I bought three plain glass canisters for a friend for Christmas. She loves and collects unicorns. In fact, she has been the recipient of many unicorn things I have made (stuffed crocheted unicorn, unicorn coasters).
Here is the finished product, moved the pic because people thought the black outlined ones were the finished product:
Anyways, I drew unicorn stencils onto the glass with fabric paint:
Waited for the stencils to dry, then covered them with etching cream:
And this is what I got when I was done:
I think they turned out rather pretty. Now I just have to fill them with some Christmas candies/goodies, and wrap them up for her.
What do you think?
For those who want to know how to do it, it is very simple.
Clean the glass off with rubbing alcohol or glass cleaner to remove any spots, dirt, finger prints
Use dimensional fabric paint to draw on your picture, keeping in mind that any clear areas will be etched, and the areas covered by the paint will be plain glass. Make sure that you cover beyond the outside edge of the image with paint thickly so that the etching medium won't etch that glass if it drips. You can use store bought rub on stencils, or make stencils out of contact paper too. I like fabric paint because it is very fluid and easy to draw with, makes good contact with the glass, and easy to remove when done. You can freehand draw, or use an image placed behind the glass to trace. Any mistakes can be gently removed with kleenex or q-tip while wet, if small. Or when dry, you can carefully trim areas with an exacto blade
Let the paint dry over night, or until very dry to touch
Take a chemical etching compound, like Armour Etch (are there any other brands, I only know the one), and using a paint brush to thickly dab it over the areas you want etched. follow the manufacturers instructions for how long to wait (remember, if you used a thick amount, you can gently scrape off the extra when you are done and put it back in the bottle for later use).
Wash off the remaining etching medium and the fabric paint under warm water. I used running water - this can leave a bit of a bloom on the glass surrounding the image as the etching medium runs off and touches the clean glass. The fabric paint should easily strip off with gentle pressure - make sure that it does not run down the drain, as it could make a mess. I just strip and collect it off to the side to throw in the garbage.
I should also add that when washing off the etching compound, that even when diluted, and making contact for brief seconds, the clean surround glass can be etched slightly. So if you want your unetched glass to be perfectly clear and clean, make sure that it is covered. You can just take masking tape or tape over the area with plastic to protect it, rather than painting it over.
I guess you could use the spray on frosting paint that you can buy in craft stores - but I prefer the etching medium as this may be used for food, and once the glass is etched, it is permanent with nothing that can be flaked off.
This technique can be done for many other things. I have done vases, glasses, picture frames, mirrors, etc. The fabric paint allows for very fluid lines which is harder to achieve cutting a stencil out of contact paper. It is easier/less labour intensive, with nicer results with the use of the paint to make a stencil.