Today I’ll be presenting a tutorial of how I made this set of personalized etched beer glasses:
I made these glasses as a holiday gift; it was my first time etching glass and I found that using my Cricut machine to cut a stencil produced excellent results!
Altogether, this project cost me $32 (not including the materials I already had at home, which probably total about $5: dollar store contact paper, Glad Press & Seal food wrap, and Q-tips.) I didn’t mind “splurging” on the Threshold beer glass set from Target because my gift recipient is a bit of a klutz (LOL) and I wanted glasses that might be less likely to break. However, dollar stores & thrift stores often have inexpensive glasses, so you could theoretically make this gift for $20 or less!
Here’s the tutorial. Happy crafting!
P.S. This tutorial includes instructions for designing & cutting your stencil in Photoshop & Cricut Design Space. If you don’t have a Cricut or Silhouette cutting machine, you can still make your own etched glasses using a store-bought stencil (which would probably be more simple, perhaps just a monogram) or by ordering custom stencils from an artist on Etsy, for example.
DIY Personalized Etched Beer Glasses
- Beer glasses (I bought this set at Target for $20)
- Glass etching cream (I bought the FolkArt brand at Michaels for $12)
- Q-tips (alternatively, a sponge brush or paintbrush)
- rubbing alcohol
- contact paper (or stencil vinyl)
- Glad Press & Seal wrap (or transfer tape)
- Cricut or Silhouette machine (+ adhesive mat & fine point blade)
Designing Your Stencil:
The following instructions are an outline of how I created my specific design in Photoshop. I’m by no means a Photoshop-expert, so if you know an easier/better way to create your image, go ahead! Also, this image could be created right in Cricut Design Space if you prefer, but I’m more comfortable creating my final design in Photoshop and just uploading the flattened image to Cricut Design Space for scaling & cutting.
- Create a new Photoshop document. Insert an image of a banner. I downloaded this banner from a free clipart website.
- Next create a textbox inside the banner and add your text in the font of your choice. This particular stencil is going on my pilsner glass, so I chose “PILSNER”. Transform your text box so that it follows the curve of your banner using the “arch” function.
- Add a second textbox above the banner and type your text in the font of your choice. I chose a script font to complement the bold & basic font I used for my f1st textbox. For this textbox, I wanted to personalize the stencil with the name of the recipient. Next, insert an image of a hop (hops? hop plant flower? what is the singular version of this? haha.) I found this free “hop” clipart online.
- Insert two more “hops” on either side of the first one. Scale them down and use the “transform” function to rotate them slightly inward.
- Insert an image of a “wheat stalk”. I think the clipart I downloaded was actually supposed to be a “laurel wreath” but it looked wheat-y enough for me! Position the image on one side of your 2nd textbox.
- Insert a second “wheat stalk” and use the “transform” > “flip horizontal” function to create a mirror image of the first stalk.
- Position your “wheat stalks” in a way that’s aesthetically pleasing to you. I actually had to create two documents and put them side-by-side to determine which position I preferred. I ended up choosing the design on the right.
- Once everything is in-position, save the image as a file-type that can be opened in Cricut Design Space (JPEG or PNG). If you are making a set of glasses, go ahead and edit textbox #1, creating & saving separate images for each type of beer. My six images read “PILSNER”, “STOUT”, “WEISSBIER”, “IPA”, “LAGER”, and “BELGIAN”.
Cutting Your Stencil Using the Cricut:
- Create a new project in Cricut Design Space. Select the “Upload” button on the left-side of your canvas to upload your image. Select “Simple” because your image is monochromatic.
- Delete all of the white-space by clicking on it using the magic wand. Don’t forget to click on the insides of letters, such as the “P” and “R” in my image.
- On the next screen, select the “Cut” file on the right and save your image. At this point, you might realize that parts of your cut file look squished together (see my “hops” below.) If so, click the back button and go in manually with the eraser to create more space between the crowded parts of the image.
- Select your newly uploaded image on the next screen and click “Insert Image”. Then, adjust the size of the image to fit your glasses. I changed the height of all my images to 2.5″ to fit nicely on each glass.
- When you’re ready, click “Make It”. Position your contact paper on the adhesive mat with the backing-side down. Make sure your piece of contact paper is large enough to give you a leniant border around the image when etching (I used a 4″x4″ square.) I set the material as “Vinyl” when working with contact paper. Follow the prompts on the screen to load your mat and start cutting using the fine point blade.
- Unload your mat and remove the whole piece of contact paper. Now it’s time to weed your image. Since we’re making a stencil, we want to keep the “white-space” and remove the actual letters & images.
- Cut a piece of Press & Seal (or transfer tape) to fit over your contact paper and place it down. Use a scraper (or gift card, credit card, etc.) to burnish well. Then, flip over the whole peice and remove the contact paper backing.
Applying Your Stencil + Etching the Glass:
- Prep your glass by cleaning it with rubbing alcohol. Position your stencil over the glass and place it down, taking care to prevent bubbles from forming. I found it’s easiest to place the center of the design down first then smooth down the sides, top, and bottom. Depending on the shape of your glass, it can be quite tricky to smooth the whole stencil down.
- For some of the funkier-shaped glasses (belgian, stout, etc.), you may need to take a pair of scissors and cut lines in your stencil as you’re laying it down in order to help the “important parts” lay flat. It doesn’t matter if the rest of stencil has wrinkles & bubbles as long as your actual design lays flat against the glass.
- Apply your etching cream. I used a Q-tip to do this, but you could use a sponge or paintbrush as well. Follow the instructions on your bottle to apply the solution. The FolkArt brand I chose is a brown cream (others are white) and is supposed to stay on for 15 minutes. If you want, “practice” using your etching cream on something else first to figure out the timing (I grabbed a pickle jar from the recycling bin.)
- Allow your glass to sit for the amount of time specified on your etching product. Then, take your project to the sink and rinse off the etching cream. Don’t remove the stencil first, just run the whole thing under water.
- After rinsing, you can remove your stencil. I like to rinse it again after this.
- All done! Repeat the steps above with each glass if you’re making a set.
Now go crack open a cold one and put your finished product to good use, you’ve earned it!