Remember on our response cards we asked our guests to choose either a 1) stemless wine glass or 2) pint glass? Well that question gives a big hint of what we are giving out as wedding favors. A million years ago (okay maybe eleven), I gave out pint glasses for christmas gifts. They were a major hit and I have been asked many times for replacements or new glasses.
Since I have done this craft before I was confident that I could come up with a design and execute it, but since I had to etch 150 glasses I changed the production considerably. Below is the way we etched all our glasses after a little trial and error. I will mention the pitfalls we faced as I explain the process.
I decided to purchase a Silhouette Portrait machine to cut out my design after realizing how long it would take for me to cut out 150 designs on contact paper. If I was only making five glasses I would I just done it myself.
- Etching cream
- Popsicle sticks
- A roll of contact paper
- Rubbing alcohol
- Microfiber cloth
- Piece of paper or cardboard
- Bath towel
- X-acto knife or Cutting machine
- Mini spatula*
- Pencil or something to poke out small pieces
Our monogram has changed considerably since I made stamps over Spring Break. Nate gave me some good feedback as I was working on it for the glasses and I ended up adding a cat head design. It’s so important to marinate on an idea and get feedback because the end result is so much better than the simple monogram. I love it.
Once I had the design, I took a photo and recreated the image in Illustrator. Once I had it just right, I saved the design as a SVG file. This file type can be imported into the Silhouette design software. By doing this, I could then add cut settings to the design and have the machine do all the cuts for me!
1. Import or create your design in the Silhouette software.
2. Reverse your image
3. Add a frame around the design.
4. Add cut settings.
5. Create copies of your design so you have a full sheet.
6. Cut a sheet of regular contact paper to fit the sticky sheet that comes with the Silhouette machine.
7. Load the paper.
8. Cut the design.
9. Peel the paper off the sticky mat. I recommend using a mini spatula to do this.
1. After washing your glass well, lay it on a folded towel. The towel will hold the glass in place while you clean and add the stencil.
2. Using the rubbing alcohol on the microfiber, clean a 3 inch area where you would like the design. This makes sure the glass is really, really clean.
4. Cut your design using a cutting machine or an x-acto knife.
5. Peel the back of the contact paper off and stick the design on the glass. I like to use my index and ring fingers to lightly stretch out the design before I place it down.
6. Rub the sticker well so there are no air bubbles then clean off any finger prints or stickiness by rubbing the microfiber on the exposed glass.
7. Place the etching cream on the glass with a popsicle stick. Lay it on thick. Keep the etching cream on the glass for about 15 minutes. I found that leaving it on longer resulted in a fuzzy design, but this depends on the materials you use.
9. After 15 minutes, rinse the cream off with warm water and remove the sticker.
10. Once dry you should have an opaque design on the glass. Do a couple tests on a throw away glass before you start. I did this multiple times before I got the process just right. Even with all the prep, I wasted a case of pint glasses when I left the cream on overnight and realized I had fuzzy designs the next day. Duh!
My sister Adie and I did all our glasses over a couple late nights watching The Voice. We ended up with a little production line where she prepped the design while I placed them on the glass. Then once we had enough glasses ready, I put the cream on.
And there you have it, a personalized glass for your guests. Also note that each glass will be slightly different. You are creating handmade gifts so if you want something perfect don’t do this yourself. But if you are like me, and want to gift your guests a little gift made with love (and sometimes imperfections) totally go for it!