Spring Motif

Create one-of-a-kind glassware with this easy etching technique.
Mix and match the patterns for various options.

We used adhesive-backed vinyl-coated paper (like Con-Tact Brand paper) and letters as stencils to achieve this clever effect on colored or clear glasses. The technique would also work on bottles or other glass items.

What You Need:

  • Plain clear or colored glasses
  • White vinegar
  • Adhesive-backed paper (available at discount and home center stores)
  • Carbon paper
  • Craft knife
  • Spoon (for burnishing)
  • 1/4-inch adhesive vinyl letters
  • Fabric paint pen (available at art, crafts, discount, and fabric stores)
  • Rubber gloves
  • Etching cream (from a crafts shop)
  • Paintbrush with natural bristles or a sponge brush

1. Download the patterns. (Downloading requires Adobe Acrobat software.)

Spring Motif pattern

Download Adobe Acrobat

2. Clean glasses with hot water and rinse with white vinegar. (Note: Avoid getting fingerprints on the areas to be etched.) Cut a piece of adhesive-backed paper 1 inch larger all around than the desired pattern.

Step 3

3. Use carbon paper to trace the pattern onto the adhesive-backed paper and cut out shapes using a craft knife. Set the cut-out portions aside and peel the backing from the remaining piece (negative portion, or the piece with the hole left in it) of paper and place it on the glass. Some of the edges might need to be clipped to enable the paper to lay flat. Burnish (rub down) all of the edges of the paper.

Step 4

4. For the cat glass: Use 1/4-inch adhesive vinyl letters to spell "meow" inside the word balloon. Use the paint pen to add details to the face. Allow the paint to dry several hours before etching.

For the sunflower glass: Use the paint pen to draw a center circle. Add a series of paint dots inside the circle for seeds. Draw petal divisions using the paint pen, using the pattern shown as a guide.

For the bee glass: Follow the instructions in Step 1-3 above.

Step 6

5. Wearing rubber gloves, paint on the etching cream following the manufacturer's instructions. Allow to set, and then rinse thoroughly.

6. Peel off the Con-Tact Brand paper, paint, and/or letters. Wash the glass thoroughly before using.

More Ideas

  • Use vinyl letters to personalize your own glasses with the initial of your last name.
  • Etch the name of each family member onto a glass -- don't forget Grandma and Grandpa!


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