DIY – How to Etch Glass Christmas Ornaments

Etching produces a frosty design and is permanent. It can be a fun way to add a dramatic flair to glass!!

AND…you can do it yourself with cream. A special cream that can be bought at any craft store.

It’s easy and quick and can be completed in less than 10 minutes.

Here’s how to etch glass Christmas ornaments!

I bought this pack of 9 glass ball ornaments for $6 at Tar-zhay (Target!).

Some sort of template is needed to etch your pattern. A Cricut or Silhouette that cuts vinyl stickers would be ideal but since I didn’t have one, I used plain ol’ stickers!

Something that adheres well to the glass well is required. Otherwise, the etching cream will penetrate under the stencil. I tried painter’s tape and it did not work well. Since painter’s tape has a light hold, the etching cream seeped under it and the design was ruined.

You can create whatever patterns you like. I am using snowflakes, Christmas trees and stockings for these ornaments. I am also going to do a few without stencils and frost them completely all over.

Adhere the stencil.

Now time for the etching cream!!!!

I bought my etching cream at Michael’s (Armour Etch). There’s not a Hobby Lobby in the state I live which is unfortunate…because I’d die to have one of those 50% off coupons! Etching cream is not cheap. This bottle was $29.99. But it was large and will last a long time. They sell much smaller bottles but the Michael’s I went to was out of stock.

This cream has to be toxic if it changes the composition of the glass surface! It would be smart to wear gloves. However I wasn’t smart and passed on the gloves. I actually got a small bit on my hands but it didn’t irritate or burn them. I was expecting some pungent acid like stench but the cream didn’t really smell much either.

Now, paint it on! You need to paint it on pretty thick. It is okay if you get it on top of the stencil.

Next let the cream set on the ornament for 5 minutes. I hung mine on a clothes hanger outside.

While I was waiting on that, I made another ornament using the outline of the sticker. This will create a different effect on how the ornament design will look. The first ornament will be completely frosted and the area where the stencil was will be clear.

On second one, the entire ornament will be clear and the stencil area will be frosted.

This is a good way to use a the part of the sticker packaging that typically would have been discarded. And this method uses a lot less etching cream!

Here is how to use the stencil (sticker) outline.

Cut the area around the sticker outline out.

Then stick on ornament.

Now paint on the inside of the outline. Leave the rest of the ornament naked.

After the ornament has sat with the cream for 5 minutes, rinse in water.

Once the ornament is washed and the sticker removed, the stencil design will not be visible and the glass won’t look frosted.

Don’t be discouraged, once the ornament dries for at least an hour…

the frosting and stencil design will become DRAMATIC!

Ta-da!!