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Topic: Questions about making stencils to use for etching glass  (Read 2892 times)
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NikkiZBM
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« on: April 29, 2009 03:41:35 PM »

I've done a bit of glass etching (with the cream), but I've always used stickers or pre-made stencils.  I'd like to try my hand at making my own stencils, but I have a few questions.

1. I've read some posts in which people suggested using contact paper...is that the same contact paper you can get at the grocery to line shelves or is it something different?

2.  Can you put contact paper through a printer?  I can't draw to save my life and my writing isn't much better, so computer generated images are a must!

3.  Has anyone ever tried making stencils out of address labels?  If so, how did it work?

4.  When using an exacto knife, do you have to use one of those cutting boards they sell with them or can you use some other surface (I was thinking about cutting my stencils on an empty cereal box or something.)

Thanks for any suggestions or advice you have!
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dealupa
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2009 04:08:28 PM »

Well, I can't say I've done/used/tested any of the ways you ask about, but maybe what I do can be helpful. 

I use masking tape, draw my design with a sharpie, and cut it out with the tape on the glass. 

With that in mind, I'd say that address labels would work just fine--same idea--light adhesive sort of thing.  You'd be able to print out your design, cut it out and then transfer the remaining label to the glass you're etching.  Might want to avoid very delicate things; transferring a label that's more hole than label would probably end badly.

As for cutting boards, cardboard works fine.  You might want something a wee bit thicker than cereal box, though.  A wooden surface or plastic kitchen cutting board would also work. 

Hope that helps!
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NikkiZBM
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« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2009 07:04:26 AM »

Thanks for your input, Dealupa!  Good point about something that's mostly holes not working well on an address label.

Does anyone know if you can put contact paper through a regular printer?
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karen09
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2009 07:28:55 PM »

I just started etching, yesterday actually and I used contact paper. Yes it is the same as the shelfliner stuff. I got mine at dollar tree but it's really thin and hard to peel off the backing. So I suggest picking a thickish one. I'm not sure if it would run through the printer it might smear. That's a good idea, I can't draw either so I used computer images too but I traced them. Took awhile but it did the job. I peel it off and stick it to theglass and cut it with the exacto knife from there. I did this only cuz the images was a button and I wasntsure I would be able to postion all  the circles acurately. U don't have to use a cutting mat but it will kelp you from ruining yourtable. I hope this helps sorryfor the typos I'm trying to send this from my iphone and I cantget you used to the keyboard or lack of. Smiley
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NikkiZBM
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« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2009 01:13:24 PM »

Karen09, how did you trace the image onto the contact paper?  Did you find some that was clear?  And, did cutting out the image after the contact paper was stuck to the glass damage it at all?  Did the extacto scratch the surface?
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karen09
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2009 11:17:27 AM »

ugh the tracing was a pain but like i said it did the job. im curious to try and run it through the printer. maybe if i run it through on the paper side. The contact paper i bought was clear, but i think it might be easier to see where you are cutting if you get a colored one. ok so what i did to transfer the image was...i printed out the image, got a pencil and on the back of the paper where the image was, i shaded it with the pencil. so it covered the whole image. i did it kinda dark. i turned it back over and placed it on the contact paper and traced on the image itself. so when i lifted it, the image was imprinted. of course i had to turn it back around and trace on the actual clear contact paper with a sharpie but then i just peeled it and stuck it to the glass. cutting it on the glass didnt damage the glass because i didnt press really hard, im sure i could have but i was careful.
this is what i did to the back then turned it around and traced on to the the paper side of the contact paper.




my finished project. it was my first ever. i did the big one first and then the little. my sister wants three jars. the big mason jar has those sealing lids so i plan to make the top a pin cusion like i saw on the martha stewart website. the little one is a baby juice jar. i told everyone that i wasnt just being a pack rat keeping all those jars.  Grin i found a use for them.

hope this helps. let me know if you need any more help. im sure there are easier ways but, im just perfecting my technique.  Wink
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b16aGirl
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« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2009 10:12:27 AM »

 If you can get access to a CNC Vinyl cutter or a laser cutter, holy wow does it make stencils a breeze! Especially if you're doing a multidepth etch. If you have access to a sandblaster, they also make everything a breeze. I'm spoiled and can use all of them, but try google-ing your local area to find a trophy store b/c a lot of them have cool giant printers or vinyl cutters for banner making and if you ask nicely and offer to volunteer a few hours a week, they usually let you use the equipment.
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« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2009 04:50:58 PM »









Oooh ooh! I love using the creme etching stuff! I've made several items and have only used the contact paper for my designs.

1. I've read some posts in which people suggested using contact paper...is that the same contact paper you can get at the grocery to line shelves or is it something different?
Contact paper is the stuff that you line your shelves with. It's got a light stick to it so, when you take it off, it doesn't leave much residue at all. It comes in different colors, including clear, but I prefer to stick with the solid white contact paper.

2.  Can you put contact paper through a printer?  I can't draw to save my life and my writing isn't much better, so computer generated images are a must!
Yes, you can put contact paper through a printer. I would suggest using a matte cutter or paper slicer to cut the contact paper into 8.5 x 11 inch paper (same size as regular paper). Try to make sure that all the edges are very very neat so that it doesn't get stuck in the printer. Also, try to use a printer that doesn't use heat to apply the ink (such as laser print) because it could affect the glue on the paper itself. Let the ink on the paper dry completely before doing anything with it!
Another way you can transfer images is to print it on regular paper and buy some of that transfer paper from the store (transfer paper is fairly cheap for the amount you get and the many times you can use it). You lay your contact paper down face up, lay the transfer paper on top of that dark side face down and tape it at the top to the contact paper, then lay your pattern on top of that face up and also tape it down. Then all you need to do is trace your image with a dull pencil (push slightly hard on a hard surface). Because everything is taped down in place, you can sneak a peek at the image that appears on the contact paper and make sure that the image is dark enough so you can see it as well as make sure you traced over every line. Just don't untape the top two layers from your contact paper before you double check all your lines are there!

3.  Has anyone ever tried making stencils out of address labels?  If so, how did it work?
I have to say that I have not tried using address labels to make stencils. Sounds interesting, though, so I'll have to try it Smiley

4.  When using an exacto knife, do you have to use one of those cutting boards they sell with them or can you use some other surface (I was thinking about cutting my stencils on an empty cereal box or something.)
I actually apply my contact paper directly to the surface I'm working on so that I can add lines to show me where exactly I want the image to be and it takes all the guess work out of whether I placed my image askew or not. Exacto knives won't scratch the glass (at least it doesn't with the glass I use?) and it makes doing more delicate designs easier because I don't have to worry about the contact paper stretching or scrunching when transferring it to the glass!

Other notes: I never thought of doing a multi-depth etch with the etching cream... maybe the clear contact paper would be good for that kind of design. As soon as I get the money to buy the supplies, I think I'm going to try that technique out and see how it works!

Good luck with your own etches and I hope you found this information to be helpful!
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NikkiZBM
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« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2009 08:08:50 PM »

Great info.  Thanks!
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« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2009 04:18:08 PM »

I don't know anything about contact paper, but I use masking tape. I trace an image off of my computer screen onto a piece of paper, cover the area I want to etch with masking tape, then I tape the traced image onto the glass, and use an exact-o knife to cut the design out. Then just peal off the part that you want to put the etch cream on, and have at it Smiley
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