Dec 14 2010
I’ve put together a tutorial for how to etch glass using the Silhouette machine to make stencils. It’s super easy! I’ve also put up a video which shows me doing all the steps since sometimes it’s easier to see someone do it.
Let’s get started . . .
Get your monogram ready
The firs step is to get your monogram ready. There are a couple ways to do this.
One is to find one in the Silhouette online store that you like and just download it.
Alternatively, you can make one yourself.
Either way, you’ll want to make a box using the box tool (look like a little square below the line and above the ellipse). I made mine about 2 in by 2 in.
Then put your letter in it, whether you downloaded it from the Silhouette online store or you just typed a letter. I played with a bunch of different fonts before I found one that was just the right mix of fun and classic.
Also note that I’ve put my monograms all the way to left so that it will print on the edge of the vinyl so as to waste as little vinyl as possible.
Print on the vinyl
Load your vinyl into the machine. You don’t need a mat when using vinyl. Also make sure to put the blue cap on.
In your design, click the icon that looks like a printer with an “A” on the sheet and this will open up the “Send to Silhouette” dialog.
Make sure it says that you’re printing to vinyl. If not select the cutting settings and adjust. You’ll also get a reminder to use the blue cap here. Click “Send to Silhouette” when you’re done.
Finally, click “Cut page” and let the Silhouette works it’s magic.
Transfer the design to your glass
After you are done printing with your Silhouette, cut off the part of the vinyl with your shapes on it.
Weed out the parts of the vinyl you don’t need. That means anything not a part of your 2 x 2 square. Feel free to use the inside letter on something else!
Cut off an equal sized piece of transfer paper.
Lay the transfer paper over the vinyl and secure it well. You’ll want to use a scraper. I’m too cheap to pay $6 for a scraper so I use an old credit card. That’s what we use for applying screen protectors to our phones and it seemed to work pretty well.
When the transfer paper is firmly attached, peel off the vinyl backing.
If you have three monograms on one piece like me, now is the time to cut them apart.
Take one of your monograms and lay it carefully on your glass where you want to etch. Use your scraper (aka credit card) to firmly adhere the vinyl to the glass. Try to remove all air bubbles.
Finally remove the transfer paper. It should come away easily, leaving behind your stencil.
Etch your design
Take an paintbrush and paint a good layer of etching cream over your design. Be careful not to get it outside your vinyl or you’ll have etched marks where you don’t want them.
I used Armour Etch cream because that’s what they had at Michael’s when I went. Silhouette sells another one. I’m not sure if one is better than the other, but I was happy with the Armour Etch and one jar will last a while.
Let the cream sit on your design for 5 minutes (or however long it says).
Rinse off and you’re done!
If some spots weren’t fully etched, you can do the etching again. Sometimes this will also “smooth” out the etching if it looked a little rough before. I find I usually like the look better after doing it twice.
I recommend washing the glass in the dishwasher if you can (or just with soap if you can’t) before using just to make sure you really got all the etching cream off if you will be using this for drinking.