Start with a smooth glass. Believe it or not, some of the dollar stores have a great selection of glasses that can be used. I found mine at Dollar Tree for just a buck!
You will have to make a sticker of the outline you want. I made mine using the vinyl cutter at the Fab Lab ICC. I think Jent used contact paper and an exacto knife to cut hers out (I have done this and it is tedious work. If you have a Cricut Explore, like my friend Melinda, it would work great to cut out your picture as well. Apply the sticker to your glass. If you have a tapered glass like mine, you will have to cut a corner, so there are no air bubbles under your sticker. I did use some painters tape to protect my glass as I made my stickers pretty close together.
The glass etching.
I have used this bottle of Glass Etching Cream for several years and lots of projects. If you are doing small projects like glasses, it will last you a long time. I found it at Hobby Lobby.
It is hard to get a picture of this, but apply the cream pretty heavy with a brush. I also wear gloves and make sure everything is covered. The cream is a pretty strong acid, so please be careful. Now, you wait 5 minutes for the cream to do its etching magic. You can also use an abrasive blaster to do this, but for at home use the cream is much more readily available unless your Fab Lab has a blaster.
Hold the glass under running water to remove the etching cream. I use the mudroom sink and I make sure I use LOTS of water. While the image is wet, it is hard to see how well it is etched...
But when it is dry, you can see your image wonderfully. If you don't get a piece as etched as you want, you can always reapply the cream and try again.
I took the inside of the stickers from all the glasses I made for Christmas and made Christmas ornaments, so they got a 2 for 1 gift. This is the tractor ornament I made for Brandi of Lipstick and Tractors. My youngest liked the glasses so much that I had to make him some of his own.
The cow ornaments for our tree that my oldest absolutely adored.
Here is my word of caution for you. I made these for one of the trucking firms that busted their rear ends for us during harvest. If it had not been for them, we might have still been harvesting at Christmas. When I thought I could cut out their logo (it is a husband and wife that drive the trucks), I wasn't thinking about every little letter I was going to have to punch out after it was cut. I also didn't have a really good picture, so making the cutting lines was pretty intense as well. They didn't turn out exactly like I wanted, but I think they liked them just the same.
These glasses where square sided and MUCH easier to apply the stickers to instead of the tapered glasses.
Do you have a family member with a unique name? We have used contact paper and scrapbooking stickers to make one of a kind gifts for cousins with unique names. They were loved by all of them boys and girls alike who can never find personalized items in the store.
What else should I try to make? Have you ever made etched glass items? What would you make next?
-A Kansas Farm Mom