About a year ago, I decided to move away from plastic containers for my dry food storage and use glass jars instead. I now have a lovely collection of former wheat germ jars I use for rice, sugar, couscous, and so forth. For a while now, I’ve been planning to embellish the jars with glass etching. Today I finished my first one:


  • Glass Etching Cream
  • Clear self-adhesive Contact Vinyl
  • Sharp Crafting Knife
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Protective Rubber Gloves
  • Permanent marker or other writing utensil that won’t smear on the vinyl


Trace your design on the front of the vinyl with a permanent marker to make a stencil.

Make sure the glass item you want to decorate is completely clean and wipe off the surface with alcohol.

Either adhere the vinyl onto the glass and then cut out your design with a craft knife, or cut out your design first and then place the vinyl on the glass. The second method was easier for me, but you may want to experiment a bit.

Make sure there are no fingerprints on the area you want to etch. If necessary, carefully clean the area with rubbing alcohol.

Put on the gloves and with a paint brush, apply the glass etching cream onto the stencil and follow the manufacturers directions. I my case it took five minutes for the cream to do its job.

Rinse off the etching cream under running, cold water, remove the stencil and, voila! there is your design. Remove any remaining adhesive with window cleaner and/or soap.

Only six jars to go. . .

Other Resources

Fig and Plum has a great list of glass etching resources; SuperCute! uses masking tape instead of vinyl

or search “cream glass etching tutorial” for other suggestions.

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3 Responses to (F)Etching

  1. m.o.M. says:

    Great idea! Doesn’t it feel good to get that plastic out of the house?

  2. Myrnie says:

    I love etching glass! We like to etch the bottom of Pyrex dishes with the family name- much easier for potlucks :)

    Did you know you can re-use the etching cream? Just scrape it back into the bottle- it will last a LONG time that way!

  3. Laura says:

    I love the idea of etching labels onto glass containers. Thanks for sharing!

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