How To Etch Glass
For reasons really too gross to go into, I needed air-tight jars for my pantry, and fast. A bad situation was bringing me one step closer to my fantasy life — an Ikea-like, label and clutter-free pantry — and maybe, come to think of it, that’s just what life does sometimes. You never thought your mom’s cancer would bring a sense of serenity to your life, but then, strangely, it does. Who knew the grim realities of city living would make my cupboard look so good?
I’ve been a fan of diy glass etching for a while, but never know what the right project is. In general, I’m not crazy about writing on things — t-shirts, dishes, glasses — but in the case of kitchen canisters, it works. The second I saw this craft in an issue of Martha Stewart, I knew it was the etching project I was looking for.
I went to Michael’s to get the letters and came face to face with the new Martha craft line for the first time. Now, I know it sounds like I’m shilling for the domestic doyenne, but there are no perks for my saying this: If you’ve ever looked at the crafts in Living and thought that you didn’t have the paper/stencils/stamps/skill to make your version look as clean and lovely, this line bridges the gap. I looked at everything, and was particularly taken with the acrylic stamps. As a girl planning a wedding (or at least trying), my mind was percolating like crazy and suddenly filled with diy confidence.
I used a roll of Martha’s adhesive letters for this project, and after nearly having to turn my brain inside out to think in reverse (this always confuses me about glass-etching and stenciling), I am really pleased with the way these turned out. I got the surprisingly affordable jars ($3-$4) at the Container Store, but Target has a bunch of options, too.
Do this in a well-ventilated area. No, seriously: I got cold after a little while and closed the window, and sure enough, a half hour later I nearly threw up during my sun salutations. And while we’re at it, wear the gloves. This is very caustic stuff.
What You’ll Need:
paintbrush you don’t mind throwing away
scissors (to cut the tape)
a drop cloth or newspaper to cover work area
Wash and dry your glass jars. Cover your work area with drop cloth or newspaper. Stick your adhesive letters on your jar and tape off the area around the word. Smooth down edges of tape and letters to make sure everything is properly adhered. Everything not covered by a sticker or tape will be etched and end up cloudy.
Put gloves on and in a well-ventilated area, brush a thick layer of etching cream on your taped off area, covering the adhesive letters. Let sit for manufacturer’s recommended time (full disclosure: I had the best luck leaving mine on twice as long, but I am foolish; see above), then wash off all etching cream and let dry.