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Glass Etching

Grandparent's Day is upon us and we thought for a while about what might make a good gift. Isabella has tried her hand at all sorts of gift projects– stepping stones, birdhouses, coffee mugs.... Finally we landed on glass etching! Years ago I'd etched a couple of mirrors and still had a half bottle of Armor Etch, and I thought Isabella would get a kick out of seeing it in action.


• Something glass (drinking glass, vase, window, mirror, etc) We got our bowl at Goodwill.

Etching stencils (lots to choose from) or clear contact paper if you want to freestyle the design

• X-Acto knife

• Armor Etch cream

• A brush you're willing to throw away

Carefully lay the contact paper over the area you plan to etch. Our particular bowl proved to be a difficult shape, so we cut lots of overlapping pieces. After the paper is stuck on, you'll transfer your chosen design onto it. Isabella wanted to do a series of circles, but the first one was so difficult to cut out that she changed her mind and went with stripes instead.

Wherever you want the frosted etched look– that's where you cut out the contact paper. Make sure a blanket or towel is handy to protect your hands from the X-Acto knife. Small hands need to be supervised, or an adult should do this part. At this point we're just free cutting strips out of the contact paper in a haphazard fashion to give a casual, artsy look.

Now comes the etching cream. Our bottle was old so it was a bit clumpy, but a new bottle should be smooth and paint-like. Spread a nice thick layer on every piece that needs to be etched, and wait at least five minutes. We threw on a second coat to be sure nothing got missed, but the directions don't require this... we just wanted to be extra sure.

We took our bowl to the sink and ran it under lukewarm water until all the cream was washed off. A few peels of the remaining contact paper and voila! Project done. Total time under an hour.

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