see all cities »


How to etch glasses – a fabulous gift!

Etching glass always seemed like a daunting craft to me.

I have to use etching cream?!? Stuff that will burn and permanently scar glass?

And so the very first time I ever etched something, I was extremely careful. I read the instructions three times.

And when I was drying my glassware and admiring my handiwork, I realized, “That wasn’t hard AT ALL!”

Why had I put it off for so long?

In honour of summer, I decided to etch two margarita glasses.

I gathered a bottle of Armour Etch, my two margarita glasses (Armour Etch won’t work on plastic), a paint brush, some vinyl (or painter’s tape), a hole punch and my Silhouette cutting machine.

If your glassware is used, clean it with paper towel and rubbing alcohol. This will remove any build-up from soaps or other cleaners that might have been used on the glass previously. You don’t want any gunk or residue to get in the way of a clean etch.

For this polka dot glass, I used a strip of adhesive vinyl and my hole punch. It’s as simple as it looks.

If you don’t have vinyl handy, painter’s tape will work as well.

Curved surfaces will always be a bit trickier to apply stencils to than a flat surface. Work in small sections and take your time applying the vinyl/tape to the glass. It’s important to smooth any edges that the etching cream will touch. A wrinkle in the vinyl isn’t an issue unless it’s creating a pocket that the etching cream can slip into.

I cut out this anchor stencil from adhesive vinyl using my Silhouette machine. I was careful to smooth down any edges, as I didn’t want the etching cream to bleed.

Applying the etching cream is very simple, just brush it on carefully and wait. While the pot of Armour Etch says to wait two to three minutes, I always wait at least five to seven minutes.

A little tip to get an even etch: go over your etching stencil with the brush a few times while you’re waiting for it to work its magic. This stirs up the etching cream and redistributes it, removing any air pockets or missed spots on the glass.

The etching cream is washed off in warm water, which also helps the stencil slip off easily. Voila! An etched margarita glass is ready for its close-up.

Here is my nautical friend in all its etched glory.

Remember you don’t need a cutting machine to make a bit impact. Here is the polka-dotted margarita glass, made using a simple hole-punch.

A personalized touch to simple glassware can add style to a summertime patio, a hostess gift or a special event! Scout out some glassware and start etching.

You’ll wonder what took you so long to try it!

Useful links

Gently Used glassware


Tara is the writer and flurry of chaos behind Suburble - a blog about life in the 'burbs. Whether it's decor, DIY, upcycling, cooking or just getting crafty with the kids, she loves working on all things that make up a home. She loves a good cup of tea, funny people, and getting her hands dirty.

4 Responses to “How to etch glasses – a fabulous gift!”


Great inspiration! I have all the supplies I need, but am so nervous to create a mess lol You made it look super easy! Now I’m going to try! Thanks 🙂



    I’ve totally been there, Charlotte. Honestly, once you’ve etched something, you’ll wonder why you haven’t been doing it for ages! Let me know how your first piece goes!

diane poulin

I am anxious to try this…it looks so easy…
but what is a Silhouette Machine/



    Diane – a Silhouette machine is a cutting machine. It hooks up to your computer and cuts out shapes and images from various materials. It’s pretty fabulous, but if you’re just getting started in the realm of craftiness, you can also use a craft punch or trace and cut out an image with scissors. I’ve also had success with letter stickers from the scrapbooking section of the craft store. But if you are a crafter, you should definitely look into a Silhouette… it’s a really versatile (and fun!) machine.

Leave a Reply