Give personalized glassware this holiday season
How to Make an Etched Glass Gift
Photography by Thomas J. Story

According to crafter Kelly Wilkinson, “If you choose a design instead of letters, simple two-dimensional graphics work best.” Look for adhesive etching stencils online (at sites such as Etchworld). Wilkinson created the “Stay warm” template exclusively for Sunset readers. Or create your own design.




  • Adhesive tape
  • Adhesive shelf liner (such as Con-Tact clear covering paper)
  • Craft knife (such as No. 1 Precision knife from X-Acto)
  • Non-tempered glasses (Wilkinson used 13-ounce Classic Tumblers from Pier 1)
  • Rubber gloves
  • Paintbrush or stencil brush (available at craft or hardware stores)
  • 10-ounce Armour Etch glass etching cream (from Etchworld)
  • Paper towels
  • Glass cleaner, such as Windex


1. Print out words or design at desired size.

2. Tape the words or design to adhesive liner, and cut around shapes with a craft knife (the more precise the cut, the crisper the etching will be).

3. Remove backing from adhesive liner, and place adhesive stencil on glass. Press firmly into place, so that etching cream won’t seep underneath.

4. In a well-ventilated area (such as outdoors or in a workshop), wearing rubber gloves and using the paintbrush, apply a thick layer of etching cream over stencil. Let stand for length of time recommended by manufacturer.

5. Rinse with warm water, peel off stencil, and clean with paper towels and glass cleaner. Be careful when wiping around stencil edges.

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