Tuesday, October 23, 2012

31 Days off Your Duff {Day 21} - Etching Your Own Designs

Hello everyone! Today I thought I'd share another of the projects I did over the summer; etching my own glassware.

This has so many amazing possibilities, but sadly I've only accomplished one so far. Even so, I am very pleased!


Over the summer I started steeping some vinegar and herbs together to make my own all-purpose cleanser, but I had no container special enough to put the finished project in.

Luckily, there exists this amazing etching cream that would allow me to design my very own container out of an ordinary bottle. I needed only a few supplies:

  • Glass Bottle - easy, as I recycle dozens of flavour bottles from my shop every week
  • Spray top to fit on my bottle - I got lucky; the first cheap spray bottle I bought fit perfectly
  • Etching Cream - had to buy a gigantic tub of it for about $22 from my local building supply store
  • Brush - got a sturdy one at that same supply store
  • Protective Rubber Gloves - again, same store
  • Clear Contact Paper - grabbed a huge, exciting, useful roll at Michael's!

Now, I believe I got this fabulous idea from Kelly over at ImperfectHomemaking. She used clear contact paper for some label work she had to do (although she prefers vinyl), and after some experimentation I got it to work for my etching.

Doing the Deed

So, I boiled my bottle to sterlize it, and got to work cutting out shapes from my contact paper.

That was by far the worst part. I tried printing the shapes I wanted onto it - worked great, until I realized the ink never, ever dries, and instead smears the moment you touch it.

That was a failure. Next.

I attempted to draw my shapes onto the paper, then use an exacto to cut them out. Yeah.... that might work on giant, bold cuts, not on the fine ones I needed to make. The paper just scrunched instead of cutting.

Another failure. Fine, I'll do things the hard way.

So I got scissors, and gave myself hand cramps cutting out tons of different sized squares. I was trying to do patterns that involved larger squares around smaller squares around smaller squares, so of course the sizes had to work well together. Not as easy as it sounds.

Eventually, after tons of wasted contact paper (good thing it's such a large roll!) I got enough usable squares. After a little celebration, I got to work on affixing the squares to the bottle - a task that proved only mildly difficult at times.

After that, I just needed to carefully apply the cream with my brush and wait while it worked it's magic!

Just be sure you actually wait patiently. I rinsed all the cream off way too early in my excitement, and hardly had any results. The next time I waited the instructed amount of time, and it turned out much better.

Again, as I wasn't exactly preparing for a blog at the time of this bottle's creation, I don't have any pictures. I would take one now, but of course, the bottle is still packed away in storage.

So instead, I guess you'll just have to get off your duff and make your own to look at!


  1. Oh my gosh...I am so glad you posted this! I was just thinking about the amazing bottle you made this weekend while I was mixing ingredients to clean my kitchen...I wanted that bottle! I have to do this, this weekend hopefully!!

    I saw the bottle....it was AMAZING!!

    Oh, and sorry for throwing out some of your contact paper....whoops....

  2. Just wanted to add....I was thinking about the bottle this weekend....it sounds like I said you made the bottle this weekend...