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creativity and inspiration from the inside out

The Creative
Thursday, October 8, 2009
ArtMaking as Playful gnih
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Bridget Benton
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It's finally time for another step-by-step DEMO! Just in time for holiday gift
making, we've got Easy Glass Etching - this is a great way to personalize or
I love making stuff, and I love helping ornament glassware from Goodwill or the dollar store, make the glass
other people make stuff. Creativity is
pebbles you use for memory magnets even cooler, or even decorate plain
my passion and my spiritual path.
glass ornaments from the craft store! I'll go over the supplies you'll want to
View my complete profile have at hand, then give basic instructions and a few variations.

Crafty Tutorials on
This Blog
DEMO: An Easy Birdbath
DEOM: Washi Tape Easter Eggs
DEMO: Quick and Easy Vegetable
DEMO: Blueprints on Fabric
DEMO: Mason Jar "Sippy Cup"
DEMO: Matchbox Advent Calendar
DEMO: Easy Glass Etching
DEMO: Day of the Dead Sugar Skulls
DEMO: Plastic Bag Prints
DEMO: Matchbox Ornament
DEMO: 3D Fabric Butterfly Ring
DEMO: Sun Dress Reconstruction
DEMO: Flour Paste Batik
DEMO: Prep Inner Tubes for Jewelry
DEMO: Bicycle Inner Tube Bracelet
DEMO: Bicycle Inner Tube Earrings
DEMO: Stuffed Misfits
DEMO: Sweater Reconstruction
DEMO: Memory Magnets
DEMO: Decoupaged Switchplate
DEMO: Heat Moldable Foam Stamps
RECIPE: Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal
RECIPE: No Bake Chocolate Cookies
RECIPE: New Year's Greens and

Popular Posts
DEMO! Flour Paste
Batik is a resist method
of fabric dyeing that
I get most of these things locally at Collage (the same folks who provide the
uses wax . . . I did a lot on-site store for Art & Soul ), but most craft stores will carry these basics:
of traditional batik back in the early
Armour Etch glass etching cream
90's. It's a lot...
Double DEMO!: Part 1,
Sticker back paper (the kind you put through your home printer works
Recycled Bike Inner great, though you can also use contact paper, to make your stencils)
Tube Jewelry Stickers with simple shapes (you can use the basic shape, either the
Today, you're getting a positive or negative as a stencil - lines, circles, and letters work great)
double DEMO - Rubber gloves (to protect your hands from the etching cream)
Bracelets and Earrings - broken into A cheap paint brush or two (to apply the etching cream)
several parts for easier loading (though Paper Punches (to make shapes in the sticker paper)
I couldn't seem... Rubbing alcohol or Glass cleaner (to clean fingerprints off the glass)
DEMO: Matchbox Painter's masking tape
Advent Calendar Glassware! (Glasses from Goodwill or the Dollar Store, glass pebbles
Just barely in time for or slides from the craft store, glass ornaments from the craft store -
the lovely month of smoother and flatter surfaces are easier to work on that rough or curvy
December, I'd love to shapes)
share an advent calendar project idea .
. . For those of you growing u...
Plastic Bottle Cap
Madness, and a Bit
About the Ocean Easy Glass Etching Basics
Part of what artists do
is to see things from a The designs are limited only by your imagination! Keep in mind, though, that
different perspective, and then to help you are basically making a stencil: the etching cream eats away at the
other people see things differently, too. surface of the glass, making it whiter or more opaque, and wherever the
This bott... stencil is, the etching cream can't go.
DEMO! Easy Glass
It's finally time for
another step-by-step
DEMO! Just in time for
holiday gift making, we've got Easy
Glass Etching - this is a g...
DEMO! 3D Fabric Butterfly Ring
I started making some 3D butterflies to
add to the No-Sew
Soduko quilt for my
mom, inspired by the
ones Martha made for
one of her quilts....
Double DEMO!: Part 2,
Recycled Bicycle Inner
Tube Bracelet
need : bicycle inner
tube, StazOn Opaque stamping ink,
rubber stamps, scissors, masking tape,
snap setter, snaps Visit Par...
Spotted: World's
Biggest Squirrel
On Thanksgiving, I put
out some dried corn on
the cob out for the
squirrels who frolic in my yard. Believe
it or not, these guys usually h...
Hello, Green Craft!
Ok - you folks saw it
here first, back in 2008,
with my series of
DEMOs on making 1. First, take a clean glass, and begin applying stickers to create a
jewelry from bicycle inner tubes , and pattern. I'm being careful not to get too many fingerprints on the glass as I
now it's seeing... apply the stickers - even the oils from your skin can act as a resist to the
DEMO: Sugar Skulls for etching cream! You can use any kind of stickers or sticker paper to create
Day of the Dead
your stencil.
DEMO: Sugar Skulls
Sugar skulls are one
traditional and crafty
part of the traditional Mexican
celebration, Dias de los Muertos, or

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2. Next, take some blue tape and block off any additional areas that you
Collage A Day
don't want to get the etching cream on. It's thick, but it's still a liquid and it
Collage on Alberta
Craft Leftovers drips. And anywhere it drips it will leave a mark! I've learned the hard way to
Craftypod! make sure I have a good 1" border around my stencil.
Creative Every Day
DIY Alert - Blog! 3. Then, use your fingernail or a burnishing tool (like a bone folder or the
Embracing Encaustic back of a spoon) to burnish the tape and the stickers down . You really
EyeCon Art want to be sure that they're stuck down well, or the etching cream will ooze
Future Girl Craft Blog under the edge and make the edges of the design uneven. Sometimes, you
Geek + Nerd can look at the sticker from the back and see where it's not adhering well.
Get Crafty - The Blogs!
Hula Seventy
Illustration Friday
Judy Wise
JuJu Loves Polka Dots
Laugh or Die
Magpie Girl
MOO (on-line printing & crafty Brits)
Self Portrait Challenge
State of the Craft (check out the links!)
Summer Pierre
The Craft Magazine Blog
The Last Bedroom (Where Gocco
Printing Happens)
The Scarlet Letters
West Coast Crafty

Blog Archive
2014 (9)
2013 (15)
2012 (4)
2011 (4)
2010 (14)
2009 (61)
November (5)
October (6) 4. Now, pull on your rubber gloves and open up that etching cream! Using
DEMO: Sugar Skulls for Day of the your cheap brush, apply a thick and fairly even coat of Armour Etch to
Dead your glass where you want it to etch. The etching cream doesn't work as well
Where these things lead . . . over large surfaces (it tends to look uneven). It does better in small areas, as
Chakra Collage, Week One: The an accent.
Root Chakra
DEMO! Easy Glass Etching
Art & Soul 2009: The Eye Candy
Art Unraveled: Part 2
September (8)
August (4)
July (3)
June (4)
May (1)
April (6)
March (5)
February (13)
January (6)
2008 (136)
2007 (68)

Posts By Topic
Alberta (2)
Art (8)
Art and Soul (13)
Art Trades (3)
Art Unraveled (7)
Artfest (10)
Artist (2) 5. Wait 1-2 minutes. (Wait 1 minute minimum, but know that I've let things
Artmaking (9)
Assemblage (4) sit as long as 5 minutes and had them still turn out ok.) You may start to see
ATC (2) bubbles form, and that's ok - it's just a sign that the cream is working it's
awards (1) magic! It's a chemical reaction that eats into the surface of the glass.
Bats (1)
Birds (9)
Bones (1)
Books (2)
Bridges (1)
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buttons (1)
Buy Art (5)
caption contest (2)
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Creative Every Day Project (1)
Creative Life (4)
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Daily Life (3)
Day of the Dead (12)
DEMO (18) 6. After 1 or 2 minutes rinse the cream off in warm water. I use my utility
Drawing (29) sink for things like this; if you're using your kitchen or bathroom sink, make
Encaustic (15) sure to clean it out well. You really don't want this mixing with stuff you eat or
Ennui (2)
things you eat off of. The sticker paper and the tape will come off easily
Etsy (2)
from the glass with a little tearing and rubbing, and won't leave any
Fabric Art (21)
residue. This is part of why I use sticker paper instead of contact paper -
Fabric Stash (5)
contact paper is much more difficult to remove, and leaves more residue.
Gallery (2)
Geeks (10)
Give Away (12)
Gocco (1)
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installation art (1)
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Matchbox Book (1)
Memory (1)
Memory Jewelry (6)
Monkeys (2)
Ms. Crafty Manners (3)
Myth (1)
NaBloPoMo (4)
nature printing (1)
Octopi (7)
Oregon Flag Makeover Project (5)
Organizing (3)
painting (2)
Perspective (1)
Photography (4)
Plastic Bottle Caps (7)
Playful Prayer (14)
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sugar skulls (1)
Superhero (1)
swap (1)
Teaching (8)
The Blank Canvas (4)
The Business of Art (1)
The Hearth (1)
The Other Brain (1) 7. Clean with detergent and dry. The design may be tough to see when it's
Time (1) wet, but it will show up more as it dries. Lovely! Forget wine glass charms -
Toolbox Jewels (8) decorate each glass with a different pattern! Or try one of these many
Touch Drawing (6) variations . . .
Travel (25)
Trixie (2)
TV (7)
Vegetables (2) Variation 1: Sticker Paper and Hole
Wordwear (1)
Workshops (13) Punch
Worms (1)

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1. Grab a sheet of blank sticker paper, the kind you put through your own
personal home printer. Punch a design out of the sticker paper using a
regular paper punch. (You can also cut a design out using an exacto knife -
or you can use the knife to clean up edges that don't quite punch out.)

2. Again, make sure your glass is clean! In this example, I've got a blank
glass holiday ornament from a craft store. It's nice because it's kind of a cube
shape, and has nice flat surfaces for etching! Then, cut out the stencil,
leaving a generous border.
3. Peeling the paper off the back of the sticker, position the stencil and
stick it to the surface of the glass. Burnish it down with a fingernail or a
burnishing tool like I'm using here. Then, follow steps 4 - 7 from the Easy
Glass Etching Basics tutorial above to apply the etching cream.

Here, I've used two different star punches to punch a larger stencil pattern
out of sticker paper and apply it to the glass all at once.
Variation 2: Multiple Stencils and The
Round Surface
Because of the distortion that happens when you apply sticker stencil to a
round surface, and the difficulty in finding a place to hang or set it while it
dries, round and really curvy surfaces present a special challenge.

Here, I'm decorating the surface of this glass ball ornament in stages. I've
already put a few snowflakes on it, as you can see, and now that it's dry I'm
going back and adding more in.

Start applying your stencil from the center, and work your way out with your
thumbs. There will be wrinkles in the stencil, but this way you can distribute
the wrinkles evenly and keep the design from getting too distorted.
Here, you can see the wrinkles as I keep working to burnish the stencil to the
surface with my thumbs and thumbnails.

Then, when you go to apply the etching cream, create a little nest of
aluminum foil for it to sit in. This will keep the ball from rolling off the table, or
dripping etching cream all over the floor.

The Results!
Etching is subtle - not something I'm exactly known for - but it also adds an
extra layer and dimension to mixed media work. Imagine etching the glass
you use to frame a piece, or etching the surface of a collaged and soldered
slide glass necklace. Then, of course, there is colored glass, and paints that
can be poured inside those glass ornament globes . . .

Have fun!
Posted by Bridget Benton at 6:48 PM

Labels: DEMO


fingerstothebone said...

I always wonder about that etching cream...how safe is it to

wash down the drain? You can make gocco stencils for etching,
but I've never done it because of the safety concerns. ??

October 9, 2009 at 12:47 AM

Dayna Collins said...

Wow! What a great tutorial!

October 15, 2009 at 6:37 AM

Michael5000 said...

Cool tutorial!

...but is fingers going to find her windshield opaque with elegant

etchings for having asked the wrong questions?!?

October 15, 2009 at 6:37 PM

Crafter said...

A nicely detailed picture tutorial. I am giving away free stencils

based on others designs if you interested. Let me know either
way. You can check it out at

Just send me an email directly if you are or arent interested.

Thanks and keep up the great blogging.


January 17, 2010 at 2:06 PM

M-Joy said...

I have been trying technique after technique without success to

produce detailed small snowflakes on my plates and it never
even occurred to me to use a punch with sticker paper!

Great idea! Thanks for the tip!

September 12, 2010 at 2:47 PM

martinamc said...

You can use your stencils easily for is to etch glass. This is a
process where you would place your stencil patterns on a piece
of glass whether its a glass mug, glass window, or mirror.

November 19, 2010 at 3:19 AM

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