloves and rinse each glass thoroughly, then peel back the contact paper.

6. Make sure that you clean off your paint brush really well as soon as you’re done.

That’s it! Your design will show up like magic. You could keep using these as glasses, or you can turn them into super fun, custom votive holders! Just put about an inch of beans, lentils, or rice in the bottom, set your tea light on top, and voila!

Have you guys done any glass etching of your own? I’d love to hear what you made in the comments!

4 thoughts on “DIY Glass Etching: Thrift, Tape Go!”

  1. Pingback: 9 Ways to Reuse a Mason Jar | Glue and Glitter

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