Tav and I have been planning a little party for the family in BC, and in an effort to DIY as much of the party as I can, I decided to etch some mason jars with the guests’ names. We figured it was a nifty party favor that can also serve as “name tags” since the little party that was supposed to only be 20-guests-small, ended up being a big backyard party with probably about 70 people in attendance.
ETCHED MASON JARS
What you’ll need:
– mason jar or any other glass
– etching cream
– paint brush
– precision knife
– contact paper
– masking tape
– cutting mat
– scissors (optional)
Next, apply the etching cream. I used Armour Etch, which seems to be a popular brand for glass etching products. You don’t really have to apply a very thick layer, it’s enough as long as it covers the area you’re etching. The way I apply it: Dab on, then do even vertical brush strokes, then horizontal brush strokes. Wait until the cream is dry. I usually wait and let it sit for 5-10 minutes but it doesn’t really matter if you leave it on for an extended amount of time.
NOTE: 1) A cheap paint brush is fine! 2) Etching cream has hydrofluoric acid, which is a corrosive! So I’d strongly suggest wearing gloves (I didn’t because I’m stubborn, so my fingers always look disgustingly dry).
Once it has dried, wash the cream off with water. I personally prefer warm water, but it doesn’t really matter. Then, peel the stencil and tape off. Do NOT panic, if at first you don’t see the etching! It’s often difficult to see when it’s wet.
ABOUT ETCHING CREAM:
– Armour Etch is available in most craft stores. It’s also available in most Wal-Mart Stores in the US but not in Canada (as of 2012).
– I first tried ordering my Etching cream online, through a store on Amazon, but the merchant had to cancel my order because the post office refused it. So if you plan to order it online, contact the seller and make sure they can ship it (especially if it’s from an international seller). Some countries may require a different warning label because it is a corrosive.
– For this project, I used contact paper. It’s cheap and available in most office supply stores and home improvement stores. Tav’s grandma said it’s very similar to the stuff used to line drawers. However, if you can’t get contact paper, you can easily substitute it with masking tape. (Or if you have a Cricut or similar fancy shmancy machine, you can easily make a stencil with it too)
– Oh and most instructions will advice you to clean the glass surface thoroughly before etching, because fingerprints and oils can prohibit the glass from etching properly. I skipped that step because the jars I used have never been used before (read: I was lazy so I needed to think about a way to justify skipping a step). So if you’re using an older piece of glass, you might want to clean the surface first. Most labels will suggest using alcohol to clean the surface.