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Etching a Glass Cake Dome
While scouring online marketplaces for good deals, I came across a plain glass cake dome for $3 and instantly had to buy it. As I find these great deals, I know I have a bottle of etching cream ready to be used, and I just need a blank canvas!
I use Armour Etch, and if you feel like you'll get addicted, go ahead and get a large bottle. I have a 2.8 oz bottle that's lasted for four projects, but it's close to empty. Plus a larger bottle makes it easier to dip your brush inside. If you think etching personalized gifts is in your future, a small 2.8 bottle runs about $10 and the 10 oz. bottle goes for about $20 so it's a good deal.
Glass to be etched
Armour Etch or other etching cream (AE is the only one I've used)
.5 inch foam brush, or any brush you're ok with throwing out after
Vinyl - cut into your stencil, negative of what your desired effect is.
Newspaper if you're mess
Paper Towel and Rubbing Alcohol
Create your desired design in Design Space, being sure to only weed out what you want etched, leaving the negative vinyl to apply to your project. This is a great way to use up scraps you have lying around. Apply transfer paper for easy transitioning onto your glass. For my design, I used the font 212 Warmheart Sans for the letters, and Avocado Creamy for the 3 line bursts, both from www.dafont.com*.
Wipe down your glass with rubbing alcohol and let that quickly dry to create an oil-free/streak-free surface. Transfer your stencil to the glass. I had to create a way to hold the dome to do my best to get things level, so get creative with it.
Remove the transfer paper and do your best to push out any bubbles near the design/lettering where the cream will go. You can see my transfer isn't perfect and has bubbles, but as long as the vinyl near the letters is pressed down, it won't matter. I use my nail or a scraper to really make sure the seal by each letter area is pressed down if a bubble does happen.
Put on your protective gear and grab your brush. Read all the safety warnings, how-to's, and tips that you can before starting to apply. Apply your Armour Etch per the directions on your package or bottle. From the directions I read, it was no more than 5 minutes that the etching product should be on, and I adhered to that and was pleased with the results. I start my timer after the last spot is covered, but the initial application takes less than 1 minute, and I've never had a problem.
Yes, it has to be on there thick for it to work. I missed a small spot and it's not too noticeable but going over your product with the cream while you wait the 5 minutes helps make sure you don't miss anything. I just dab around every minute or so.
Rinse off the cream (GLOVES STILL ON!) under lukewarm water, and dry. Once it's dry, your project is complete. I will say, I panic every time I rinse off the cream, because the glass will look un-touched, but as soon as you start peeling off the vinyl, you'll get to see your handiwork.
Good luck with your next etching project!
*Remember, these fonts are free for personal use only, and support the font creators by purchasing them if you plan to use them for business.