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How to Etch Glass – Step-By-Step Instructions

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Have you been wondering how to use etching cream on a glass? Learn how to etch glass with this step-by-step tutorial that contains all you need to know.

etching glass for a christmas gift

How to Etch Glass

These snowflake glass etched cups are the perfect addition to any holiday gift basket. This is a great alternative to permanently alter a glass or mug rather than relying on vinyl not coming off in the dishwasher.

how to etch glass

Creating homemade gifts can save you a lot of money and they're always personalized so they seem more special to both the recipient and the giver. Creating glass etched items at home is an easy way to get that personalized look for little money and save you time from looking for that perfect gift in the stores.

sparkling ice pink pack drinks

Put your new etched glasses in a gift basket along with all the tasty flavors in the Sparkling Ice Holiday Pink Pack beverages. Sparkling Ice beverages have ZERO sugar by combining sparkling water with real fruit juice, antioxidants, and vitamins so we know that we can add it to our holiday meals without the guilt. Learn how to etch glass below with these step-by-step instructions.

pink grapefruit drink in holiday cup

Glass Etching Supplies That You'll Need

  • Any kind of cup or mug
  • Glass Etching Cream
  • Sponge Brushes
  • Stencil
  • Box Cutter
  • Vinyl Weeding Tool
  • Scraping Tool
  • Transfer Tape
glass etching supplies

Optional –

  • Electronic Cutting Machine
  • Snowflake SVG (below)

Create your stencil

First of all, we want to prepare our stencils. I love using my electronic cutting machine because I get crisp lines and I can make it fit any area that I'm etching. You can take some contact paper and use that as a stencil as well. Or go ahead and use some paper punches to give you a variety of shapes.

Upload the SVG or PNG to your cutting software and send it to your machine. I cut my stencil vinyl twice to make sure it cut through but I also wanted to make sure that it would not cut through the carrier sheet. Creating a stencil out of vinyl gives some amazing effects when creating any project.

pink drink in etched glass
yellow drink in etched glass cup

Applying Your Stencil for glass etching

Remove the larger outer decal in one step. Stencil vinyl doesn't stick to itself as easily as standard vinyl so it's a good thing to use for this project. Since my cup has a slight angle, I placed the vinyl over the cup and then used a box cutter to slice sections so that the vinyl would go evenly around the cup. Take the centers of the snowflakes and adhere them to the correct snowflakes before moving on.

Remember that this does not have to look perfect at this point. You're really looking for a good seal between the image and the glass. The edges don't matter much because you're not going to be applying the glass etching cream in those areas.

cricut stencil vinyl
how to use cricut transfer tape

If you're using the actual snowflakes for your cup, take your transfer tape and place it over the image. Use your scraping tool and press well to attach the stencil to your glass. Slowly rock your transfer tape away leaving the stenciled snowflakes on the glass.

applying stencil vinyl on glass
snowflake svg on cup

How to apply Glass Etching Cream

Now, how to etch glass after you've applied your vinyl, use some glass etching cream and a foam brush but a bristle brush will work just as well if that's what you have on hand. You want to apply your etching cream thick. If you skimp on some areas, they will not come out as frosty as some other areas.

how to etch glass with vinyl

I dipped my brush in my glass etching cream and then dabbed it over the negative areas. With the positive stenciled glass, I just applied it carefully to where the glass was showing and made sure not to get any on the rim or the base or any other open area that showed from my vinyl cuts.

applying etching cream to glass

To apply it to the full cup, you want to be sure and apply it in an even layer and get it all the way down to the rim. I placed my cup – rim side down – over a washcloth and poured the etching cream over the base. I then took my foam brush and evenly portioned out the cream to fall over the edges to the rim of the glass.

How Long Do I Leave glass Etching Cream On?

Allow the glass etching cream to set for 5 minutes. So when you're done etching your last cup, go straight to rinsing off your final cup. Don't worry about peeling your stencil off just quite yet.

orange drink in handmade etch glass

How to Remove Glass Etching Cream

To remove the glass etching cream, rinse it under warm running water until all the cream is removed. Use your fingers to rub it in small circles to remove it. As you're rubbing, go ahead and remove your stencil at the same time. The water will help the stencil slide off your cup rather than leaving the adhesive residue.

removing stencil vinyl from etched glass

Wash your hands thoroughly after you've rinsed your glasses and dry your cups to reveal the design. Wash with soapy water or in the dishwasher before your first use.

sparkling ice packaging by etched glasses
sparkling ice pink pack flavors

Is Glass Etching Permanent?

Yes. The glass etching cream is designed to permanently alter your cup or mug. It does not work on some brands of baking dishes and it does not work on plastics. Because it doesn't eat plastic, vinyl is the perfect material to use as a stencil. I've used this on mirrors in the past but I'm also wanting to experiment with other products too in the long run.

pink drink in etched glass

So now that we've etched our holiday cups, it's time to figure out what we're going to serve in it. I headed out to my local Harmon's store and picked up some of our favorite Sparkling Ice flavors that come in the Sparkling Ice Holiday Pink Pack. It comes with four delicious flavors like Black Cherry, Pink Grapefruit, Peach Nectarine, and Coconut Pineapple. Keep an eye out in your local store for the special Sparkling Ice Holiday Pink Packaging for the holiday season.

holiday drinks in homemade etched glass cup

Fill up your new etched glass with some ice and pour your favorite flavor over top. Our favorites are the Sparkling Ice Coconut Pineapple and the Sparkling Ice Pink Grapefruit. Sometimes in the cold weather, you're just wanting a crisp and refreshing tropical drink and this Sparkling Ice Holiday Pink Pack packs a punch.

Be sure to look for the cute holiday packaging that has a whole winter scene on the front. It's so fun to display on your holiday table where friends and family can grab and go.

how to etch glass
sparkling ice in glass etched cup

I used some reusable glass straws and decorated each flavor with some fruit to let our guests know what flavor their drinks are and topped it off with a sprig of mint. The holidays are going to be perfect this year and this drink will help it be so.

how to etch glass
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