Picture of Etching Glass with a Sandblaster
I play for the scenario paintball team Pub Crawling http://www.pubcrawling.org . We have more than 20 members on the team and with a name like Pub Crawling we tend to enjoy a drink now and then. 

But having a finely crafted ale out of just any old pint glass simply won't do.  Nor would it be appropriate to drink a $90/bottle of Scotch from a Dixie cup.  To truly appreciate a beverage it should be served in the proper vessel.  Stepping it up a notch by having that vessel custom engraved can add a touch of class to the occasion.

This is different than chemical etching glass that you see quite often.  This method of etching it much deeper in the glass, as much as 1mm in some areas.  You can see and feel the difference in glass depth with sandblasting, chemical etching always gave me lackluster results.
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Tools and Materials

It is assumed that you have some mechanical and computer knowledge.  Not that there is a lot of difficult tasks involved but you will need to know the difference between vector and raster based artwork.  It will also be hand to know how to operate your air compressor and the basics of a sandblaster.

Computer with vector art software (Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape)
Vinyl Cutter
Air Compressor
Utility knife or xacto knife
Squeegee or credit card

Application tape
Sandblast media (I use Aluminum Oxide 80-90 grit)
Painter's tape
Glass substrate (Mug, pint, shot, scotch, glass)

Step 2: Prepare Image

Picture of Prepare Image
First you need to prepare your image and create a vector file for the vinyl cutter.  The ins and outs of how to use something like Illustrator or Inkscape are far beyond the scope of this Instructable.  But essentially the path you create in your vector file is the same path the cutter will follow on the vinyl.  So keep that in mind as any overlapping lines will create extra cuts that you might not need or want. 

jgarcia, Dollar Tree has these mugs for a dollar, very solid and heavy.

jgarcia1461 year ago

Excuse me brother, but what dollar store was this?