Mother’s Day Project: Glass Vase Etching
Remember when every Mother’s Day we would give mom an adorable handmade card, complete with a crayon-colored coupon to clean the bathroom? Those little tokens of love were always appreciated, and now that we’re older (and I hope a little wiser) we may have hung up our crayon coupon book of yesteryear, but we can still create a gorgeous gift that can keep on giving. This etched vase not only creates a beautiful display for spring flowers but will warm mom’s heart every time she looks at it!
- 1 Blank glass vase (preferably straight-walled)
- Stencil vinyl (or removable vinyl)
- Etching cream (I use Rustoleum Tub & Tile)
- Old paintbrush
- Protective gloves and goggles
- Digital Products: Monogram Veg Font
- Alcohol wipe
- Masking or painter’s tape
- Transfer tape
- Measuring tape
- Weeding tools
- Cricut cutting machine (or other) and mat
Create Your Mother’s Day Vase
Prepare Your Workspace
When working with caustic materials such as etching cream, it’s extremely important to properly prepare your workspace and have your safety supplies ready for use. I always recommend an organized crafting area – this not only helps with efficient crafting but also reduces the risk of accidents. Make sure that you have protective gloves and goggles for the etching portion of this project; you can even use just a long pair of latex gloves and soaping goggles – just so long as your hands and eyes are protected!
Once your work area is prepped and ready for creating, go ahead and download and install the Monogram Veg Font from Creative Fabrica. This font instantly creates some swirly letters that you can implement into any kind of monogrammed art project on your DIY list. For this etched vase, it is absolutely perfect, not to mention – it’s free!
Cricut Design Space
Open up Cricut Design Space after you have installed the font and start a new project. Before creating the text, you will be designing your images first.
In the Images Library, search for “#M23C4611E” which is the Ornamental Floral Design. For the birds, search for “#M8054E12” (Bird), “#MBB81955” (Purple Hummingbird), and “MBB81972” (Ombre Hummingbird). The colors of the birds don’t actually matter as you can go ahead and change them from print/cut to cut only.
Once you have all of the images inserted onto your canvas, you can just arrange them in the manner that you like most. Make use of the size, flip and rotate tools if you need to, but don’t worry about resizing the finished design just yet.
Now that your image is arranged how you want to see it on the vase, you can now insert a text field. Change from Cricut’s default font to the new Monogram Veg Font that you installed previously and type the letter “M”. Insert another text field; this time changing the font to “Family Album” and type, “otherhood”.
- Design Tip: Get creative! Feel free to use any images that you prefer, even if it’s different than the ones that I used. Personalizing this design to best represent your own mother’s tastes will make the gift that much more special.
Next, change the color of the fonts to black if they are not already. This will give you a better visual of the final stencil design.
Place the two texts together so that the word “Motherhood” flows well, and strategically place it so that it appears to be a part of the image design. Once you have it positioned, select all of the text fields and the images, then weld.
Now all that’s left to do is to measure your vase and resize your design! Grab your measuring tape and determine how large you want your etching to be. My vase is quite tall, so I made mine to be 5.5” in height as I want it to cover a large part of one side of the vase.
When you are ready, select everything, and then hit the Make It button!
Weeding and Application
When weeding, remember that you are creating a stencil – so you will be using only the negative of the cut. Apply your transfer tape as usual, and then wipe down the area of the glass vase that you will be etching with an alcohol wipe. Once the vase is dry, apply your stencil!
- Application Tip: If you are using a rounded shape vase, applying the stencil will be tricky. With some scissors, make some small snips all around the transfer tape as close to the stencil as you can get (be careful not to cut the stencil!) this will help you to apply a flat decal/stencil onto a curved surface. Just go very slowly and smooth out the stencil as you go.
After the stencil has been applied, burnish well and carefully remove the transfer tape. Once again, smooth over the entire stencil; the key to a seamless etch is ensuring that your stencil is completely free of any air bubbles.
- Safety First! It is absolutely necessary to protect your hands, skin, and eyes for this project. Etching cream can easily burn your skin! Be sure to wear gloves, a long-sleeved shirt, and safety goggles.
Take some masking tape and place it all around the edges of your stencil. This will protect the glass even further from any drips or drops from the etching cream as you apply it.
Now you want to put on your safety gloves and goggles.
Position the glass on its side and using an old paintbrush (or a cheap one from the dollar store), scoop up some of the etching cream and apply it on your stencil. Don’t be frugal, you will want a fair amount of the cream to cover every tiny part of your etch area. Make sure that you apply the cream as evenly as possible.
The instructions on my etching cream recommend leaving it on for 4-5 minutes, but I find that this is simply not enough time for a nice vibrant etch. I always leave it on for 20 minutes when working with standard glass such as this vase. Of course, bear in mind that the etching time may vary depending on your material.
Rinse and Finish
After 20 minutes (or your preferred time), put your gloves back on to get ready to rinse! Remember when I told you not to be frugal? Etching cream is reusable! Before you rinse, scoop as much of the cream as you can back into the container with your paintbrush. Now you can rinse the vase!
Keep your gloves on and rinse the glass under cool running water – using your fingers to really rinse off the cream (don’t worry…the “etch” cannot be rubbed off). Remove the tape and stencil as you rinse.
When all of the cream, tape, and stencil is off, you can now wash and thoroughly dry the vase – don’t worry if you can’t clearly see it yet; the etch is less noticeable while it is still wet.
That’s it! Now stand back and rejoice in the beautiful glasswork that you just created for your mom (or yourself!) before you wrap it up for her gift!
Happy Mother’s Day to all of the amazing moms, stepmoms, aunts, grandmothers, and anyone else who has lent a hand in raising the littles!
Keep on Crafting!