Vintage (Nudie) Barware




Introduction: Vintage (Nudie) Barware

About: ...after 30 years of becoming corporately numb, my dreams of not working (for pay) and instead creating with my hands has become a reality. Life is grand!

In mid-century terms, the ideal female body image was the hourglass figure with large breasts, a small waistline and ample hips.  Full breasts with a waist-to-hip ratio of .7 was considered a "heavenly" body type.

With the Playboy Club making it's debut in 1960, this Instructable shows how to use stencils on glasses and coasters to reflect the party-a-go-go attitude from that period.

Let's get this party started....

Step 1: Gather Materials

Applying stencils to glass or paper requires an exacto knife, contact paper and of course an image.  

While one can cut a silhouette image and place it directly on the barware, I have included extra steps in case you want a more permanent display.

To Stencil and Etch the Glassware:
  • Exacto Knife
  • Contact Paper
  • Nudie silhouettes pulled from "QT's" font by Dan Zadorozny of Iconian Font (non-commercial use) demonstrated with letters N and X  
  • Clear glassware without a pattern or design - I used pilsner (beer) glasses and wide tumblers
  • Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol
  • Armour Etch (glass etching) cream, rubber gloves, eye protection
  • Sponge Brush
To Stencil Coasters:
  • Exacto Knife
  • Two Colors/Patterns of Contrasting Contact Paper
  • Nudie silhouettes pulled from "QT's" font by Dan Zadorozny of Iconian Fonts (non-commercial use), as demonstrated with letter H and :   
  • 4" Round Coasters (or thick cardboard)

Step 2: To Stencil Glassware (Reveal the Vamp!)

With just a few steps your glassware can be ready for Don Draper when he drops by for a(nother) drink...
  • Trace the desired image onto contact paper and using an exacto knife, trim out the image but keep a wide border surrounding the image.  If only a temporary image is needed, peel the image (without border) from the contact paper and place on the glassware, skipping the rest of this section.
  • For a permanent image, thoroughly clean the glasswear with soap and water and then use isopropyl rubbing alcohol to remove any fingerprints or smudges that might not be visible to the naked eye.  (Don't use Windex-type of glass cleaner because many glass cleaners have additives that leave an invisible film which can cause uneven etching and difficulty in adhering the stencil.)
  • Carefully place the surrounding/border portion on the clean glasswear.  Curved sections of glassware will likely cause the trimmed image to wrinkle, but no bother unless the edge of the sillhouette outline is wrinkled.  If so, place a scrap of contact paper (or masking tape) over the crinkled edge to smooth out any wrinkled lines.  (If you find it necessary to realign and remove the image, be sure to thoroughly clean the glassware as described in the prior step.) 
  • Once satisfied with the position of the image, apply leftover contact paper (or masking tape) to any area that is NOT to come in contact with the etching cream.  (I failed to apply this step and was disappointed when an unintended splatter of etching cream came in contact with the glass.  Although I immediately wiped off the spot, a mark remained on the glass.  New motto...Play it safe with tape!)
  • Wearing plastic gloves and protective glasses, brush a thick coat of etching cream on to the glasswear.  Let the etching cream remain on the glass for at least 7 minutes and up to 15 minutes.
  • Because etching cream is acidic and will damage a porcelain sink, rinse the etching cream off in a stainless steel sink, or outside with the garden hose.  

Step 3: To Stencil Coasters (Hello Gorgeous!)

Should Don Draper nurse his drink as he ruminates over his dark past, these coasters are guaranteed to make his head spin...
  • Trace the shape of the coaster and the desired image onto contact paper .  Using an exacto knife, trim out the interior silhouette but keep the border surrounding the image (see wood grain in photo).  For a disposable coaster  place this (wood grain) portion of the image on the coaster and use a Sharpie to outline and color in the silhouette...skipping the rest of the instructions in this section.
  • If a reusable coaster is desired, again trace the shape of the coaster on to a piece of contrasting (black) contact paper.  Cut 2 sets, peel and place on each side of the coaster.  The coaster will now be waterproof without any design.
  • Using the cut image from the first bullet (above), peel and place the exterior portion of the silhouette on one side of the waterproof coaster and for a contrast, the reverse image on the other side of the coaster.

Step 4: After Note...VaVaVaVoom!

The idea of sexy stenciled silhouettes came to me as I was watching the movie "A Raisin in the Sun", with Sidney Poitier and Ruby Dee.  In the movie, Sidney's character frequented a place called the Kit Kat Klub (which is a totally different establishment than the one described by Wikipedia).

As I was thinking how I might create an entry for the current Vintage Contest, the initials of the Kit Kat Klub brought to mind cultural references to past injustices, along with a renewed interest in viewing/reserving other classics starring Mr. Poitier.  

Additionally, while investigating the website (aka Iconian Fonts), inspiration hit with lots of fun(!) ideas that will likely appear in future Instructables!

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    3 Discussions


    7 years ago

    These are great. I love vintage items! They remind me of bar glasses my parents had from the 1960's - pin-up girls whose dresses would disappear when condensation gathered on the glass! Cute bikinis underneath!

    I like these a lot, I used the same method to make personalized beer mugs for my dad last Christmas.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Yeah, it is a fun way to personalize a gift. I am now hoarding jars and thriftstore glassware to show friends how easy it is to do.