Craft Corner: Old Window + Etched Glass = New Wall Decor

After writing a post about Thomas Kral’s cut glass designs, a commenter Sarah pointed me to a Martha Stewart craft idea for etching glass.   I really loved the Martha Stewart idea, but don’t need homemade cannisters, so I decided to use it to etch a quote into an old window that I had in the basement.  Here’s how it all went down:

We took an old window that I happened to have in the basement…and looked up a quote that I wanted to use to etch onto the glass.   The quote I decided to use is one by Chuang Tzu that states, “Look at this Window.  It’s nothing but a hole in the wall, but because of it the whole room is filled with light.”  I loved the quote and how it related to the old window…so it seemed perfect for our project.

After much driving around to find a Michael’s Arts & Crafts (in which I was cursing myself for not having an iphone in which I’d be able to look up directions while in the car), I finally managed to purchase all the items I needed to do my first glass etching project which were:  1)  Armour Etch Etching Cream. (Available in Michaels stores, but not online apparently)  2)  A cheap set of paintbrushes  3) Several packs of monogram stickers.

I used tweezers to help carefully place each letter, and the sticker packaging to help create a straight line.  The tweezers were my life saver.

After putting on all the letters, I spread a layer of etching cream over the surface of the glass…covering each letter as well as possible.  You have to wait at least 5 minutes for the etching cream to take effect.  Also, note that Martha recommends vinyl letters, however I found no difference in using paper stickers  In fact, rinsing the etching cream off the mirror surface will wash away 95% of the stickers anyways.  (So in my opinion it’s better to use the paper versions.)

So in the end, I finished with a very subtle piece of “DIY artwork” for the newly renovated guest bedroom.  I’m pleased with the results, but I do feel compelled to call out that the etching is quite subtle and depends on the light for you to really see the design well.  Also,  if you wanted to do this with just the stickers themselves and forego etching, that would also look really good.   N and I even discussed not going through with the etching part because it DID look so nice…but in the end wanted something really “quiet and peaceful” for the bedroom.

I hope you liked it!   Now maybe you can try glass etching yourself.  One last tip:  Make sure to wait at least 5 SOLID minutes before rinsing off the Glass Etching compound…make sure you’ve put a thick layer of etching cream on.   Early tests came out sketchy if you didn’t wait long enough or the cream wasn’t applied thick enough in spots.

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13 thoughts on “Craft Corner: Old Window + Etched Glass = New Wall Decor

  1. We are currently in the process of a DIY remodel our kitchen. One of my ideas was to add some glass to the cabinet doors. I had thought about etching the glass, but wasn’t sure how it would turn out. Your results are inspiring, I think I might try your your technique on my glass doors.

  2. Beautifully done!!

    The window itself has an interesting shape which really adds to the piece. The letters are a good alternative, but I agree that the etching is more “quiet and peaceful”. It must look beautiful on the wall. Did you consider putting on a “backing” in a soft color to make it easier to read?

    One small suggestion: adding the attribution to Chuang Tzu would have been nice. The quote is awesome, and he doesn’t get enough cred as it is 🙂

  3. Oooh (I’m going a bit comment crazy here!) I love this. We have a little window in our box room (a Scottish thing I think) and I’ve been deliberating over what to do with it… this might be the very thing! Am so adding you to my blogroll 🙂

  4. This is great … I love how it turned out. It’s very subtle and classy. (I don’t think I would have liked it nearly as much with only the letters, without the etching cream.)

    I’ll definitely have to keep this in mind as a possible future project.

    How does it look when hanging on the wall? I’d love to see a pic or two of that!

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