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Glass Etching

Have you ever done any glass etching?
Well, neither had I before today.
But wow.  Such an easy, yet sweet little touch that you can add to any glass.
Check out my new and improved etched Trifle Bowl.
Glass etching
The perfect bowl for desserts of all kinds…..and even a great place for fresh fruit on the counter.  And I kind of adore that little bird perched on the branch.
Glass etching
Glass etching is also a great way to stamp your name on your pyrex dishes, to make sure they come back to you.
Glass etching
And how about adding a little extra detail, just because……
Glass etching
(Edited to Add: The font used here is called Smiley Monster and I downloaded the font for free here.)
Sweet in every way.

Are you wanting to make your own? 

(This technique permanently etches your glass.  You cannot remove it once you’re done.  With that said, your creation will not rub or wash off, and will stay put as long as the dish lasts.)

First, you’ll need a piece of vinyl with an adhesive back, like the vinyl you buy for vinyl wall decor.  You can buy rolls or sheets of it at craft stores (if you must have some today) or you can buy some great vinyl much cheaper from one of my sponsors, Expressions Vinyl.   If you don’t have a craft cutter of some sort to cut the image for you (like I did), then you can trace an image, shape, or letters on the vinyl and then cut it out with an exacto knife, or utility knife.  (And I haven’t tried this but I think you may be able to do the glass etching technique with a piece of contact paper, if you’re going to be cutting out your shapes free hand with an exacto knife.)
Glass etching
Then peel away the shapes, leaving the negative space all in one piece.  (Keep in mind if you are using an exacto knife, to not cut through the negative space.  Cut away the shapes/letters, but leave the main piece together, without cuts or tears in it.
Glass etching
The Silhouette code for the bird/branch is: bird_on_branch_C00044_23067 01/18/2010
Then place a piece of transfer paper (you could use contact paper for this too I’m guessing…) that is sticky on one side, to the front of your vinyl.
Glass etching
Then peel the vinyl backing away.  (The red side that you see below is the sticky side.)
Glass etching
Then place your vinyl against your glass, making sure to center the image just where you’d like it.  Press down firmly, then pull off the transfer paper/contact paper.
Glass etching
See how there are air bubbles?  Press those down firmly with your fingers.  If they are far from the opening of your image, don’t worry about them.  You just don’t want the etching cream to get in under the edges and mess up the image.
Glass etching
Then apply a layer of your etching cream on the exposed glass.  (I found this cream at Michael’s.)  Follow the instructions on the bottle and allow the cream to sit and rough up the glass surface.  (I left mine to sit for about 10 minutes.)
Glass etching
**Again, this process makes the etching permanent.  The cream is an acid, and etches away at the surface of your glass…….transforming the look of your glass permanently.  So you cannot rub or wash the etching off.
Then I rinsed off really well with water and used my fingers to rub it all off.  Then I peeled back the vinyl and rinsed again with soap and water.
Dry your glass and admire the beautiful etching, all done for you by the cream.
Glass etching
(Edited to Add: The font used here is called Smiley Monster and I downloaded the font for free here.)
Good luck!
 Such a great technique, right?
And just think…….you could put together some pyrex dishes for a newly married couple, etched with their new last name.  Then throw in some hot pads, cooking utensils, and your favorite recipes.  Perfect gift.
. . . . .
  Now that you can dress up the glass in your home, you might enjoy these projects and show off your new skills!
paint old chandelier-2



  1. Courtney says:

    Wow, I love glass etching! I've always wanted to do it, but it looked so hard. You do such a good job and make it seem easy. I saw this on Martha Stewart and you beyond showed her up!!! Can't wait to try this!

  2. D'Anna says:

    So cute! I love the wedding gift idea! Maybe instead of their name you could do a sweet design . . . that way it can be re-gifted . . . just in case! : )

  3. Kimberly says:

    I LOVE glass etching! But your trifle bowl is the cutest thing I've ever seen!! Yes, contact paper works just as well and can be a lot cheaper.

  4. Refugee Crafter says:

    You are brilliant!

  5. Jenn says:

    That is awesome! I especially love the trifle bowl! And I have to say I love your blog

  6. brandy says:

    The girls at our church did glass etched plates for a girl's camp fundraiser. We had them coming out our ears! Contact paper works exactly like vinyl and is much much cheaper. You can cut contact paper with a cricut as well. Yours turned out darling!

  7. Josh and Cambree says:

    What a great idea, and SO much more simple than I ever thought! (P.S. I know your friend J.Getz in Rexburg!)

  8. Kelli says:

    I've etched things before but this technique is much easier than what I tried!

    ~Kelli @ Smidgens

  9. Alaina says:

    I absolutely love that idea! I didn't know you could do that on your own! I have got to try that out!

  10. 2 Giggle Boxes says:

    That is LOVELY! It would make a fabulous gift!

  11. Krystle says:

    Another great place for vinyl lettering is!1063498%2Cp_4%3AWall%20Sayings%20Vinyl%20Lettering&page=1 They have great prices! I love getting my vinyl from them! Or if you're ever near Bountiful, UT you can visit their store, JUST A THOUGHT. Love all the great ideas you have!

  12. Victoria Haveman says:

    Did you use a cricut machine? If so what cartridge for the bird and limb?

  13. Nelson Family says:

    So Darling, I will have to give it a shot with some of our glass dishes!

  14. Robyn says:

    My friends got 15 pyrex dishes with their name on it for their wedding. No one needs 15 pyrex dishes when they're first married. Sad thing is they couldn't return any of them and they couldn't re-gift them either…

    1. Jennifer Harris Dault says:

      I realize this is an old post, but I was thinking about the problems this could cause, too. We received several dishes with the wrong initial in them, because people made assumptions on what our last name would be and guessed wrong. Since it was just an inital, I was able to give the items away on Craigslist… I think this is a great idea, but perhaps no more than a handful of items — and make sure you double-check to make sure you have the right name!

    2. may says:

      Effort went into each gift – I wouldn’t see this as a problem – say thank you, and use them to freeze lots of pretty casseroles!

  15. Kami says:

    Jenine- I saw your problem and thought I would add my 2 cents. If you are cutting through the vinyl and the backing paper your pressure is too high. At the right pressure it should just cut the vinyl.

  16. Jenine says:

    very very very cute. I'm assuming you used your cricut, how did you get it to cut only the top layer of your vinyl?

    1. raija says:

      try setting your cricut blade depth to 3 and your pressure to med. and your speed to med see if that works…you just got to play with the blade depth.

  17. Jenine says:

    very very very cute. I'm assuming you used your cricut, how did you get it to cut only the top layer of your vinyl?

  18. The Julanders says:

    Just played with etching last Christmas. We STAMPED our image, then embossed it. We used contact paper as a circle stencil of sorts and etched inside the circle. Once done, we scraped off the embossing and were left with a clear imagine inside an etched circle. Kinda a fun alternative. (sorry I don't have a picture, my last plate is tucked away with Christmas deco, we used the plates for neighbor/friends gifts.)

  19. Julie says:

    I use to do this alot, I even etched on my semi truck windows. It's been a long time since I've done this, thanks for reminding me. You did an excellent job.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Take care and God Bless!!!

  20. Uska B Hope says:

    óoooooootima dica!!! Lindo!

  21. Molly says:

    OH MY GOSH!!! I have done lots of etching at my house. I have used the etching cream and the frosted spray paint. You can see some of my creations here:

    But…I am totally in love with the idea of putting your name on a dish. How stinking cute is that! And then you really wowed my by simply suggesting to give it as a wedding gift. I can't say enough about it. Precious, simply precious

  22. Lisa says:

    This is so pretty! I love the idea of putting your name on it so you can always find it : )

  23. Tauni says:

    Love, love, love the trifle dish! What a cute idea.

    I've tried this before, but I am loving your darling design. Feeling inspired.

  24. lesli says:

    i love this idea!! thanks for sharing it :) so creative!

  25. MaryEllen@TheDealScoop says:

    Wow! That's so cool! I stink at crafts, but since the etching cream does the work for you, I think I could do this!

  26. Katie says:

    love the look! i have done glass etching before and it is super easy! love your idea for wedding gifts!

  27. Kami says:

    I need to buy a new trifle dish, but was wondering if I would ever use it. Well I am going to buy one today! So cute. Just like everyone else I am wondering, what cartridge you used.

  28. Lisa and Daniel says:

    this is random! have you ever heard of a Microwave Potato Bag? I have been hearing a lot about a bag that you could make to mocrowave potatoes in and they turn out just as good as in the oven! If you have heard of this, I was wondering if you could do a Tutorial? I would love to learn how to make one!

    1. Debbie says:

      I’ve never heard about a Microwave Potato Bag, but it sounds interesting. Pampered Chef makes a Microwave Chip Maker that makes great, healthy chips! Check out my website, if you’re interested.

      Have a great day!

    2. Steve says:

      My mom makes these all the time and I use them constantly. They work great and I tale them to work and use them there also.

    3. Missy K says:

      I have one and really like it! My daughter likes her potatoes peeled and this seems to make it easier to peel, too.

    4. Pcaker says:

      You can poke holes in any potato with a fork on all sides and wrap it in a paper towel. Microwave on high for five minutes. As soon as it is done cooking, have a square of tinfoil ready and wrap it quickly and tightly (over the paper towel is fine). Set aside. Wait an additional five minutes for it to finish cooking inside the tinfoil. They are just as good as the oven, and quick! :-)

  29. ~*~ says:

    I'm assuming from everyone who has done this before that baking/dishwashing/microwaving doesn't mar the image since it's permanent?

    I love the idea but was wondering about the wear and tear of it.

    1. raija says:

      no it wont mar the image at all … whats great is with etching you can even run it through the dishwasher and not have any problems where dishes that have been engraved could explode cause you are cutting the glass and with etching your only putting an acid base on the glass.

  30. Emily says:

    I have been doing etching for a couple of years now and love it! Be careful with vertical surface when using the cream. If it starts to run down the side you could end up with spots or streaks outside the patterned area. I also got a glass engraver for Christmas so I've been working on some freehand work as well. Great post!

    1. Darlene Olsen says:

      You can mask off the area below and around with masking tape, to protect the area you do not want etched

  31. Ashley says:

    I love the bird, he is so cute! What cartridge did you use?

  32. BECKY says:

    super cute!

  33. Tracy says:

    I have done etching before, but I love the name idea, you would never loose your dish at a party!

  34. Jessica says:

    I LOVE this! I have a silhouette and love finding new ways to use it! I also am obsessed with my pyrex so when it gets lost I get very sad!


  35. Annie-Staten says:

    Great idea for not losing your dishes at church potlucks anymore! lol

  36. JKGROSS says:

    That is so pretty!

  37. Billy says:

    My cute hubby makes wedding glasses for all his family. He has always used contact paper and an exacto knife … he has now added the date to the stem with the cricut as it can cut smaller letters than he can. I love the pyrex idea … cute wedding gift.

  38. Kimi says:

    I love the pattern that you used. Which cartridge is that from?

    I'm just now starting to play with my cricut, and have a lot to learn.

  39. Beverly @ says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE! Oh the trifle bowl is too cute! Thanks for the inspiration – I can't wait to give it a try. :)

  40. Mardi says:

    Ashley! I am in love with this! How awesome. I would have my name on everything, if I had a cricut! You are so talented!

  41. kpmattingly says:

    I love this idea….especially for the glass dishes….it would be a cool wedding/bridal shower gift!

    1. jneely says:

      There’s so many ideas you can do w/ glass etching! I’ve put my name on pyrex dishes, but I’ve also done champagne flutes, wine glasses, and beer mugs for weddings; glass plates (for use or decoration) for anniversaries and a new home; as well as glass blocks for weddings, anniversaries, and Christmas decorations. What’s also fun is working w/ mirrors! I love my Cricut! But you can also get patterns and letters at Hobby Lobby & Michael’s, although there’s not a large assortment to choose from. For glass pieces to practice on, hit up the Dollar Store. If the piece looks good, you can use it. If not, you only spent $1.00! HAVE FUN! :)

  42. Domesticated-Bliss says:

    That is really awesome! I love the idea of etching your last name in dishes so no one is tempted to keep them when you loan them out :)

    1. Anonymous says:

      I just did this last night…put my name on my pyrex casserol dish that way at dinners it’s no question as to which one is mine

    2. lauren cameron says:

      did you use a stencil for the letters? I want to do my last name….???


    3. Anonymous says:

      I use my Cricut machine to make whatever letters or pics I want.

    4. Kristen says:

      Which Cricut cartridge is the one you used for your font on your pyrex dish?

  43. Carlie Sue says:

    we did this a little while ago – here's some of our finished projects- thanks for the tutorial!

    we did it on a glass pitcher- it didn't show up as well with the water in it…

  44. Amanda Dale says:

    I was just thinking about doing this on our mirrors in the master bathroom. They are those large, builders mirrors and we don't want to hassle with taking them down. Glad to know it works so great!

  45. bethanndodd says:

    love it! i want to "enhance" some glass right now!!!

  46. Ashley says:

    Amanda, I just added a better explanation of this to the post, but yes, it is really etched. The cream is an acid so it etches away at the surface of the glass, making this a permanent transformation to the glass. hope that answers your question.


  47. Amanda says:

    does the cream just make it look etched, or is the glass really changed?

    1. Anon says:

      Technically it is still glass. The cream (or acid) eats away the glass in the form of microscopic pits. These pits change the way light is able to pass through the glass and it appears cloudy.

    2. luvinmomofone1 says:

      i have known about this etching in the 80’s and have no ideal how long it has really been around, it is the most simplest way to make a personal gift or even to make items to resell like at a swapmeet. when my dad married my stepmonster he bought her a buick regal. there was a small triangullar window that was super dark. i etched rosemarie and a rose in the right side bottom and side of the window. i have also made wedding champaign glasses and personalized mirrors and anything that can be thought of can be made into a stencil and etched. and etched objects are more meaningful and make more money than non etched items…all you need is the cream which isnt expensive at all , gloves, paintbrush to apply ethcing and contact paper or vinal, exacto knife is best but a brand new razor blade will do as must be super super sharp, oh and you need the ability to draw and cut out a picture without messing up..AT ALL! trust me not as easy as you think. did alot of do-overs on alot that were more complex. i am blessed to have a son who is a great artist do all my etching and blueprints. each etching is individual and personal and can glam up just about anything for pennies. check it out…you will love it as much as all us etchers do….

    3. Dianna E says:

      I think Cricut makes a cutter that cuts letters and graphics out of vinyl.

    4. Anonymous says:

      there are lots of images that can be cut using the cricut expresssion. almost anything you like

    5. Anonymous says:

      what is cricut expression AND where could I find stencils for small letters to put on a bowl?

    6. Ruthie roberts says:

      What is a critcut? And where could I get stencils for letters?

    7. Trina says:

      If anyone wants pre made stencils Just email me with the size you need and what you want and I will send you a stencil. For sizes up to 8.5 x 11 just $5 including mailing. You can find us on facebook at: or email me at:

    8. Nelda says:

      I would not buy a cricut – the cutter is tied to the cartridges or buying their designs only. You cannot import your own designs. A much better cutter is the Silhouette Cameo – it does more AND it is cheaper! The basic software Silhouette Studiois free. You can find the Cameo online easily and also at some Micheals stores. Check, or for some good prices. I got mine for less than $250 with a coupon. I also own a crcicut and am have not used it since I got the Cameo!

    9. Janet says:

      Hi Nelda, I recently bough a Silhouette SD from a friend and am unable to import my own designs because the software programs I use don’t have the Silhouette file extensions .gsd or .dxf. Can you only import designs with the Cameo? Or is there another way to import designs?

      Hampton, SC

    10. Jennifer says:

      downlaod Ink Scape, its free and you can import/export almost any image you find online. you can go to youtube and find easy to follow videos

    11. Maria says:

      The best machine ladies is the Pazzle hands down!!! Owned mine for 6 years. No cartridges just good ole taking this off the Internet! All them other machines SUCK!!! I did an Angry Birds theme bday all from the Pazzle a true one of a kind. People thought I bought all the doe cuts I made. PAZZLE BABY PAZZLEEEE!

    12. The_SuperVixen says:

      How much is the pazzle, an where can you buy it? I just checked ebay, over $500…

    13. Ashley says:

      I don’t know much about the pazzle but I used the Silhouette Craft Cutter for this project and it works really well. You don’t have to buy cartridges and you can create whatever style or design you want to…..or buy individual ones for $1 or less. You can also just use the letter fonts right from your computer. Easy! You can find out more about the Silhouette here:

      Or see other projects I’ve made using the Silhouette here:

      Hope that helps!


    14. Dena says:

      I have the expression and I do import any SVG file and any font I wish. I stopped buying cartridges unless, of course, I find one I cannot do without. I use “Sure Cuts Alot” as my program, and have never ever had a problem. Using this shows you what that machine is capable of doing. Just design it on your computer and cut it on the Cricut!

    15. Janice says:

      Can you tell me more about the file and the program you mention above…..I have a cricut and would like to utilize this if I can.


    16. Gayle says:

      I have the Cameo and LOVE it!

    17. Deborah Elliott says:

      I have a Cricut, and I use SCAL (Sure cuts a lot) for EVERYTHING. No fonts need to be purchased anymore, and literally ANY picture I find on the internet, it will make the Cricut cut. (It works with the cheapie version of the Cricut as well.) Any questions, email me

    18. AubreyJo says:

      Hi Deborah,

      I tried to email you at the address above but got an error message, so perhaps you’ll see this and respond (or someone else who is in the know will.) :)

      I have done a little searching for the Sure Cuts A Lot software and can’t seem to find anything that is compatible with my Cricut Expression. The idea of being able to cut whatever I wanted from the Internet or that I created would be AMAZING!!!! How does it work? Where did you get Sure Cuts A Lot? Do you love it? I would appreciate any information you would be willing to pass along. My email is Aubreyjo at live dot com.

      Thank you for your time!

      Happy crafting!

    19. cayla says:

      I have done a little research on cutting machines and there is a website that reviews and compares them…I don’t really know anything about them but I do know that there are images I’ve found on google images that I wanted to cut out and etch or whatever else. is there a machine that you can just google an image and cut it instead of buying cartridges or paying for files or software’s? I’m really a dummy when it comes to this lol. but I know I want to stay under $300 and from the website, which ill post the link below, its seems like id want the Craftwell eCraft…..but like I said idk which functions are essential and whatnot… anyways, here’s the link:
      and please leave comments, suggestions, thought, etc.!! thanks!

    20. shirley says:

      does it really come out cloudy

    21. linda says:

      I have tried this, and my images are much more faint than what I see on the web page. What am I doing wrong?

    22. Misty says:

      You may just need to let the etching cream sit a little longer. The longer it sits the more etching occurs.

    23. Heather says:

      Some types of glass etch more easily than others. If there’s a polymer mixed into the glass (done to reduce breakage), it may not etch at all.
      Likewise, if it has a coating or something added to the glass to reduce scratching, it may also keep the etching cream for working.

    24. Anonymous says:

      The instructions on the Armour Etch actually says it does not work on “some Pyrex.” I was disappointed it wouldn’t work on my bakeware.

    25. Anonymous says:

      How can you tell what type of Pyrex it wont work on?

    26. Jolene Brighten says:

      Thanks for this note. I hadn’t considered that it may not work on some of pyrex.

    27. Michelle says:

      What glass dishes work best? I’ve tried a couple and can’t seem to get it to work. Not sure what I’m doing wrong.

  48. Sisters of Grace says:

    That is realy neat I had no clue how to do that!


    1. Trina says:

      I just posted a picture of a $2 mirror made into an awesome award. Check it out ! If you need pre made stencils I can make them for you. Contact me for more information.

    2. Stephanie says:

      Hi Trina,
      I was wondering if you could tell me how to make a stencil? Or how much it would cost for you to make me one. I want to make my friend a pyrex with her and her finance’s name on it for a shower gift.

    3. Trina says:

      Stephanie, Please email me at: and I will email you back a couple of pages I have made up about stencils :)

    4. Trina says:

      $5 Will get you 3 names suitable for pyrex about 1′ high by up to 7″ long

    5. Misha says:

      Hi my name is Misha.

      I am interested in paying you for some stencils. I have been practicing with the contact paper and knife. It is not working and I do not want to buy a whole cutting machine. My last name is McGill. I like the font on your page here. But might be interested in different ones too. Email me and we can figure it out. Thanks!


    6. Trina says:

      Hello Misha, I will need your email address in order to email you. :) Mine is If you email me directly I’ll send you more information about how to order, a sheet of instructions on how to work with the stencils and your name in 20 different fonts to choose from. Or you can even tell me a font you would like. I take paypal or credit cards etc and will send them out right away once paid, so you can get them done for Christmas. Thank you for your interest. ~ Trina please like us on facebook: Thanks :)

    7. Sandy Hunter says:

      I saw your post that you will make adhesive stencils for etching . I would like one that says
      Elizabeth & Taylor
      July 13, 2013
      To put on the bottom of a pyrex.
      Will it work if I have to put it over the Pyrex name and dimensions or should I put it on the sides? Which machine do you have? Do you like it?

    8. Trina Ord says:

      Hi Sandy, I have a Roland GX-24 a $ 1,500.00 cutter so I can do a lot that the average cutter cannot do. I love this cutter. If you will shoot me an email: I can send you some written instructions and information on what you are looking for as well as The name you want in over 20 fonts to choose from. I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks ~ Trina

    9. sandi says:

      Can you make a couple of stencils for me? PLS

    10. richard says:

      I can make any decals you need very affordably. Just length, width and height. . A typical decal is about $2.00. Let me know what you need. Also I can duplicate anything you forward me.

    11. Larry says:

      I would like to know if you are able to do a stencil of my father from a photo. He was retired navy vet who passed away on Jan 1st and I am making a wall case with his flag etc for my mom and wanted to etch his name and facial on the glass front. Thanks much!

    12. Lorie Abbott says:

      Wondering, once it’s etched, can it go in the oven to bake?

    13. Ashley says:

      I was wondering where you found the stencile with the bird on the branch??

    14. Robin Beeson says:

      I love the bird and branch stencil. Where did you get it?

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