How to Etch Glass with Cricut? Easy Method Explained
If you are into crafting and have been thinking of getting into glass etching, then we’re here to help. In this article, we will talk about how to etch glass with Cricut so you can create professional looking decors for yourself or others.
Etching glass with Cricut is quite easy, and it doesn’t require additional care once you’re done with your design. Without further ado, let’s take a look at what steps to follow to create your masterpiece.
Items You Will Require for Your DIY Project
- Any glass items
- Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol)
- Thick rubber gloves
- Goggles for extra protection
- Etching cream
- Paint brush of your choice
- Masking tape
- Transfer tape
- Cricut machine
- Cricut design space
Warning: If you want to work with colored glasses, know that you should look for true colored glass and not glass that was treated with any sort of coating. Glasses which went through treatments to get its color are diffult to etch on.
How to Etch Glass with Cricut? Step-by-Step Guide to Avoid Mistakes
Now, let’s go through the steps you’ll need to follow to get the ideal finishing.
Step 1: Thoroughly Clean the Exterior
In order to achieve a flawless design, you must put on your hand gloves and use rubbing alcohol to clean the glass. Using rubbing alcohol helps remove all kinds of spots or dirt such as dust, oil, or even fingerprints. Once you’ve cleaned it, keep it for at least 5 to 10 minutes to get completely dried.
Step 2: Design Your Vinyl Stencil
The first thing you need to do for this step is to get your design ready. You can either use illustrator to make a custom design or download designs/fonts that you want to use.
Once you have your design or phrase ready, you should adjust its size according to your liking, making sure the size is aligned with the size of the glass object. Then you need to upload it to your canvas in the cricut design space.
Next, you need to outline the design/phrase to turn it into a sticker. This is the step that truly makes the job much easier. To tidy up your design, you should get rid of the negative spaces (if any) from the etching vinyl and select “make it” to get going!
Step 3: Spread on Your Stencil
Once you have printed your design, you need to carefully take cut it and rub it onto the spotless glass surface with the help of the transfer tape. During this step, it’s crucial to be very careful with your alignment so that you get the shape right.
We will advise you to use a squeegee tool to ensure that the stencil sticks on the surface of the glass. Be sure to keep pressing it firmly with the card so that you get a smooth pasting without bubbles.
In case you’re using a round glass, do keep in mind to gently curve the design to ensure that it sticks on perfectly. Once you have it on, use the masking tape to border the design. This will help to keep the rest of the body protected.
Tip: Once you’re done pasting the stencil on the glass, hold it next to bright light to check for any tears. If you spot any hole or tear, cover it up with tape to eliminate the chances of unwanted etches.
Step 4: Etch the Glass
Note: For this step, you will need to put on your protective eye goggles and gloves as you will be working with acid. You will also want to make sure that you’re in a well-ventilated room that isn’t too hot or cold as well as has easy access to water.
Now that you have all the bases covered, take the etching cream and shake it well. Once you have shaken it up for a few seconds, use your selected paint brush to apply the cream.
Be sure to make a thick coating of cream which covers all of the design. Try to have your hands stay steady during this process as you need to get this done evenly and as quickly as possible. This is because the cream starts to react as soon as it touches the surface.
Once you are done applying the cream, let it sit for at least 3 minutes but no more than 5 minutes. You will need to go through a little trial & error to understand how much time it’ll require.
Leaving on the cream for too long will result in scorching the glass while eating away the vinyl. On the other hand, if you don’t allow it adequate time, it may not etch properly.
You should also be aware that the ideal time is also determined by the material you’re working with; for example, material such as crystal is highly resistant to the cream and may not etch at all.
Step 5: Get Rid of the Etching Cream
After you’re done letting it do its magic, take the object to the sink and wash away the cream. You can either use just water or get a little help with dish soap.
We will recommend you to not take it to porcelain or enamel sinks as the etching cream contains harsh chemicals. However, stainless steel or plastic bowls can be used without any worry. You should use the paint brush to clean off the etching cream, do not use your hands!
Step 6: Finishing Touches
Let the glass sit a while to allow it to dry. Once dried, you can proceed to remove the tape along with the vinyl stencil. You then will need to clean the glass with rubbing alcohol again to make sure you don’t have any residue. And voila, you’re all done!
Note: You don’t have to worry about doing anything else like coating the etched design or using a mild soap after it dries out. Also – Take your time! With other crafts, I had to learn how to fix resin mistakes because I rushed!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What’s the ideal vinyl for etching glass?
While it depends on individual preference, we found that outdoor or permanent vinyl has stronger adhesive making it easier to work with.
2. What are the best etching creams?
Our recommendation will be to use Armour Etch as it works on a good range of glasses and the product lasts for a long time.
3. What will happen if my hand touches the cream?
Due to the toxins present in the cream, it is imperative to not touch the cream with your bare hands as it can burn your skin. If you do touch it, immediately wash your hands and consult a doctor.
Here, we have given you all the insights on how to etch glass with cricut for you to give it a shot!
If you’re still scared, we will recommend watching a few tutorial videos online to help with the nerves. But we promise you once you get started, you will get hooked to it. So, what are you waiting for? Get etching!
Up Next: How to clean a cricut mat and make it sticky again.
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