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  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Cricut

How to Etch Glass With Cricut

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Read Time: 12 min
Final product imageFinal product imageFinal product image
What You'll Be Creating

In this tutorial, you'll learn how to etch glass with your Cricut machine, and we'll also learn some fun uses for etched glass vinyl projects. This Cricut glass etching tutorial will teach you everything you need to know about what you need for your etching project as well as how to etch into glass.

We'll be using fonts and designs from Envato Elements and combining them to make the most gorgeous design that would be a perfect fit for any Cricut wedding gift ideas!

Preview of Envato Elements CollectionPreview of Envato Elements CollectionPreview of Envato Elements Collection
A sample of some of the designs you can expect to find in the Envato Elements collection I put together for you.

Learning how to make a glass etching stencil is the perfect way to not only learn how to make bride and bridesmaid wine glasses, but also to class up your own wedding! It is a very popular Cricut wedding project, as it is so versatile and easy to do.

If you want to follow along with this tutorial in video format, you should visit the Envato Tuts+ YouTube channel! You can watch my last video on how to make stencils for etching glass with your Cricut and this brand new video on how to etch glass with Cricut Maker:

What Is Etching?

Etching is the process of permanently frosting the outer layer of glass. Etching cream is an acid, and when it is applied to a glass item, the acid essentially eats away at the outer layer of the glass, causing it to look frosted. It is a permanent method of applying your design onto your glass, and cannot be removed once it has been done, so you will need to make sure that you are careful when using the etching cream, so that you don't get the etching cream where you don't want it to be!

What Kind of Glass Do I Need to Use?

If you want to etch glass with your Cricut, you will need to use a glass item that isn't tempered glass. What this means, is that the glass isn't a special type of glass to not scratch as easily from extended use. Usually, high-end glassware like Pyrex has been specially treated to make it last longer and not scratch as easily. Because of this special treatment of the glass, it is resistant to the type of acid that etching cream is made from, and even if you leave the etching cream on for hours, it will have no effect.

What Supplies Do I Need to Learn How to Etch Glass With Cricut?

Choosing a Cricut Etching Glass Design

When choosing a design to use for etching glass with Cricut, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Etching is a single-layer project, so we will need a design that doesn't have multiple colours, but rather a design that is simple black on white or features two main contrasting colours.

I have put together a collection of designs for a wide variety of Cricut wedding projects for you to choose from. Most of these designs will work very well for many etched glass vinyl projects. Be sure to take a look through all of the projects and choose the perfect one for your Cricut wine glass ideas!

1. How to Upload Your Design to Cricut Design Space

Step 1

Once you have saved your downloaded files from Envato Elements, open up Design Space with a new canvas, and click on Upload.

Click on UploadClick on UploadClick on Upload

Step 2

Click Upload Image to select the image you have chosen for your wine glass ideas for this Cricut project.

Click Upload ImageClick Upload ImageClick Upload Image

Step 3

You can either drag and drop the file you want to upload to use to etch glass with your Cricut, or you can browse and search for it.

Drag and drop image or browse for imageDrag and drop image or browse for imageDrag and drop image or browse for image

Step 4

Select the image type based on what you are uploading. Simple is for images like the one we are using: high-contrast colours (like black and white) and a transparent or see-through background. 

Moderately complex is for relatively simple details and images with good contrast.

Complex is for images that are like pictures with proper backgrounds, with little contrast between the image and the background.

I used Simple to show you how to make a stencil for etching glass with Cricut. Click Continue.

Select Image TypeSelect Image TypeSelect Image Type

Step 5

Now it's time to remove the background from the Cricut wedding gift ideas image. Most of the background is automatically not there because it is a transparent PNG, but in between the triangles of the diamond is a light brown section that we will need to remove.

Remove BackgroundRemove BackgroundRemove Background

Step 6

Hover the mouse over the areas you want to remove, and click. Below is a before and after image of what you should see after you remove the sections you don't want anymore.

Remove Background - Before and AfterRemove Background - Before and AfterRemove Background - Before and After

Step 7

Always click Preview Cut Image to make sure that you have clean lines and that your design looks how you want your Cricut etching glass project to look. You can click Hide Cut Image to go back and make any changes you need to.

Preview your imagePreview your imagePreview your image

Step 8

If you're happy with your image, you can click Apply & Continue.

Apply ChangesApply ChangesApply Changes

Step 9

We just need the outline of this image, not the colour, so I have added it as a Cut Image. You can also rename and add tags to the image, like "Cricut wine glass ideas", to make it easier to find later.

Select Background TypeSelect Background TypeSelect Background Type

Step 10

Once you have added all those elements, click Upload.

Click UploadClick UploadClick Upload

Step 11

Once it has been uploaded, it will show under your Recent Uploads. Click on the image, and click Add to Canvas.

Add to CanvasAdd to CanvasAdd to Canvas

2. How to Make a Stencil for Etching Glass

After uploading your image to Cricut Design Space, you need to know how to make that image into a stencil for etching glass. You can follow this example or transfer the skills and learn how to make bridesmaid wine glasses.

Step 1

Click on Text to add some text to the canvas.

Add in Text to your canvasAdd in Text to your canvasAdd in Text to your canvas

Step 2

Just above the canvas on the top right of the screen, you can click on the Font dropdown to change the font.

Change FontChange FontChange Font

Step 3

Click on System in the middle to show all the fonts you have loaded on your computer.

Change Font to SystemChange Font to SystemChange Font to System

Step 4

In the search bar, type the name of the font. I've typed "sweet" as it is part of the Hello Sweets font, which is a perfect font for all your Cricut wedding project ideas.

Search for the font you want, and click on itSearch for the font you want, and click on itSearch for the font you want, and click on it

Step 5

Double-click on the word and type in what you want etched on your personalised wedding wine glasses. I have used "Mrs" in this example.

Double click on text to change itDouble click on text to change itDouble click on text to change it

Step 6

Make the word bigger and in proportion to the rest of the design by hovering over one of the boxes on the edge of the word.

Resize textResize textResize text

Step 7

Add a square to the canvas by clicking on Shapes and selecting a Square.

Add a Square to the canvas by clicking on Shapes and SquareAdd a Square to the canvas by clicking on Shapes and SquareAdd a Square to the canvas by clicking on Shapes and Square

Step 8

Right-click on the square and click Send to Back so that we can move the shape and see the design on top of it.

Send the block to backSend the block to backSend the block to back

Step 9

Next, we need to make the square fit around our design to create our glass etching stencil. First, we need to unlock the proportions to change the size of the square, so click on the padlock.

Unlock ProportionsUnlock ProportionsUnlock Proportions

Step 10

Next, resize your shape to ensure that it has enough space around the entire design so that we won't get etching cream on the rest of the glass we are trying to etch.

Resize blockResize blockResize block

Step 11

Click and drag to highlight everything you have made while learning how to etch glass with Cricut Maker.

Drag and select everythingDrag and select everythingDrag and select everything

Step 12

Now we need to prepare to cut the design, so in order to keep everything exactly where we've put it, we need to right-click on everything we have selected, and click Attach.

Right click and attachRight click and attachRight click and attach

Step 13

Resize the entire design to the size you need it to be, and you are ready to cut it!

resize entire design to the size you need it to beresize entire design to the size you need it to beresize entire design to the size you need it to be

Now that you have learnt how to make a glass etching stencil in Cricut Design Space, we are going to learn how to etch into glass. This next step is the process of cutting your design and applying it to your glass item. You'll learn more about the actual process of how to make personalized bridesmaid wine glasses, or any other Cricut wedding ideas!

Of course, I am using a Bride and Groom approach in this tutorial, but there are so many Cricut wine glass ideas, so the sky is the limit here when learning how to make stencils for etching glass. You can take this same process and learn how to make bridesmaid wine glasses too.

3. Cutting Your Design for This Cricut Glass Etching Tutorial

Step 1

Once your design is completely set up and you are ready to cut it, click the Make It button.

Click Make itClick Make itClick Make it

Step 2

Select Without Mat for matless cutting, or On Mat if you are cutting with one.

Select Without Mat for matless cutting, or with a mat if you are cutting with one.Select Without Mat for matless cutting, or with a mat if you are cutting with one.Select Without Mat for matless cutting, or with a mat if you are cutting with one.

Step 3

Choose the type of material you will be cutting for this Cricut wine glass tutorial—remember to always do a small test cut with a small shape before cutting your main project! I will be using Smart Vinyl - Permanent from the Popular section.

Select your materialSelect your materialSelect your material

Step 4

Once you have selected your material, you can load it into the machine, and you don't need to be in Design Space anymore.

Selected material screenSelected material screenSelected material screen

Step 5

Load your material into the machine by pressing the up and down arrow button (load/unload), which will be flashing.

Press arrows button to loadPress arrows button to loadPress arrows button to load

Step 6

Start the cut by pressing the Play button, which will only start flashing once you have loaded the material and it's ready to cut.

Press play button to start cutPress play button to start cutPress play button to start cut

Step 7

Before unloading, once your machine has finished cutting, use your weeding tool to check that your material has been cut correctly. If not, press the Play button again to run the cut for a second time. If your material has been cut correctly, click the unload button. You don't want to have to recut your vinyl completely in this Cricut wine glass tutorial!

Check cut before unloadingCheck cut before unloadingCheck cut before unloading

Step 8

Remove the inside parts of the vinyl (weeding) - these are the parts we want to have exposed to the etching cream, so it should look the opposite of what you may be used to.

weeding inside parts of the vinylweeding inside parts of the vinylweeding inside parts of the vinyl

Step 9

Double-check your weeded design to make sure you've got all the bits removed.

check over fully weeded resultcheck over fully weeded resultcheck over fully weeded result

Step 10

Apply transfer tape to your design, using a squeegee to adhere the transfer tape to the vinyl properly.

Apply and burnish transfer tapeApply and burnish transfer tapeApply and burnish transfer tape

Step 11

Flip your vinyl over and slowly remove the backing from the vinyl, leaving the sticky side exposed on the table.

Remove BackingRemove BackingRemove Backing

Step 12

Lay your glass on a rolled-up towel, and clean it thoroughly with an alcohol swab.

Clean glass with alcohol swabClean glass with alcohol swabClean glass with alcohol swab

Step 13

Hold your glass up and apply the vinyl from the back - this allows you to much more easily line up the vinyl to make sure that your Cricut etching glass project will be level.

Apply vinyl to glassApply vinyl to glassApply vinyl to glass

Step 14

Firmly burnish (squeegee) the vinyl onto the glass, carefully removing any bubbles—make sure the vinyl is properly stuck to the glass. Any gaps or places where the vinyl isn't lying down correctly will affect your end result.

Burnish vinyl onto glassBurnish vinyl onto glassBurnish vinyl onto glass

Step 15

With your gloves on, start gently applying the etching cream. Start with a thin layer across the entire area first, adding more cream later. Be careful to not get etching cream over the edge of the vinyl because it will leave a mark on whatever parts of the champagne glass it touches.

Put on gloves, light coat of armor etchPut on gloves, light coat of armor etchPut on gloves, light coat of armor etch

Step 16

Move the etching cream around the design for the next few minutes, trying to have an even amount of cream across the design at all times. Any areas with very thin layers of cream will not etch properly, and your end result will look patchy.

Add more armot etch, move it around for a few minutesAdd more armot etch, move it around for a few minutesAdd more armot etch, move it around for a few minutes

Step 17

After five minutes or so, remove the etching cream from a small area near a corner, and wipe it down with an alcohol swab or damp cloth to see what the result looks like. If it looks patchy, repeat step 16 a few times.

Remove small area of cream to check on etchRemove small area of cream to check on etchRemove small area of cream to check on etch

Step 18

if the result looks as if it has an even etch, you can remove the etching cream by rinsing it under the tap thoroughly enough to remove any cream that may have dried on your glass. We are so close to the end product and seeing many more wine glass ideas for you to make on your Cricut!

Clean off cream under waterClean off cream under waterClean off cream under water

Step 19

Carefully remove the vinyl from the glass once it is dry, and you have now successfully learnt how to etch glass with a Cricut Maker or similar machine!

Remove vinyl from glassRemove vinyl from glassRemove vinyl from glass

Now you can see why it is popular and why you want to learn how to make stencils for etching glass. It is an easy process, so once you have completed it a few times, you will be etching everything in sight and creating so many more etched glass vinyl projects!

Congratulations!

I'm sure your finished result is amazing. It should look something like this.

Example of finished projectExample of finished projectExample of finished project
An example of what your project could look like

If you still want to learn more about Cricut Design Space and some more skills or projects, check out some of these articles that will help you hone your skills and make more things!

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