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How to Etch Glass (Silhouette Tutorial)

Etch, glass, Silhouette tutorial
A few weeks ago when we gave away a free Silhouette Starter Kit, I asked which kit you would pick if you won.  Lots and lots and lots of you said you'd like to try glass etching.  The Silhouette Glass Etching Starter Kit is a good way to get started...or you can buy Armor Etch Cream and dollar store stencil 'vinyl' material and save a little money. That's the route I took. (Not because I have anything against the starter kits, I definitely don't, I just got the Armor Etch Cream on sale.)

Alright let's get started.  The first thing you want to do is cut your stencil.  For this design I did a google image search for the Facebook thumbs up, traced it and then typed out "Like" next to it.  I live on coffee and Facebook (b/c I love my Silhouette School family!) so this mug about sums it up.

You want to cut the stencil on either the Silhouette Stencil Vinyl or the $1 dollar store knockoff version which I talked about in-depth here.   If you aren't familiar with cutting a sticky stencil, head over and read that tutorial before you move on since this tutorial on glass etching will assume you know how to cut, transfer, and adhere the stencil to the glass so you're ready to etch. 

Before you put the stencil on clean the glass really well so it's free of finger prints and smudges.  Don't use glass cleaner, just some water and soap.  Dry the surface really well.

I put my stencil on a dollar store mug....are you seeing where I'm going with this on.the.cheap project?!

Etch, glass, Silhouette tutorial

Once your stencil is on your glass surface really well, tape off the edges with some painters tape.  This will prevent any of the etching cream from getting on part of the glass where you don't want it.

Etch, glass, Silhouette tutorial, painters tape

Before you start etching...gather all of your supplies. The etching process is really fast and you want to make sure you have everything handy because leaving the etching cream on too long will mess up the end result.

Set up near a sink and protect your surface..then get everything within easy reach.  You'll need:

Etching Cream * Glass That You're Going to Etch * Rubber Gloves * Small Paint Brush * Timer

Etch, glass, Silhouette tutorial, etching cream

Etching Cream is pretty powerful stuff...hello, look what it does to glass in a single minute! So, don't skip the gloves. I'm just saying, you don't want your fingers burned...many of you were around when I burned three of my fingers a few months ago (not on etching cream) and if I ever needed an epidural it was for a hand burn and not the birth of my two kids! But I digress....just put on the gloves. 

Open up the etching cream and using the paint brush blot a thick layer across the stencil. You want it thick so don't be afraid to really gob it on there.

Etch, glass, Silhouette tutorial, etching cream

Set your timer for 1 minute and wait.   You can keep the etching cream on the glass longer and you will get a more intense etch, but the manufacturer (and I) suggest you start with the recommended 1 minute.

When the minute is up, run the glass under luke warm water to remove the etching cream.  Once all the cream is off, remove the painters tape and the stencil and re-wash and dry your glass really well.

Etch, glass, Silhouette tutorial

And that's all there is to etching glass.  You like?

Etch, glass, Silhouette tutorial


Etch, glass, Silhouette tutorial

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing products through my links, I received a small commission. That's what helps fund Silhouette School so I can keep buying new Silhouette-related products to show you how to get the most out of your machine! 

Thanks for coming to class today at Silhouette School.  If you like what you see, I'd love for you to pin it!


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