tutorial: etched mason jars of love

[And now, for another jar project….because a jar is an irresistible opportunity for improv crafting. It’s an empty vessel, after all!]

I know it is really a “Hallmark Holiday” and all, but I really love Valentine’s Day.  I actually don’t think we should pass up an actually day that reminds us to celebrate all the people we love most (and to tell them so).  Anyway, I’ll take any excuse to make something for them.  You’ve already seen the shirt I made for Harry.  Ava’s something is still being worked out, but these jars that had oysters in them that we got for a Christmas meal have been just calling to be etched.  They are just mason jars but they are totally smooth. I thought they would make excellent little extras for my 3 loves at breakfast on the 14th.

I haven’t etched anything in a while, and though it is easy, my etching stuff was a little old and didn’t perform perfectly.  Oh well.  I still really like them and nobody around here will mind the imperfections.  Here’s how it goes:

what you’ll need:

– etching cream – this stuff.

-paint brush

-contact paper

-craft knife

-smooth glassware


1. Choose something to etch.  This is what I had: 2 half pint mason jars and a peanut butter jar.

2. Draw the design you want to etch onto your contact paper.  I drew on the paper side that peels off except when I was drawing letters.  You want to draw your letters on the  actual contact paper so they don’t end up backwards.  Speaking from experience here.  This is a lego love guy for my lego love guy.

Then you cut it out with your craft knife.

And then, darlings, peel and stick the stencil to your glassware.  You can see that I cut out a heart that will be stuck separately on the chest area of the lego guy.

3. Apply a nice thick coat of the etching cream to the exposed surface, making sure that the contact paper is stuck well to the glass.

Check to see if there are spots that don’t have much of the cream applied.  These spots won’t etch solidly, as you can see by the heart version I made for my sweetheart.

After about 10 minutes, wash the cream off.  Be sure to wear gloves (or just be really careful like me.  I couldn’t find gloves).

There are a few things that could have gotten better with these, but, like I said, overall I think they are grand and I have decided not to worry about the flaws.  I mean, that is one wonky lego guy, but I will think of him as “stylized”.

You can see that spots on the heart that didn’t have enough cream on it.  It isn’t a smooth etching.  Alas.

Etching is magical in the same way all printing is.  And all of the recycled jars out there in the world can be really turned into such sweet gifts or new glasses for your shelf.

This entry was posted by nicoleblum.

2 thoughts on “tutorial: etched mason jars of love

  1. I LOVE this idea! I keep wanting to do something like this for our kids – then that’s their cup for the day – it’s theirs and they know whose is whose! And I don’t wash them cups all day long! I just pinned it!

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