How-to: Create Custom Etched Wine Glasses

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Creating glass etched products are easier than you think.

Glass-etched products or offering glass etching services is a great way to boost sales with little production costs. The process can require as little as scrap FDC sign vinyl and Amour Etch cream. To offer custom glass products, buying glass items in bulk at wholesale can add to product options.

The process is quick and easy, depending on the details and complexity of the design. The longest process may be choosing what you want to etch and on what kind of glass.

In the video, I’m creating a monogram design on a wine glass. The finished project cost less than $5 to produce and took under half-an-hour (which is great if you need a personalized gift in a hurry or want to sell etched glasses).

Before you begin, gather your supplies:

 

The first step is creating the design in CorelDRAW using TRW Design Wizard. (You will need to determine how big a design you want to create to fit on the glass.) In the video, I use a V for one object and Vassallo as another. The V is in a script font called Chopped and Script, and it doesn’t have a bold feature. To bolden it, I place one island to the outside of the letter until it’s the size I like, then remove the inside letter and fill the shape in one color.

 

The second step of the design is to create the word object or layer. I typed Vassallo and chose a complimentary font (Androgyn) to pair with the V. I created an island fill around the text to create the cut-out layer effect. Select the text object with the island fill (Vassallo), click Shift and select the initial object (V), then click the Back Minus Front at the top CorelDRAW toolbar.

You can move the two objects apart to see where the initial has negative space cut through it. I do this to see if there’s any extra unnecessary pieces of the design I can delete to save cutting and weeding time. Change the colors to all one color, then highlight them and click the weld button.

In the video, I show how the Design Wizard Mock-Ups can give a realistic view of the design on a wine glass. This is great if you’re needing a visual or if you want to show a customer what the product will look like.

Once the design is ready to be sent to the cutter, highlight it and click TRW Magic Template, so the parameter box is created around the design. The design didn’t need to be mirrored because it’s being cut into FDC sign vinyl and application tape is being used to apply the design onto the glass.

After the design is through the cutter, reverse weed the letters. That basically means removing the inside of the design, leaving the outside of the vinyl, creating a negative space from the design. Apply the application tape and rub firmly to get rid of all air bubbles, and remove the vinyl carrier backing.

Place the design onto the glass, rubbing from the center and working your way out. This gets all creases and bubbles from the vinyl, since the glass is curved. Be sure to rub strongly on the inside edges of the design or the etching cream can seep under the vinyl.

Note: Etching cream is extremely harsh on skin so you may want to wear gloves.

Shake and mix the etching cream, thoroughly. We mix and apply ours with a plastic knife. Spread a generous layer on the design, but don’t go outside the parameter of the vinyl. You can look on the back of the glass to ensure you covered the area evenly. Let the cream sit for about two minutes before scraping the excess and washing off the remainder. Dry thoroughly and remove the vinyl. It’s awesome, right?!

Let’s break down the cost and how easy this is to do for custom orders, or for the everyday crafter wanting to spruce up boring glass pieces around the house. To add glassware as a product, there are quite a few website and companies to purchase wholesale glasses and glass items (like mirrors, vases, plates, awards). You can then add those products to your TRW Design Wizard Mock-Up custom product list. The Armor Etch is just a few dollars, the vinyl is a few cents, and the glasses can range from a dollar or more. Add that together and add your profit percentage and you’re making a considerable ROI for quick and easy products. You can add the costs and profit percentage to the Advanced Pricing Calculator (Click here to see a tutorial) in TRW Design Wizard to see how much each glass would cost and how much profit you could make.

If you’re a crafter looking to add creativity to boring glass pieces around the house or looking for a good gift idea, this is it. It looks like you’ve spent a lot of time and money on each item, but didn’t.   

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About Author

"It's awesome!" Matt Vassallo is the owner and CEO of The Rhinestone World, building the company from an entrepreneurial vinyl and rhinestone decal business he and his wife started in their home. As a teacher, Matt understands and appreciates what it means to empower others by providing knowledge and education to succeed in this industry. And if you haven't noticed, he's kind of a sports buff.

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