DIY Sparkly Etched Christmas Ornaments

For those in a crafty mood this holiday season, today I bring you an easy, fun, and perfectly giftable project: sparkly glass etched ornaments!

This project is divided into a couple of fairly simple processes that you can do over a couple of days as you're able, but it's easy enough to do in one sitting too: the glass etching, the glittering, and the metallic wax application.

What you need for the glass etching portion is a set of clean, clear glass ornaments (available at pretty much any craft store, make sure they are glass!), some Armor-Etch glass etching cream, some vinyl stencils, a paintbrush or foam applicator, some painter's tape, gloves (please be safe and wear them, glass etching cream on your hand would not a Merry Christmas make) and a bowl of rinse water with a sprinkling of baking soda to neutralize the etching cream upon removal.

I recommend using smaller stencils that don't have a really intricate design, especially for your first few tries. This is because it can be a little tricky to get the stencil applied smoothly over the curved surface the larger the stencil is. And it's imperative that the stencil not have any gaps underneath where the etching cream can seep through, or the design won't look as crisp and clean as it could. Using painter's tape does help keep the stencil down, and also keeps you from accidentally going outside the intended etching area.

Once you have your stencil secured, use a brush or foam applicator to pat an even layer of etching cream over the design. It doesn't have to be a really thick layer. Let the etching cream do its thing for a few minutes. I didn't process mine for more than five minutes, and it worked fine.

After a few minutes, rinse off the etching cream, peeling off the tape and the stencil. Make sure the ornament is rinsed clean. As it dries the etched design will begin to appear. It's pretty as is, but the design is a little too subtle. So, if you're ready, move on to the next step: glitterfying!

For this step you need some Mod Podge and some fine glitter. Put some Mod Podge in a cup and thin it with water. You want a thin, pourable consistency.

Carefully pour some of the glue mixture into an ornament and swish it around, making sure all surfaces are coated. Pour the excess back into the cup. Really drain it, because you only want the lightest of coatings. Any more and the glitter will get gloppy and clumpy and oversaturated.

Then, pour a small amount of glitter in the ornament and promptly cover the opening with your fingers and give it some good shakes (ornament-makin' shimmies are highly encouraged). It's pretty cool to see the clear ornament explode with sparkly color from the inside! Tap out any excess glitter once it's evenly coated.

Now you can see the etched design a little better, but still, it doesn't really pop. So we are going to use some Rub 'n Buff Metallic Wax to highlight the design. I just discovered this stuff, and it's pretty marvelous. I only got one color, Antique Gold, but it comes in a variety of colors, and can be used to give many surfaces an antique, varnished metallic look (great for Steampunk projects!).

You only need the tiniest dab of wax to cover your design. I just used a paper towel and buffed a small amount of wax over the design. It will only adhere to the etched areas of glass, but it will try to cling to non-etched areas if you don't quickly buff it off. The good thing is if any areas look messy, you can use an acetone nail polish remover to fix any mistakes and start again.

And when you are done, tie on a ribbon for hanging and this is what you have!

I'm going to hand these out to G's family as wee gifties on Christmas. Try popping these in festive take-out boxes cushioned with shredded paper fill as a quick and super simple gift.

And because Maisy must know what I'm doing at all times, a Christmas kitteh photobomb!

I hope you all have a wonderful day and thanks for reading!

You may also like


  1. These turned out GREAT! And this was an awesome tutorial. Thanks for sharing this with us. I think this would be perfect to make for my coworkers (I have a lot of coworkers because I work at a school, so gift giving was a wee bit tricky this year). So I'll definitely keep this in mind for next year! I am sure G's family will just love these! Also, what a cute picture of Maisy (photobomb or not) :)

    1. By the way, BFTE is taking a break for an undetermined amount of time starting 1/31/14. I was looking on their Facebook to see when the Christmas sets would be released, but their latest post was about the closure. She mentioned in the comments that she might not continue with the business. I know how much you like their shadows, so I wanted to give you a head's up.

    2. Thanks! These are really good, simple hand-out gifts for those on a budget (like moi). The most expensive thing is the glass etching cream, but a little goes a long way.
      I know, I was meaning to post that about BFTE. That makes me so sad, they were my first foray into indie beauty/cosmetics, which led to my interest in indie bath and body and perfumes, so it's sort of the end of an era for me. I haven't ordered in a while because my collection is already so huge and I've been doing more neutral looks for a while, but I will have to make a small order before they close. I wish I had money for the Christmas collection, I haven't even seen the shades but it looks Steampunk inspired, so....


Please leave me comments if anything strikes your fancy or if you have any helpful suggestions. Remember, I'm no expert and am just sharing my truth. Hopefully you will find something useful to take with you!

Powered by Blogger.

Popular Posts