Introduction: Etch Any Motive on Glass

Picture of Etch Any Motive on Glass

In this Instructable I want to show you how to etch any motive on glass.

It is cheap, easy and a great present.

Did I mention it's fun as well?

You can also energize your water by etching ancient healing symbols on your drinking glasses.

I hope you will enjoy trying this...

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

The materials you will need are:

- one glass
- a sharp razor blade
- glass etching cream
- self-adhesive foil
- a pencil
- microfibre cloth
- a brush

Step 2: Design Your Motive

Picture of Design Your Motive

Cut the foil into a piece that is just a little bigger then the glass is high.

Draw the motive on the foil.

If you're using a pencil be sure not to smear your artwork afterwards ;o)

Step 3: Adhere the Foil

Picture of Adhere the Foil

Adhere the foil to the glass.

Be sure to start in the middle, and gently press towards the edges to avoid wrinkles.

Also lay it around the edges of the glass. The cream reacts pretty fast, so it could leave stains on uncovered areas later on.

Step 4: Cut Out the Motive

Picture of Cut Out the Motive

Cut out the motive with the razor blade.

You may want to protect your hand and fingers by covering the blade with a small piece of cloth. (mine looked pretty scaring when I tried first without the cloth...)

Step 5: Deduct and Clean

Picture of Deduct and Clean

Deduct the parts of the foil where you want to etch the glass.

Carefully remove finger prints with the microfiber cloth. At the same time push the foil again firm onto the glass.

The hard work is over, now the "magic" part begins... : )

Step 6: Etch

Picture of Etch

Now you can apply the glass etching cream onto the glass with the brush.

For an even result, keep moving the cream with the brush by poking it for two minutes.

Then wait another five minutes.

Now you can use the brush again to put the cream back into its container. It is reusable. (At least mine is, you can check yours too).

Step 7: Wash Off the Cream

Picture of Wash Off the Cream

Time for results!

Wash off the etching cream with water and remove the foil.

Wash again with soap and dry it with the microfiber cloth.


Step 8:

Picture of

Last step:

Share and post your results! I'm a curious being... ;o)

Hope you had fun,



HardKorCurtis (author)2013-09-07

This worked perfectly for my football jersey frame thank you

robby_t (author)2011-04-17

WOW!!! great...found a project

csanneman (author)2011-03-07

I like this idea, I'm hoping to customize growlers (2L glass containers for bottling beer) for some friends soon. I'm wondering, is the cut foil reusable? Or do you make a new one each time?

jungle.jane (author)2009-10-18

Hi there,

thank you so much everybody! Sorry for my late respond, I wasn't able to log in for quite a while...
I bought the cream in Germany, and the only english translation on it simply reads: glass etching cream... hmmm... I bought it at an artist's supply store, I'm pretty sure you will get something likely anywhere on the world.

If not, I guess you could look it up on the internet....

seabeepirate (author)jungle.jane2011-01-01

I've seen Armour Etch recommended and it looks like Wal-Mart sells it so I'm sure you could get it at a craft shop too.

Just an update to my own comment. I saw the Armour Etch online being sold by Wal-Mart, but I still haven't seen it in any stores(Being a truck driver I like Wal-Mart a lot because it's about the only place I can pull my truck into the parking lot, so I've been to quite a few of them across the country.) I did however find Armour Etch at Hobby Lobby in the stained glass section. I got the 10 oz. bottle for 19.75 before tax.

If you only plan to do a few projects I recommend the little bottle to start. I did a checker print on a 24 oz. mug and hardly used any of my etching cream. I expect to get a lot of use out of this.

This is a lot of fun, thanks for the instructable!

Just thought I'd share a pic from my own project. I used a dollar store mug, Armour Etch and Avery brand self adhesive laminating sheets for the stencil. Thanks for the instructable, I've been having so much fun making custom mugs!

seabeepirate (author)2011-01-01

Is the adhesive foil something from a craft shop? I'm wondering if the aluminum duct tape would work?

jungle.jane (author)seabeepirate2011-01-02

Hey there, happy new year! :)
I bought the foil at a regular stationery store, but I bet aluminium duct tape works just as well. I have to try that to know for sure.
The only problem might be cutting it, that seems easier on the plastic foil....

seabeepirate (author)2011-01-01

The cat is pretty fantastic!

nicolah22 (author)2010-01-29

what etching cream did you use? and will this give a deeper etch if applied  repeatedly?

jungle.jane (author)nicolah222010-01-29

Hi there, I used a German brand, but I'm pretty sure there isn't much difference.
And yes - the effect will be more intense if applied repeatedly. But you have to make sure that the adhersive foil doesn't get loose while you wash off the first layer of the cream. Have fun! Jane

Belzebebpr (author)2009-12-18

Awesome... can't wait to try this... btw your desings are really cool!

jungle.jane (author)Belzebebpr2009-12-25

Awww, thank you!!!

lemonie (author)2009-09-27

Nice work, and the pictures show it well. (What corrosive chemical is in the cream?) L

artsman23 (author)lemonie2009-10-04

The cream is usually made of a diluted hydrofluric acid. Let me know if you have any questions.

-Eric from

lemonie (author)artsman232009-10-04

I thought it might be, but could you be more specific - it'll be complexed with something else I'd think. L

artsman23 (author)lemonie2009-10-04

I have a bottle of Armour Etch and all it says is "Contains ammonium \sodium bifluorides". I am not fully knowledgable on acid cream. I mostly deal with sandblasting glass etching. I hope this helps,

-Eric from

lemonie (author)artsman232009-10-04

Ammonium makes sense to me thanks. L

Kryptonite (author)2009-09-29

Nice Instructable, where did you happen to get the cream from?

artsman23 (author)Kryptonite2009-10-04

Yes, I would like to know where you got this cream from also. I haven't seen this particular brand of cream before.

-Eric from

oldhamedia (author)2009-09-26

Very cool tutorial. I do believe you mean 'motif', not 'motive'. Either way, nicely done.

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