Glass Etching - Embossing Resist

by Vickie Maduzia

There are two ways to do glass etching: Stencil Etching, and Emboss Resist Etching. Big thanks to my sweet friend Colleen Kidder for teaching me glass etching 3 years ago.


  • 9 1/2" glass dessert plate or other flat surfaced glass
  • 1/4" circle punched from dark cardstock
  • Scotch™ Tape
  • Coluzzle© cutting system
  • Adhesive-backed (Contact™ ) shelving paper
  • Glass cleaner spray
  • Paper towels
  • Embossing Buddy™
  • Rubber stamp(s)
  • Versamark™ pad
  • Embossing powder (any color)
  • Embossing heat tool
  • Rubber or latex gloves
  • Armour Etch Cream™ available at local craft stores  [buy it]
  • Sponge wedge or foam brush
  • Scraping tool of some sort
  • Kitchen timer or clock
  • Note: Although etched glass is food safe when complete, it looks nicer to put the image on the backside of the plate.


  1. Step 1

    Attach the 1/4" cardstock circle to the center of the plate's eating surface with Scotch™ tape. There's no need to measure to find the exact center. This dot will be removed later; it is a guideline for stamp placement.

  2. Step 2

    Clean the back side of the plate thoroughly with glass cleaner and a paper towel. Any fingerprints are a glass etcher's biggest challenge so keep the etching surface as clean as possible.

  3. Step 3

    Using the Coluzzle™ circle cutter, create a frame from a piece of Contact shelving paper, using the largest cutting ring of the circle template. Discard the center piece.

  4. Step 4

    Affix the frame to the back side of the plate, using the dot as a centering point. The glass etching cream will be applied inside this framed area, make sure it's pressed down well with no gaps or air bubbles along the edges by running a finger around the inside edges of the frame.

  5. Step 5

    Gently clean the area inside the frame with glass cleaner and a paper towel to remove any fingerprints.

  6. Step 6

    Swipe the Embossing Buddy™ across the framed area to reduce static and the slippery-ness of the glass when you stamp.

  7. Step 7

    Ink the stamp of your choice with Versamark™and carefully stamp in the center of the framed area using the taped dot as your guide. Glass is slippery, so use a steady hand.

    Tip: If a mistake is made, repeat steps 5 and 6.

  8. Step 8

    Apply any color embossing powder to the stamped image. The color does not matter as it will get scraped away at the end.

  9. Step 9

    Remove excess powder with a small paintbrush if necessary.

  10. Step 10

    Use the embossing heat tool until the embossing powder is set and shiny. This takes a while to heat set because glass is much thicker than cardstock. If you're not sure it's done, heat some more.

    Caution: Take care and avoid scorching the edges of the frame. Do not hold the plate while heating; the glass gets very hot.

    Tip: If a mistake is made, repeat steps 5-10.

  11. Step 11

    Pour a large blob of etching cream into the center of the contact paper circle frame.

    Caution: Armour&trade: Etching Cream is caustic to skin so wear latex or rubber gloves just to be safe. The cream smells like rotten eggs, so work in a well-ventilated area.

  12. Step 12

    Using your sponge wedge or foam applicator, lightly brush the cream right to left, and then up and down to ensure even coverage.

    THICK coverage is key, and you can go over the inside edges of the frame. If you make a mistake, wipe it away quickly with a damp cloth. This cream begins etching very quickly!

  13. Step 13

    Set a timer for 5 minutes.

  14. Step 14

    When the timer goes off, go to the sink. Rinse the plate very thoroughly with warm water, rubbing slightly with a gloved hand or a clean sponge. Keep rinsing until no white cream remains. Discard the frame. Remove gloves rinse a little more, making sure no residue is left on either side of the plate. Scrape embossed image with a fingernail, wooden spoon or a plastic scraper.

  15. Step 15

    Remove tape dot and dry with a clean cotton towel.

    Any unetched areas can be touched up by applying a small dab of etching cream with a toothpick, waiting 5 minutes and rinsing again.

    Note: Etching cannot be reversed. If there was cream in places where it shouldn't have been, it can't be repaired.

  16. Step 16

    Completed project.




    You can get Armour™ Etch Cream at most craft stores. Open the bottle before your purchase and look inside. It should be milky white with no chunks. If it is yellowy or chunky looking, put it back and ask the store manager to order some more.

    You can etch on any size container but it's much easier to work with nice, flat surfaces. Rounded vases and hurricanes are pretty but can be very tricky because of the curve. I have chosen a 9 1/2" dessert plate, but any square vase or votive holder would work nicely.

Your Turn

You've seen the tutorial, now you try it! We've got a section of the gallery set aside for Glass Etching - Embossing Resist. Try this technique, then upload your artwork to the gallery. Show us your creations!

***Please note - Internet Explorer/Edge is not a supported browser, and will not allow you to see the videos. Please use Chrome, Firefox or Safari to view our tutorial videos.

Questions and Comments

We'd love to get your feedback or questions. Leave your comment below.

If you use a square votive candle holder do you place the etching on the outside? I guess my question is it fire safe? What kind of image works best?
Carol McGuirk  |  Fri Jan 25, 2008 at 4:57 PM
This is a really cool idea for home decor using your favorite stamps! Thanks so much for posting!
Laura Petruso  |  Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 6:01 PM
I've worked with etching acid before, and yes it's firesafe as it's only etching the surface layer of the glass then rinsed off. I was wondering though, how could we just etch the stamp patterns on our projects? (the reverse of this idea). I like the idea of having only my image etched and the rest of the plate/glass clear.
paula  |  Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 7:14 AM
Paula, could you instead of cutting the framed circle from the Adhesive backed (contact) paper, you just punch or cut out the image you want etched? I will be doing this on Friday with a group that I have planned a Ladies Night for. So looking forward to the gals reactions to our projects.
Good luck, let me know how this works out for you.
Patience  |  Wed May 28, 2008 at 8:24 AM
Thank you! I'll certainly give it a try!
paula  |  Mon Jun 2, 2008 at 7:12 AM
Can this be put in the dishwasher? I really like this idea but want to do it to my every day plates.
Charity  |  Wed Feb 18, 2009 at 4:57 PM
Yes it can be put in the dishwasher. Etching cream actually eats away at the glass, so there is not anything on the glass. The cream is all washed away and the area that the acid "ate" is now cloudy or etched in appearance. That is why it is dishwasher safe, fireproof and safe for eatting. Hope this helps.
Rachelle  |  Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 12:16 PM
I loved the idea, and I think I will be using this for some hose warming gifts or even Christmas presents. It's also a nice gift to give for just thinking of you.
Lois Byers  |  Tue May 26, 2009 at 10:13 AM
I have a question could you do this for ornaments?? wouldnt it work? what about also having it on the outside of a glass candle holder???
Alisha  |  Fri Sep 11, 2009 at 5:29 PM
If your ornament your working with is glass, yes! I did it last christmas with a class, and we ran the "mac tac" adhesive paper through the big shot with the Join in the Cheer decorative strip die. We then placed it onto a candle holder (round) and etched it. You can see it on my website under projects. Turned out super cute, feel free to lift the idea wink
Patience  |  Fri Sep 11, 2009 at 7:50 PM
Love this please let me know more.
Charlene  |  Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 5:28 AM
Thanks for the tutorial Vickie. Although I have never tried to etch this way. Glass etching is one of my favorite hobbies. There really is unlimited things you can do with etching things in glass. All you need is a creative mind. Great tutorial!!!
EWR  |  Thu Nov 5, 2009 at 11:04 PM
This looks really nice, my girlfriend would love this kind of thing. Will have to show her this site. Thanks!
Fireproof Safes  |  Wed Nov 25, 2009 at 7:22 AM
Love this. Keep it coming.
Charlene  |  Sun Jan 17, 2010 at 1:02 PM
I have a 40" L. X 26" H mirror with a
Plastic embossed appliqué border. Wish to
Remove to have mirror plain again.
How can I remove the appliqués??
Tried razor edge will not budge.

Gloria. 612 710 5059
Gloria "Lori"  |  Tue May 29, 2012 at 8:20 AM
Hi Vickie, loved your tutorial but what I need to do (for a wedding on Sept. 1st) is to etch initials, and date champagne glasses (the one's that look like wine glasses. I have NOOOO idea of what to do for this. Any help you could give me would be a life saver and sooo appreciated! Thank you!
Jerri Roling  |  Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 5:53 PM
Find an alphabet die cut you like and cut the initials into contact paper. Next tape the paper over the glass. Add etching cream over the cut out initials. Let set for 5 minutes. Rinse and peel tape.

Hugs and smiles
Beate  |  Thu Jul 26, 2012 at 6:32 AM
You can buy the Armour Etch cream directly from their retail website They also sell the contact vinyl used in this project. It comes in both clear and beige, as well as a large seltion of other products
Holly  |  Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 2:36 PM
What stamp did you use for his project? I love it and the finished project will make great gifts.
Peggy Budfuloski  |  Sat Sep 7, 2013 at 5:14 AM

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