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How to Make Glass Etching Stencils

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Learn how to make glass etching stencils. This easy technique allows you to make beautiful wine glasses with permanent designs etched into the glass. They make great gifts or just use them for yourself.

I love wine and I love crafting so it just makes sense to combine them and make customized wine glasses.

I collect vintage silhouette art and I thought it would be cool to add silhouettes to wine glasses. They have a subtle romantic nod to Valentine’s day (his and hers).

Today I’m sharing how I made vinyl stencils for glass etching and giving away free head silhouette stencils so that you can make your own etched glasses.

make stencils for etching glass

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Glass Etching FAQs

How long do you leave etching cream on glass?

3 minutes. Let your glass sit for 3 minutes, then rinse with water.

What happens if I leave the etching cream on longer?

If you leave the etching cream on longer than 3 minutes, you risk ruining your vinyl stencil or weakening the glass itself.

Is etching cream permanent?

Yes, etching cream creates a permanent design. This is both good and bad. A permanent design can be put in the dishwasher, but mistakes cannot be removed.

Can etched glass be put in the dishwasher?

Yes. Glasses created with etching cream are dishwasher safe since the design is permanent.

How do you remove Armour Etch from glass?

Armour Etch is permanent, but mistakes can be disguised with a dot of clear nail polish.

Try to avoid mistakes by ensuring that your stencil is firmly attached to the glass.

My lady silhouette has some mistakes around the edges. I think it was because I was trying to film, photograph and craft all at the same time for a process that’s pretty time sensitive.

Burnish your edges really well and rinse thoroughly before removing the vinyl stencil.

How to Make Stencils for Etching Glass

Supplies Needed for Etching Glass:

Years ago before cutting machines were a thing, I made etched wine glasses for a friend using stickers, contact paper, and etching cream. The process is the same.

If you decide to use this method for making stencils for glass etching, be sure to cut away the parts that you want etched.

Yield: 2

How to Make Glass Etching Stencils at Home

etched wine glass with head silhouette

Learn how to make glass etching stencils at home. Use a silhouette or Cricut to make custom stencils to etch wine glasses.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $10


  • Etching cream
  • Wine glasses
  • Paint brush
  • SVG design
  • Vinyl
  • Transfer tape
  • Gloves


  • Cricut Maker
  • Weeding tools


  1. Shake the bottle of Armour Etch well.
  2. Cut design with Cricut Maker.
  3. Weed design. cut vinyl design that needs to be cut
  4. Apply transfer tape to vinyl design. transfer tape on weeded vinyl design
  5. Remove backing from vinyl.
  6. Clean glass with rubbing alcohol and let dry.
  7. Apply vinyl to glass.vinyl stencil on glass
  8. Burnish edges to remove any wrinkles. burnishing vinyl to remove wrinkles
  9. Apply a thick layer of etching cream. vinyl stencil on glasss covered in etching cream
  10. Let sit for at least 3 minutes.
  11. Rinse under running water.
  12. Remove vinyl stencil.
  13. Admire your new glass. etched wine glass with head silhouette


Wear gloves to protect your skin. Etching cream is caustic.

Etching on flat surfaces is much easier than curved surfaces. Burnish the vinyl well to smooth wrinkles.

Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Download Free Head Silhouette Stencils

All downloads are for personal use only. Please do not redistribute or sell files.

You will receive a zip file containing SVG, JPG, PNG, and a DXF file (works with Silhouette.)

Click here to download these stencils for glass etching.

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