Monday, September 22, 2014

Glass Etching

I love glass.  I started my first collection when I was 7 years old.  My aunt gave me a glass animal for my birthday and I added more whenever I could.  My collection grew quickly and by the time I left home at the ripe old age of 18, I had more than enough pieces to fill a half dozen or so shoe boxes.  After so many moves, there are only a couple of pieces left, but those small glass animals were definitely the start of something big.

I also love decorative painting and it was at a decorative painting show that I discovered a product that would etch glass quickly and easily - the perfect surface for decorative painting!  There are a few other glass etching products available, but the products from B&B etchall® appeal to my "turn every penny over twice" Yorkshire upbringing - THIS product is re-usable, which means I can use it, put it back in its container and use it again and again and again!!  And you can believe, I do!  Here are a couple of plates I etched with B&B etchall® then painted with acrylic paint:

For these samples I used etching products to etch the surface of the plate to give it "tooth" so I could paint on it, but the product is far more exciting than that...  with etchall® crème, or etchall dip'n etch (a liquid) you can etch designs onto all kinds of glass pieces, plus china, ceramic tile, slate and more!  So, you may be wondering, how do I decide which one to use  - etchall crème or etchall dip'n etch?

Check out these two glass projects below.  The same design was used for both the mason jar and the framed glass.

I etched the design itself onto the framed glass - "positive" using etching crème, but etched the surface around the design on the mason jar - "negative" with etchall dip'n etch.  

Let me show you how easy this is to do.  BTW, don't be alarmed by the length of the post, I tend to write as if I'm talking......    We'll start by etching the piece of glass with etching crème. 

Glass stencils are readily available for glass etching, but will only allow you to etch a "positive" design onto your surface.  In case you haven't already guessed, designing is something else I enjoy.  The sugar skull, which I'm using as an example for this tutorial is one of my designs.  I uploaded the jpeg onto my computer, then using etchall etchmaskstencil material and the vinyl setting, I cut two designs side by side (one with lettering) with my Cricut Explore.  This setting creates what we call a "kiss cut".  It only cuts through the yellow part of the stencil material - not the backing.  It is this special cut which allows us to create either a positive or negative design.

Step 1:  Upload the design to Cricut Design Space then follow the on-screen instructions.  Place the etchmask onto the design mat then load when directed. Cut then remove the mat.

Step 2:  Remove the backing from a sheet of etchmask transfer paper then place the transfer paper on top of the etchmask.  Press firmly in place with the small, black Squeegee.  Do this while the etchmask is still on the cutting mat. 

Step 3:  Carefully peel the etchmask and transfer paper away from the cutting mat.

Step 4:  This design is 4" x 6" so I included a cut line around the design.  Using the cut line as the guide, cut the "Welcome Friends" stencil from the sheet then carefully peel the backing from the back of the yellow etchmask. The transfer paper will hold all the cut pieces in place.  With the edges of the stencil aligned with the edges of the glass, press carefully, but firmly onto the piece of glass.  Use the squeegee to press in place then carefully remove the transfer paper.  Set the transfer paper aside to use as a catch-all for all the little pieces you'll remove during the weeding process.

Step 5:  Use the Detail Pick Tool to remove (weed) the design pieces from the glass.  When removing pieces do not pick from the edge, always pick up from an area away from the edge so the edge of the design is not damaged.  When working with a small, detailed design like this one, make sure that the small pieces are not accidentally removed.  If this happens, use the pick tool to put them back in place.  All exposed glass will be etched.  I place all the pieces of etchmask I remove onto the transfer paper. This way they don't end up in odd places.

Step 6:  This design was 4" x 6" so when I centered it onto a 5" x 7" piece of glass there was a space between the edge of the stencil and the edge of the glass.  I did not want this to be etched so I covered all the edges with leftover pieces of etchmask.  As you can see, I also placed a piece of backing paper from the etchmask and the transfer paper under the top and bottom edges of the glass.  I then poured a large amount of etching crème at the bottom of the glass being careful not to let the crème pour onto the openings in the stencil.  You cannot use too much crème and it is very important that you don't use too little.  Don't skimp!  Use the squeegee to spread the crème across the stencil.  Don't drag the squeegee on the surface, stroke the crème gently across as if you were icing a cake.  Pull in one direction.  Do not go back and forth or side to side.  Cover in one or two strokes if you can.  Now set the squeegee aside and walk away for 20 minutes.

Step 7:  Now scrape the crème back into the container.  A plastic spoon is helpful for this part.  Once you've returned as much as possible to the container, wash away the remainder and remove all the etchmask.  Wash thoroughly then dry with a soft cloth.

Step 8:  Return the piece of glass to the frame, then admire your etched design.

This isn't exactly a "beauty shot",  but I wanted to show how cool the etched design looks!  I even added a couple of adhesive "jewels" for a little Halloween bling.

Now let's learn how to use the dip.  Here's a project I created recently using colored glass jars.  They were so quick and easy to make.  I poured dip'n etch into one jar, let it sit for 20 mins, then poured it into the second jar and so on until all the jars were etched on the inside!  When all the jars had been etched, I poured the dip'n etch back into its container to be used again.  I then added some jewel dangles for a little more pizazz.  I love the way the glass is still shiny on the outside while the etching on the inside gives the jars a milky look. 


The technique for the mason jar however, is quite a bit different.

I chose a large mason jar with smooth sides for this project because I needed a smooth area for the design.

You will need a plastic container when using the etching liquid.  The container should be a little larger in diameter than the item you want to etch and a little taller if you want to etch all the way to the top.  I had the perfect container - an empty soda bottle!

Cut the top from the soda bottle.  Don't throw it away, you'll use this as a funnel when returning the dip to its container.  You'll also need some pebbles, or a bag of dried beans or something to put inside the jar to weight it down when you place it in the liquid.  I use red, glass marbles.

Step 1: Position the stencil design on the jar then remove the transfer paper.  This is the same process we used for etching crème.

Step 2:  This time we will remove the etchmask from around the design.  For this project, the design will remain clear - it will not be etched. 

Step 3:  Fill the mason jar with glass beads (or whatever you are using to weight it down), then place it inside the empty soda bottle.  The next steps will determine how much dip'n etch we will need.

Step 4:  Fill the soda bottle around the mason jar with WATER up to the neck of the jar.

Step 5:  Remove the jar and dry completely.  NOTE:  It is better to complete this process before putting the stencil on the glass.  I placed the stencil on the jar first so the jar would be more visible inside the soda bottle for photography purposes.  

Step 6:  When the jar is removed the displaced water will sink to a low level in the soda bottle.  Mark the water line with a sharpie then discard the water and dry the inside of the bottle thoroughly.  Fill the soda bottle with dip'n etch up to the line only then carefully replace the mason jar.  The dip'n etch will rise to the occasion....  Leave for 20 mins then remove the jar, rinse thoroughly, remove the stencil then dry.  Remove the marbles and using the soda bottle "funnel", pour the dip'n etch back into its container.

I now have 3 mason jars ready to place in my window on Halloween.  I found LED lights that change color so this is what my jars will look like in the dark of the night........ hmmm it's kinda like a traffic light....

 IMPORTANT NOTE: When using these, or any products you are not familiar with, please read the instructions on the containers. For example, this product must be stored correctly at all times and you will find details on the container.  It is also recommended that you may want to use gloves when handling the product and wear protective eyewear when using the dip.  There is also a wealth of information, including step by step video tutorials at together with a full list of the B&B etchall product line.  Visit via this link or by selecting the logo in my sidebar.  You are also welcome to call their toll free number at any time and ask about a beginner kit - tell them Julie sent you and they'll know exactly what you will need.

Hope you enjoyed the tutorial, even if it was a little lengthy.  I'll keep future projects short and sweet now that you know all the basics, so don't forget to bookmark this post.........  enjoy !  Y'all come back now..........

Yours truly,
Julie :)


Sunday, September 7, 2014

DCC Blog Challenge: Kunin Felt/Beacon Adhesives and Buttons Galore & More

Felt is one of those materials that has been around for-ev-er........  I remember making an embroidery project with it in elementary school in the 50's and also a doll.  Now it's all grown up, just like me, and definitely not just for kindergarten any more.......

DCC members have been challenged this month to create something with felt, glue and buttons.  When I started to write this post however, and was looking for the code for the Rafflecopter Giveaway, I noticed 2 little words that had gone completely unnoticed by me before - "Home Dec".   I had felt, I had buttons, I had glue, what more did I need to know, right.......  So, my project isn't exactly Home Dec by any stretch of the imagination, but I hope it will inspire you anyway........  You have been warned, okay.

This is what I received to work with:  EcoFi felt from Kunin, Felt Glue from Beacon and buttons from Buttons Galore and More.

I think you'll understand why my head immediately knew that it wanted me to make this purse for my granddaughter.... I mean - just look at those perfect little girl colors!!!

It was quick to make (except for waiting for the glue to dry) and I didn't have to set up the sewing machine.  I used these tools and extra supplies instead:


If you think they look like paper crafting supplies - you are right!!!  Do you recognize the eyelet setter?

Here's how to make it:

1.  Fold the printed piece of felt, right sides together in half then glue the sides together; about 1/2" seam on each side.  Let dry.

2.  Use the ruler and craft knife to cut two, 2" wide strips of green felt across the width.  TIP:  Lay the felt on the craft mat then use the measurement guides on the mat as your measuring guide.

3.  Starting about 1/2" from one end, use the eyelet setter to punch holes at 1" intervals about 1/2" from the top edge of each green strip.  Set a white eyelet in each hole.  Glue one green strip to each inside edge of the top of the folded purse so the eyelets show.
4.  Cut a strip of orange felt about 3" x 6".  Round 2 adjacent corners which will be the front.  Glue on top of green felt then trim the green felt around the orange, about 1/4" from the edge.  Use the eyelet setter to punch three holes across the straight end then glue to the back of the purse on the patterned felt only.  Do not glue to the green strip.  Let dry then use the point of the craft knife to carefully poke through each hole all the way thru the layers of felt.  Insert a large colored brad in each hole and secure on the inside.

5.  Cut a flower from a second piece of the patterned felt and two circles, different sizes, different colors, to layer in the center.  (See photo.)  Layer together, then to make them a little "pouchy" (not flat) at the center, make a hole with the eyelet setter and fasten together with a small brad.  Glue a button on top of the brad then glue the flower to the closure as shown.

6.  I used a piece of 5/8" gros grain ribbon for the handle and anchored each end to the side seams.  I glued them in place and also used a brad for extra security.
7.  I had some iron-on embroidered letters from JOY USA, so I also added her name to a strip of green felt, matted the strip with yellow felt, then secured it to the ribbon with glue and a brad at the opposite of where the handle is attached to the side.   

So why are there eyelets around the top edge you may wonder....  Well, my original idea was to make a drawstring top, but the felt wasn't flexible enough for a 6 yr old's little hands.  I'd already added the tassels to the end of the cord though (1.5" x 1.5" pieces of felt, trimmed into strips to within 1/2" of the top edge, then rolled around the knotted end of the cord), and really like the way they looked, so I trimmed the cord and wrapped it around the center of the flower.  And voilà, there we have it - my non Home Dec, home dec project...............

I'm sure you'll find a lot of Home Dec inspiration as you hop thru the other DCC member blogs.  Use the hop forward button in the sidebar of each blog and enjoy the ride!  There's also a giveaway via Rafflecopter; details below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Y'all come back now..........

Yours truly,
Julie :)