Friday, September 24, 2010

Come up and see my etchings?

When my youngest daughter was a senior in high school, she took an art class where she learned to do glass/mirror etching. She brought home her project and it was so cute and easy that we bought the supplies to make personalized mirrors and glass items for Christmas gifts.

In honor of ~jan's  (32nd?) birthday, I made a mirror for her bathroom. I moved far far away from the rest of the ladies of Paisley many years ago, but I've been informed that the bathroom is blue, and is decorated with an ethereal angel theme. 

For this project you will need:
  • glass etching cream
  • inexpensive paint brush
  • clear contact paper
  • X-acto knife
  • mirror or glass object to etch
  • simple graphic or saying to trace
I bought a kit that included a 3 oz bottle of etching cream from a craft store a couple of years ago and have made at least a dozen personalized items with it. I've used maybe a quarter of the bottle. The initial cost is a little steep (I think I paid about $20), but it will last a long time.

For this project, I started with a framed mirror (5x7) from the dollar store. I wanted to etch an angel on it, so I googled and found one that I liked. Prep your mirror by cleaning with glass cleaner, then cut a piece of contact paper to fit and press it onto the glass. Make sure you don't leave any bubbles.
Then tape your print out on top of the contact paper in the position that you want
Using a sharp X-acto knife, trace around the lines of your graphic carefully. You will be removing the contact paper where you want to etch. Take your time with this. I didn't want my angel to have wings, so I edited them out as I cut. (sorry about the pictures... it's hard to photograph a mirror, you know?!)

Once you have cut out your etching, clean the mirror where you cut it out with glass cleaner again and let dry. Then apply the etching cream according to the package directions. (Be careful with the cream... it's a strong acid. You might want to wear gloves and goggles while using it and be very careful using it around children.) Leave on for 5-10 minutes or as instructed by the label and wash off under running water.
Then remove the contact paper and reveal your finished product.
Again, sorry about the pictures... it looks pretty cool, really!

I've etched mirrors, votive candle holders, christmas ornaments and lidded jars, but you can etch any glass item using this method. I have always printed simple line art graphics from my computer for my graphics. If you have other sources of line art, they would work as well. You will need to make copies if you want to keep the original intact, however. When choosing line art or fonts to use, try to find ones with simple, bold strokes, as they will be easier to cut.


P.S. I met ~jan nearly 20 years ago at a church function. Well, sort of. We were actually both nursing our infants in another room away from the function itself. We've been through the wars together, and I've never had a friend I loved or trusted more. Happy Birthday!

1 comment:

  1. I feel so spoiled! Thank you so much. It is the exact shade of blue.

    ~xoxo - jan


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