Monday, May 26, 2014

Glass Etching

For Mother's Day this year I decided to try a little glass etching. I have been wanting to try glass etching since I bought my silhouette (seriously, it was like 5 years ago) and my mother in law loves anything with a monogram on it. As I was doing my project, I thought maybe you would like to see how I did it, so I took a couple pictures of my process. (FYI this is NOT a sponsored post, I'm just sharing my experience with Silhouette, Hobby Lobby, and Armour Etch)
I went to Hobby Lobby and the glass containers were 50% off! just for me! The large jar was originally $6 and the small jar was $2, so I only paid $3 and $1 AWESOME. I bought the little jar to use as a test run, and I highly recommend doing that.
While I was at Hobby Lobby, I also picked up the glass etching cream. Let me tell you, it is expensive stuff. This teeny tiny bottle was $9, luckily I had a 40% off coupon. This "Armour Etch" brand is all hobby lobby offered. After using it, I'm not super impressed. I am sooooo tempted to go to Michaels and try the Martha Stewart brand etching cream to see if it's any better.  If I try it, I'll let you know.
To get started, I opened the silhouette software and chose a little artisan border and added an H in "CAC Lasko" font.  Now here's my little trick: Most fancy fonts are very thin and not very useful for projects like this, so I  use the OFFSET tool. Just select the text box, click on the offset button (on the top toolbar), set the offset distance to about .04 inches and click "apply"
You can see here I have the original H pulled off to the side, and the "offset" H on the screen. Much better right?
Next, I re-sized and aligned the H until it looked how I wanted it to. Then I grouped the two together (right click>group).
Now that they are grouped, the H and the border will move together as one, and you can easily re-size them to the actual size you would like to cut. I wanted the length to be 2 1/2" wide.
 I used a small scrap of leftover vinyl from my stash, and cut my shape.
Now, normally you would keep the cut H and toss the negative space, but for glass etching you want the opposite.
 I used transfer paper to apply the vinyl. (Before you do though, be sure to CLEAN your jar well)
Honestly, I just eyeballed it, but you could totally get out a ruler to make everything perfectly straight and centered.
In hindsight, I probably should have left a little more room at the top and side. It turned out just fine, but it would have been nice to have a little more buffer.
Next up, it was time to apply the glass etching cream. The instructions direct you to stir the cream really well, so I used a popsicle stick to stir the cream around. Then I used a cheap-o watercolor brush to apply the etching cream. Seriously, you want to PILE that stuff on there. Be generous!

The instructions on the little bottle did not say anything about how long to leave the cream on, so I consulted google, and found someone recommend 15 minutes. So I did my test jar first to see if that was enough time. The bird on my test jar looked great, so I repeated it on the H jar.
When the 15 minutes were up, I rinsed off the cream and my project was done! Woohoo!
All I had to do was fill it up with little fun treats and give it to my mother in law. I would have made one for my mom too, but I was worried about shipping it :(  I kept the little bird test jar for myself and filled it with buttons and stuck it in my sewing room.

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