Hand Engraved Glasses!

Introduction: Hand Engraved Glasses!

In this instructable I will be showing you how I like to hand engrave my own glasses. These make great gifts for birthdays, weddings, or even just to decorate your own home! So let's get started! 

Things you will need:

-Diamond engraving tips
-Inkjet waterslide paper (I buy mine from Amazon UK)
-An acrylic sealing spray
-A quote or image you want to engrave
-The glass to be engraved

Please forgive the image quality. My camera is being repaired so these had to be taken and uploaded from my phone. 
Let's get started! 

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Step 1: The Quote!

As this glass was to be a gift, I chose to engrave the recipient's favourite quote,

"Le plus grand faible des hommes, c'est l'amour qu'ils ont de la vie." around it. 

Once you have chosen your quote you need to work out what size it needs to be. This  is much much simpler than it sounds. I simply wrapped a piece of string around where I wanted the quote, (in my case the entire circumference of the glass). At this stage you simply make a text box in MS Word the same length, and adjust your font so it fits acceptably! 

Selecting the text box followed by the format tab will let you change the dimensions of the box. 

Step 2: Printing Time

Now you have your glass, and your quote. So grab yourself a sheet of inkjet water-slide paper (I buy mine cheaply on Amazon.co.uk) and print your design. 

Once your design it printed, cut it out, and (outside because it stinks) you need to seal your ink to the decal. The reason for this step is because inkjet ink is water-based and will leech right off when you place it in water. 

Place you decal on a level surface and spray it with long, slow sweeps. You'll be able to see the sealer sitting on top of the decal like a thin liquid film. Wait ten minutes and it will be dry enough to use!

Step 3: Applying the Decal to the Glass

For ease of application I cut the quote into three roughly equal pieces. 

One piece at a time you must submerge them in lukewarm water for 20 - 30 seconds. At this stage I apply them by placing the edge of the paper on the glass, and literally slide it off the backing paper. Once I've positioned it just the way I like it, I blot it off with kitchen paper or a dish cloth. This removes the excess water and allows the adhesive on the clear decal to adhere to the glass. 

After 30 minutes, the decal is dry, hard to the touch, and ready to be engraved. 

Step 4: Engraving the Quote

For this final (and most exciting) step, you will need the following;

-A Dremel
-Diamond engraving bits
-A dust mask (you will be creating powdered glass as a by product of the process)
-Eye protection (as above)

Donning all relevant forms of protection, you need to place your glass somewhere secure, between two heavy objects to prevent it from rolling. 

Turn your Dremel to a medium speed and begin tracing each of the letters you can see on the decal. Take your time over this, you may need to turn to a higher speed on your rotary tool, which increases the chances of it slipping, creating unwanted scratches. 

Once you have completely engraved everything you want transferred to the glass, simply turn the Dremel off and submerge your glass in hot water and generic dish soap. This will easily remove the remainder of the decal and any residue it may have placed on your glass. 

Voila! your very own bespoke gift for yourself, or someone you know! 

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    2 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    You did a beautiful job engraving that font (nicely chosen also!). May I ask whether you have a lot of experience doing this, and should a beginner perhaps practice on something flat first?


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Battlespeed -

    Did you ever get an answer to your question?