Friday, April 19, 2013

Etching Designs

Glass can be an easel for a creative artisan, and the art of designing etched glass for personal or gift use can be a relaxing hobby. glass by sand blasting or laser, or with liquid etchant. Any method of etching will require a pattern or design. The pattern can be as simple as a stencil or as elaborate as detailed art done on contact paper that is then adhered to the glass while cutting out the design with a craft knife.


1.  Thoroughly clean the front and back of the glass with window cleaner, removing all oils and fingerprints, which can prevent etch from adhering. Dry the glass thoroughly with a soft towel or paper towels, laying the glass flat on your work area.

2.  Cut a 7-by-7-inch sheet of contact paper from the roll. Peel the backing off and gently lay it on the glass. Start in the middle of the glass, sticking the center of the contact paper and smoothing toward the outside edges of the glass. The extra inch of contact paper should cover the edges and protect your fingers. Gently remove any bubbles or rolls by lifting the paper and laying it back down; do not poke any air bubbles with the knife.

  • Best Tool for Your Hobby
  • 3.  Create your own design for your glass project. If you are talented and enjoy drawing, draw the design that you would like to see on the glass directly on the contact paper. Make sure that each section of the design is defined to ease the process of cutting out the contact paper.

    4.  Use a stencil from a craft store to help create your design if you'd like. However, be aware that the problem with stencils is there is no way to adhere them well to the glass. Etchant can bleed, obscuring lines.

    5.  Apply pre-made designs to the glass if you want something that already has the cutouts done. Because these are adhesive, there is no bleeding of etchant.

    6.  Create a template on your home computer using a graphic program if you want an intricate design that is free to make. Print the design -- on tracing paper if available -- and place it on the contact paper.

    7.  Lay the design you created over the top of the contact paper, securing the design with masking tape. Make sure the design is flat and tight against the contact paper.

    8.  Cut out the pattern you have designed using the small craft blade. Start with a new blade; the sharpness is important to the detail you are cutting out, and the blade must cut though both tracing paper and contact paper. Start from the corners, and work your way toward the middle of the design. As you cut off pieces of the paper pattern, dispose of them, and pull off the corresponding piece of contact paper with the tip of the knife.

    9.  Remove the tracing paper and masking tape once you have cut out the last bit of the design. Inspect the contact paper that is still adhered to the glass thoroughly to ensure that no jagged or torn pieces remain. All angles must be smooth in the cutouts.

    10. Rewash the glass, with the contact paper on it, using glass cleaner to remove any sticky residue from the cutouts. Dry thoroughly.

    11. Coat the entire top of the glass with liquid or gel glass etchant. Brush it thoroughly over the cut-out areas of the contact paper. Follow the time recommended by the maker of the etchant. Some call for 30 seconds, while others take 10 to 15 minutes to etch the glass.

    12. Rinse the etchant off the glass for several minutes. Do not scrub; just run the glass under warm water. You will be able to tell when all etchant is off the glass. Thoroughly dry the glass with a soft towel.

    13. Peel the contact paper off the glass. Start at the corners and work your way into the middle. Once the entire sheet of contact paper is removed, you will see your design etched into the glass.

    No comments:

    Post a Comment