Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring Lanterns

One of my favorite places to hang out is Smartbuygal Forum.  Those ladies are incredibly talented, very friendly, and generous sharing their ideas and files.  I got this idea from Amy R who posted pictures of these a few weeks ago.  You can see Amy's work here.

I also want to walk through glass etching for those of you who have never seen it before. These are both 100% Cricut projects.  I used my gypsy to design these and the list of cartridges is a bit long, but here it is: Celebrate with Flourish, Gypsy Wanderings, Plantin Schoolbook, Songbird, Walk in My Garden, ZooBalloo, Cindy Lou, Cupcake Wrappers, Home Accents, Lacy Labels, Sentimentals, and finally, Picturesque.

These are the designs after I cut them out.  

The next step is to apply the vinyl to the glass.  It's much easier when I am working with a negative image because all you have to do is place the cut out exactly where you want it.  It's a bit trickier the other way around because instead of a cut out image you are working with a stencil of that image.   But with a little practice and patience it can be done.

One important thing is to make sure there are no air bubbles between the vinyl and the glass. You can see that I put the glass pieces onto plastic.  I did this because I knew I would be taking the etching creme to the edges of the glass and I wanted to make sure I protected the table, and most importantly - me!  This is the etching creme I use:

This etching creme is a strong chemical and it is not something you want to get on your skin so I always, always, always wear gloves when I am applying or rinsing it off.  The application process is pretty simple - just brush on a generous coating of creme wherever the glass is exposed.

For the negative images I put the creme over the entire glass from end to end.

I let my creme sit on for a minimum of thirty minutes.  I like to rinse these off in our laundry room sink, I really don't want this chemical anywhere else.  Right after being rinsed off (and removing the vinyl) it looks like this.  

After they dried I cleaned them and put them into the lanterns.  Walla!

 I added a candle and turned out the lights so you can see what it will look like at night.

I adore these lanterns.  They aren't perfect though.  The etching on the large one looks a bit streaky to me so I will make sure to put a thicker layer of creme on the next one I do.  Also, "Spring Showers" isn't quite centered on the small one.  Yea - it's those tricky stencils.   But, overall, I am happy with how they turned out.  One of the great things about etching is that once the design is on there, it's there.  The chemical permanently changes the glass so you don't have to worry about washing it off.  You can clean it like you normally would and the design will not be affected.  I have a few more of these to complete before I run out of my stash, but I need to come up with some new themes first.  And I will need find homes for all of these because I am quickly running out of it in my craft room.

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. LOVE these! So beautiful! Feel free to mail one my way ;)

    One question I have as someone who has never etched but keeps eyeing it - Can you re-etch? Say you decided you didn't want a design any more. Can you then coat the entire area with etching solution and have it all look uniform when you rinse it off? Or does it leave a ghost image of what wasn't etched, or does it etch deeper where it WAS etched? Does that make sense at all?

  2. Leah, I understand what you are asking and the answer is - I don't know - I've never tried it. I imagine that if you put the creme on heavy enough you could probably cover the image up, but you might end up with an uneven application. It may take 2 or 3 to even it out. That's my best guess anyway!

  3. Dayna, thanks for the reply! I may have to try my hand at it this summer. It's our front door and the transom above it, which is a bit awkward!

  4. Amazing! Love these so much!

  5. Leah, since its a door you might have some difficulty washing it off. Have you considered using glass etch vinyl? It's a vinyl that looks like glass etching when you apply it to glass or mirrors. That way you if you wanted to change it later all you would have to do is remove the vinyl. Check out Denise's blog at She has a mirror that she uses glass etch vinyl on and she changes it out for the different seasons. I think you will like it.

  6. Oh, I wasn't clear (semi-unintentional pun), sorry! Our glass IS etched in a really horrible design. I want to just etch over it to make it into frosted blocks. I suppose if I were to do it, I would just take the door off the hinges for a few hours. Maybe I will get a piece of glass, etch it, then try etching over it first!


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