I intend eventually to etch our toasting glasses for the reception, but I took photos of my "first attempt" on the practice glass my kit came with, kind of like a coaster. And really, you can do this on coasters, mirrors, glasses, glass photo frames..... anything!
What you'll need:
1. Armor Etch glass etching cream, or a similar product
2. Blank adhesive stencil sheet (or vinyl adhesive shelf liner paper)
3. Soft craft board or cardboard to cut on
5. Small brush
6. Design you want etched (my fiance made a "duo"-gram for us with both of our last initials)
7. Rubber gloves
8. Something glass to etch
9. A VERY sharp knife - exacto-knife, craft knife, scalpel, etc. I picture an exacto-knife here, but I ended up using my mom's craft knife.
10. Masking tape
11. Pen & carbon paper (not pictured)
12. Running water, glass cleaner, & paper towel
Step 1: The Stencil
Step 1. Transfer (with pen and carbon paper) your design to the stencil sheet or shelf paper. (NOTE: if using adhesive shelf paper, cut an appropriately sized piece and adhere it smoothly to your glass product first.) (I used spray glue to attach the design, then cut through both layers, which I do NOT recommend for a design with such complex parts. Even glued, the paper kept shifting in the detailed areas. Also, as you can see, some of the stencil remained behind after cutting, and in some places where it did come off, it left a sticky mess.)
Step 2. Cut out your design with a VERY SHARP craft knife. Remember you must cut it in negative - the "holes" are where the etching will be! To keep yourself on track, keep a printed copy of your design nearby - coloured spots get cut out, and white spots get left behind. Remember to leave a "connector piece" to any otherwise isolated chunks (e.g., the hole on the inside of a capital A). (If cutting on shelf paper already stuck on your glass, careful not to cut too deep!)
Step 2: Etching
Step 3. Stick your stencil to your glass (if it's not already there). Align all the pieces properly, and make sure the edges are smoothly and firmly down. Use masking tape around the edges to extend the stencil space, giving you more room to work (not done here - my glass piece was small).
Step 4. Dab the etching cream over the stencil with the brush. I found brushing left it too thin, I recommend dabbing. It needs to be thick enough that you can't see your stencil shape through it. I appear to be a bit thin in spots, but it turned out okay.
Step 3: Rinse & Clean!
Step 5. After 4-5 minutes, rinse the design under the tap running lukewarm water. Rinse thoroughly. The etching will appear very faint at first, while it's wet.
Step 6. Remove the stencil, clean glass with any glass cleaner product, and dry.