Introduction: Acid-Etched RPG Gaming Dice Jar

About: I am a Mad Scientist and IT gal with a passion for projects. I love figuring out puzzles, solving problems, and finding out new ways to get things done!

So, I love to recycle, reduce, reuse ANYTHING possible, and have had a pile of glass jars sitting sadly on the shelf waiting to be made useful again.

My mom's collection of Star Trek gaming dice was living in a plastic shopping sack, so I decided to spruce up one of the jars to make a lucky gaming dice jar for her.

If you like this Instructable, please vote for this in the Glass Contest and help me prove that this dice jar is really a LUCKY dice jar for my Mom!


Glass Jar (I used a pickle jar!)

Armour Etch Cream

Foam Brush

Fine Sanding Block

Spray paint

Contact Paper


Cutting Tools (CNC cutter or X-acto Knife & Mat)

Protective Eyewear / Gloves

Surface covering (I cut a paper bag in half, but you can also use newspaper or a plastic tablecloths)

Step 1: Prepare Your Jar & Stencils

Remove the label from the jar if needed. Hot water and dawn dish soap can help dissolve the glue if it is giving you trouble. Make sure your jar is clean and free of dust or oil or you might get blemishes in your etching.

Find an image (or images) that you wish to use for your stencils - We are a very literal family, so I simply used dice images to cover the jar intended to hold gaming dice.

I used this vector from for our stencils

Take your contact paper, and cut out your dice in whatever sizes you wish. It might take a few tries to get your stencil right, but it's very important it is cut smooth without pulling it from the backing which could affect its adhesion later

If you're using a CNC cutter such as a Silhouette Cameo, then you may be able to make multiple stencils from a single image by cutting a single-piece outline and using the pieces left behind when you remove that outline as a separate stencil. This is what I did for my jar.

Step 2: Sticker Up!

Carefully place your outlines / single piece stickers, using a toothpick can help straighten fine details and make sure everything is right.

For stickers that involve multiple separate pieces, you can use another scrap of contact paper as makeshift transfer paper. I stick a scrap piece slightly bigger than the sticker being transferred to my forearm or similar clean location and pull it off a few times to "dull" the adhesive. Doing this helps the contact paper mimic transfer paper more easily by picking up the pieces of the decal of its backing, but not pull them off when you're trying to put them on or leave a residue on the glass that would interfere with the etching cream.

Lay down and firmly but carefully rub the dulled contact paper over the sticker you want to transfer. Peel the backing off of your sticker, and it should be sticking to the contact paper. I used the same type of contact paper for both the sticker and the transfer material and it worked fine. Carefully place your sticker onto the jar and once more firmly but carefully rub the sticker through the transfer material until you can peel off the transfer material without removing the stickers from the glass or moving them from their planned position.

Step 3: Prepare Etching Area & PPE


Lay down something to protect your surface, as etching cream is caustic. (I mean, it EATS GLASS)

I cut a brown paper shopping bag in half and put the halves together to make a lil temp workspace for this project.

Ensure all your stickers/stencils are secure on your jar and any areas you do not intend to etch is covered by masking tape or contact paper. Since we intended to etch the entire glass, this was not necessary.


Make sure that you have something to protect your eyes and your hands, and that you are near a sink - both to rinse off your project, as well as to clean up when finished, as you probably don't want to be leaving etching cream on the bathroom doorknob.

Your average set of disposable gloves should work just fine for this project.

Step 4: Etch Away!

Apply etching cream to the jar.

I have found it is easier when working with large areas to start at the bottom and work my way up using horizontal strokes to coat the jar.

Try to apply the cream as evenly as possible while being mindful of the stencils, especially if you have any delicate details that could be ruined by a heavy hand.

I coated all the way up the neck of the jar, but if you wanted you could use masking or painters tape to section off an area to etch.

Step 5: Wait & Rinse

Wait for your acid-etching cream to do its magic. For my jar, I waited approximately 15 minutes before rinsing.

Different types of glass and different etching creams may need different times to achieve the same or similar result, so make sure to do your research or test your materials before attempting a large swatch like this.

After the time is up, rinse off all of the etching creams from the jar. DO NOT WIPE. Just keep rinsing and rinsing. If any of your stencils or stickers come off while rinsing immediately focus on that area to make sure no etching cream is able to stick to the previously sealed area.

CAREFULLY remove your stencils/stickers in case of any trapped cream along the edges (this can cause imperfections) and immediately rinse again to ensure there is no trace of the cream left on the jar.

We were a little excited and filled it with dice before realizing we missed some cream on the edges. OOPS!

Step 6: Decorate Your Lid!

As we used a pickle jar, our lid was kinda...not dicey or gaming related at all. It was vlasic.

To help make it look a little snazzier, we roughed it up using a fine sanding block and spray painted it.

We used whatever was green and available and layered it on to try and make it look cool.

We sat it on a cup to help get the edges.

We let that dry overnight.

Step 7: TaaDaa!!! Lucky Acid-Etched Gaming Dice Jar!

Once the lid is dry, you can assemble your wondrous creation - a custom created, one-of-a-kind, lucky acid-etched gaming dice jar, and marvel at how you rescued a piece of trash from eternity in a landfill.

If you have enjoyed this instructable and would like to help me do more, please vote for this instructable in the 2020 Glass Speed Challenge and help me give my mom a truly lucky custom jar for her gaming dice.

Thanks for reading!!!

- The Procrastibaker

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