Free Glass Etching Patterns

Here are some ideas for glass etching patterns to give for gifts, weddings, birthdays, or just for yourself.

Whether you do glass etching with the sandblasting method, engraving, or acid, you're probably always thinking of new patterns and designs to create. Once you've started this addictive hobby, it's hard to stop. Not only is glass etching a lot of fun, there are so many occasions where an etched piece of art is an appropriate gift. Christmas, for instance, is the perfect time to give friends and family a piece of etched glass. One lovely design is a poinsettia which can be stenciled to the top of the plate. Use a craft knife to remove the parts of the stencil where you want the glass to be etched. After etching the glass, paint the bottom of the clear plate with red, yellow and green porcelain paint. Another beautiful Christmas design is a tree with presents under it. You might need to use more than one stencil to create this design. Place the tree stencil, then cut and place the present stencils to where they appear to be under the tree. Other designs can be added, like the appearance of snowdrifts, or falling snow.

For a wedding, etch two champagne glasses with the date and the couple's names. Add a ribbon design which flows around the names or encircle them with a heart. Letter stencils are great for this project. The design can then be enhanced with gold foil paint. For an anniversary, a vase with the amount of years the couple has been married is very thoughtful. Wedding bells can be etched onto the glass, with the couple's names and "5th" or the appropriate year on it. Other occasions are a great time to bestow a piece of etched glass on a friend. For a birthday, etch a piece of glass with the person's name, then etch something that they're fond of, like dolphins, kittens or birds. You can make little ones all over the glass, or just put a larger one on each side of the name. Or, you can leave off the name entirely and just put a ballerina, or something appropriate, on the front of the glass. A wild and crazy idea is to cover the glass in string, then etch. The design will depend upon how much string you affix to the glass before etching. For a housewarming gift, a vase or clear glass plate etched with fruit or flowers is very nice.

Silk plants can replace the use of stencils for some projects. Choose a couple of the leaves for the etching design, then use a crafting knife to make small slits in the leaves. You can also use silk flowers and stems to give you your etching pattern. Other items you can use instead of stencils are feathers, old greeting cards, ribbon and bows. Some designs don't have to be specific, like animals or plants. They can just be designs from your imagination. You can etch glass with little dots or various shapes all over it, or you can just etch in wavy lines or stripes. Tear off little pieces of masking tape, and tape them in random patterns around the glass before etching. This is a unique design and you'll rarely, if ever, see any two exactly alike. If you've had a lot of practice and you're anxious to do a large design, a glass cabinet door is a great place to etch a pattern. A large tiger, dragon or outdoor scene can add value to the piece, if done correctly. If you can't find stencils large enough for this project, you can make your own. It can also be drawn on, the design properly protected, and then etched. Glass curio cabinets, bathroom cabinets or kitchen cabinets are also ideal for this type of etching. The glass door will probably need to be removed before the etching process is done. You can also do the family initials or crest and enhance it with your choice of paints, or leave it plain.

Try etching pudding bowls with strawberries or bananas and give to someone who loves to cook. For a goldfish enthusiast, etch bubbles and sea creatures on the outside of a fish bowl. If you know someone who loves flowers, and what woman doesn't, etch a fine crystal vase and give it to her with some of her favorite flowers as a birthday gift. Fine etched glass is expensive to purchase, but if you do it as a hobby, you can make beautiful heirlooms for any occasion. Check your local craft store for patterns, stencils, and new ideas.

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