Introduction: Etch a Map on a Glass

About: I'm a maker: I solder, photograph, draw, dye, write, cook, bake, garden.

This is a simple project with tools & materials you might already have on hand. If not, they're not very expensive. I suggest looking for glass containers at your local dollar store.

Choose a map of a locale that has significance for either yourself or the intended party if it's for a gift.

It might be a place where you travelled or went to school.

You will etch the printed streets and monuments' names so make sure the type on the map is big enough. If not, enlarge it on a copier.

Other topics to consider: if you're using a cylindrical vessel like mine, think of where the sides will join.

Topographical maps would look really pretty also.


* Transparent glass or cup

* Map

* Permanent marker

* Masking tape

*Rotary tool

* Safety glasses

* Black paper

* Acetone

Step 1: Mask & Draw

Place masking tape everywhere you don't want the pattern:

the top of the glass for sure and the bottom if it already has some king of markings (as in my case).

Roll your map and place it inside the glass so it's snug and won't move around too much.

Tape it if necessary.

Start drawing over the map with your permanent marker.

Step 2: Etch Map With Rotary Tool.

When you're done marking all the map areas you want to etch,

put on your safety glasse and

grab your rotary tool and start engraving with a fine tip.

Note: if your tool is not etching in the glass, it's probably too slow.

Start using a higher speed. I use my tool at max speed (3/3) for glass etching.

From time to time, in order to check your progress, you might want to insert a sheet of black paper.

Step 3: Finish.

When you think you are done,

remove the map from the glass and admire your work.

You can always add more details and names.

If there are traces of the marker on the glass,

remove them with a little acetone.

Clean your glass well and enjoy with a drink!

All done!

I think it's a great way to memorialize places of meaning.

Thank you and I hope you've enjoyed.

Maps Challenge

Participated in the
Maps Challenge