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How to Faux Etch Glass, Mirrors and More with Vinyl

Faux etch glass, mirrors, vinyl, Silhouette tutorial
Etching is like the new black. It's in.   But here's the thing, while I like to etch glass and I love the look of etched glass, there are just some glass surfaces that I'm not 100% sure I want to permanently etch...and that's what happens when you use etching cream.  There's no going back.

Enter etched glass vinyl! Yes...etch vinyl. It gives the look of etched glass, but without the commitment since it's vinyl and can be removed eventually.
My Vinyl Direct sells two different types of etched glass vinyl - the regular and sparkle/crystal. Oh yes, sparkle.  For this tutorial I'm going to show you who to use regular etched glass vinyl and then you can go wild and get your sparkle I did here!

Faux etch glass, mirrors, vinyl, Silhouette tutorial

I wanted to give my kiddos a gentle hygiene reminder.  Ahem...a certain 3 and 6 year old may be guilty of 'forgetting' to brush their teeth no matter how many awesome, battery-operated, Super Man and Dora toothbrushes they convince me to buy them by promising they'll brush at least twice a day.

Since I have my fingers crossed that they won't always 'forget', I didn't want to permanently etch the mirror in their bathroom, but I did want the look.  This is a perfect use for etch vinyl because it's not permanent, but you get the same look.

Let's get started...

In Silhouette Studio, I typed out my text using the font 'Great Vibes' and welded the text together. Then I added weeding lines to make the vinyl easier to weed.

Faux etch glass, mirrors, vinyl, Silhouette tutorial, Silhouette Studio

That's it for this design. Now I'm ready to cut and admittedly this is where I ran into trouble.  You can clearly tell on regular adhesive vinyl which side you cut and which side is the backing. That's not the case with this 3M Etched Glass Vinyl.

It's extremely difficult to tell the backing from the actual adhesive vinyl.  The best advice I can give you is to peel up a tiny bit of the corner so you are sure you are cutting on the adhesive side and not the backing.    Once I figured out the correct side to cut on, I sent the etch vinyl through my Silhouette as I would like with any other vinyl - same settings for the blade and thickness.

Faux etch glass, mirrors, vinyl, Silhouette tutorial, Silhouette Portrait

You can cut with or without the mat.  Personally, whenever possible I cut with the mat because I have found the vinyl does not slip around as much and I get a better cut. 

The etched glass vinyl cut like butter and weeded really easily.

Faux etch glass, mirrors, vinyl, Silhouette tutorialFaux etch glass, mirrors, vinyl, Silhouette tutorial

The application process is exactly the same as adhesive vinyl. I used transfer tape to transfer the etch vinyl from the backing onto the mirror and used my Silhouette scraper to make sure it really stuck to the mirror.

Faux etch glass, mirrors, vinyl, Silhouette tutorial

As you may have guessed, it's tough to please, don't judge. :) 

Faux etch glass, mirrors, vinyl, Silhouette tutorial

If you follow Silhouette School on Facebook and/or Instagram you know I wasn't a huge fan of etch vinyl at first. My first go at it left a bad taste in my mouth after I cut the backing instead of the vinyl, felt like I was applying the etched glass vinyl blind because it's clear on the transfer tape and hard to see, and was left with a lot of bubbles. (BOOO!) 

Faux etch glass, mirrors, vinyl, Silhouette tutorial

BUT...a week later the bubbles disappeared and now it looks FLAWLESS!! 

Now, while I would never call etched glass vinyl the easiest vinyl to work with, I am certainly glad I gave it another go and I absolutely love how the etched vinyl turned out on the bathroom mirror and the drink despenser.   For places where you want the look for etched glass, but you don't want to commit - etched glass vinyl is gonna be your new BFF! 

Faux etch glass, mirrors, vinyl, Silhouette tutorial

AFter seeing how awesome the mirror the drink dispenser turned out, I had to give the sparkle etched glass vinyl a try. OMG! This stuff is amazing.  I didn't even put it on glass....look how stunning it looks on this phone case.  It's subtle, but I love it.

Faux etch glass, mirrors, vinyl, Silhouette tutorial, phone case

I also used it to give a blank cuff a little something special.
Faux etch glass, mirrors, vinyl, Silhouette tutorial, acrylic cuff

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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  1. Illuminated Bathroom Mirror specializes in production and distribution of LED mirrors and backlit mirrors.We offer a wide variety of mirrors to suit all residential and commercial needs.Our team of engineers and designers work in close proximity and constantly innovate in creating beautiful practical and reliable products.

  2. Thank you for this tutorial. I was trying to figure out whether I should use etching cream or the faux etch vinyl for a project. Your tutorial def answered that question for me.
    Do you know if the etch vinyl will stick to stainless steel? Like a Yeti cup? Do you know if it would hold up through hand and/or dishwashing?

  3. I know this post is a couple years old, but I love the font you used on the mirror. I can't find it anywhere! Where did you get it? Thank you!


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