If you've been following me for a while, then you'll know that I always make my Christmas gifts by hand. As you can imagine after so many years, I'm running out of things to do that I'm familiar with! So for me, Christmas has now become a time of year in which I try to find new and exciting crafts that I've never done before. (Yes, I know it's June. It's taken me a while to compile images.)
In 2016 I discovered acidic glass-etching, and thus undertook creating completely custom-designed and unique etched glass mugs for my friends and family.
It all starts with a drawing on the computer. I make a stencil that matches the dimensions of the mug, and then run the design through my cutting machine (for these mugs I used a Cricut Explore, but have since moved to a Silhouette Cameo). The design is cut out on an adhesive piece of vinyl, which I peel away and transfer to the mug using transfer tape. Next, I apply (with proper safety gear and ventilation!) an acid glass-etching cream over the stencil, which slowly eats away at the glass surface. The directions on the bottle say only a few minutes is needed to let the cream sit, but after several tests I found that 30 minutes with careful brushing gave the ideal result.
The vinyl is then peeled off and the glass washed clean, revealing an awesome etched design!
Despite having to work with hazardous chemicals, I think the etching part turned out to be a lot easier than photographing these things. I was working on these gifts right up until Christmas Eve, which left me very little time to take photos in the first place, and the reflective and transparent nature of glass made it a real pain to try and focus. I ended up using a crystal display light to take photos with, but that became another battle in itself because the light was actually a strobe, and I had to take all my photos in time with the flash of the desired color for all sides of the design! I've since purchased a much more well-behaved light and worked out a few design kinks, so I'm happy to say that these kinds of mugs (and possibly more glass items) will be stocked for sale in my Storenvy very shortly!
The three mug designs you see here were made for my step-sister (owl), my step-nephew (wolves), and my fiance's mother (cats), which I was unfortunately not able to get photos of.