How to Have Personalized Glassware Without the High Price

Happy New Year everyone!
I can’t begin to tell you how much I’ve looked forward to this new year! The past few years have been so full of crazy schedules and projects and stresses that somewhere along the way (8 or 9 months ago) I stopped in the middle of what I was doing … looked at Renaissance Man … and slowly said:  “2012”


He probably thought I’d finally lost it, but then I calmly explained that I’d decided 2012 would be the year I was going to take time to re-group … before I really did lose it!  I was going to do what I wanted to do … like checking things off of my Sally List (how’s yours going, by the way?), maintenance projects (they can only be put off so long when you live in an old house!), cooking more and eating out less, working on my Etsy shop, downsizing/simplifying … and DIY projects.  Then he understood.  He knew I’d been holding it together for a really long time, and so he simply but graciously said, “Help me get through 2011 … and 2012 is yours.”


I’ll admit that as soon as we got Hope’s 20th Anniversary Celebration behind us last October, I started inching toward 2012, trying hard not to run.  I enjoyed a relaxing holiday season which included Sally List projects and a head start on some much-needed DIY time — and what turned out to be perhaps my favorite project … so far.


I made a set of personalized glassware for my youngest daughter whose glasses were broken in their recent Army-mandated move from Georgia to North Carolina. I wanted her to have something nice for everyday until she has time to choose her own.  She loves birds (or as she says, “peeps”) … and these glasses made her smile!


What is it about etched glass that is such a draw for many of us?  Sometimes it features a delicate vintage pattern …


Sometimes the emphasis is more subtle … yet boldly personal.


Sometimes the etching is more of an engraving … and very elaborate.
See these glasses in tablescapes HERE and HERE.
If you like the idea of personalized glassware but don’t have the budget for the pricey pieces — or perhaps you just want something fun for everyday — you can make your own with just a few supplies … and only a few bucks.


I started with a set of 8 Libbey glasses with weighted bottoms from Dollar Tree.


Then I selected a design to use for my stencil … sized it to the glasses … and cut 8 of them out of a thin vinyl.

Since I have a Silhouette cutting machine, I chose a pre-made design from the Silhouette online store — but you can use any design you like.  There are pre-made ones available or you can do what I did years ago and trace a design onto clear contact paper then cut it out with an X-acto knife.


I adhered each stencil to a transfer paper (bottom layer in this pic) …


… then removed the vinyl backing.


Carefully pressed the stencil in position on the glass …


… then slowly peeled away the transfer paper.


I used a special hooked tool (or you can use an X-acto knife) to remove the parts of the stencil to be etched.  I also added a piece of painters tape (masking tape works, too) in areas where my design was close to the edge of the stencil; I didn’t want to etch any of the glass that wasn’t part of my design!


A layer of etching cream applied with a paint brush … a 5-minute wait …
and a quick rinse under running water.


The hardest part was deciding what design to use!   I was excited about giving the plain glasses a new look, but I wanted to be sure my choice was a good one … since it would be permanent.


Hmmm… Kind of like deciding what to write on my “clean slate” this year … in 2012 … when my choices matter … and affect the rest of my life … and everyone around me.


Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6

* * * * * 
How about you?


Do you have any personalized glassware — or would you like some?
What design would you put on yours?
Leave a comment and tell us!


Join me at these fun parties:
Metamorphosis Monday @ Between Naps on the Porch
Show-Me-How @ It’s a Blog Party!


Inspiration Friday @ At The Picket Fence


  1. Susan,
    Your glasses are great! I love the pattern you used. Nice project.

  2. Your glasses are so beautiful! I’m sure your daughter will enjoy your lovely gift!
    dee dee

  3. Oh those are gorgeous. I am sure she was thrilled. Beautiful pattern. Hugs, Marty

  4. Wow I love to learn how to do this. I will be thrilled if I can do it in my glasses and personalize it. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I’m sharing this with KC. I’ve already bought her a set of these same tumblers from DT…and she loves birds…and she’s quite crafty…and….and …and Thank you! Cherry Kay

  6. This is great…I have enough dishes for now but my stem ware is I am going to put this on my to do list this year…fun, fun!
    Enjoy 2012….I am ready for a calmer year also…or may I say, a calmer decade! What are the chances?

  7. I had no idea that “regular people” could etch glass themselves. Your glasses are beautiful! What a blessing.

    Thanks for stopping by Ducks n a Row…Hope we’ll be seeing each other again soon. If you like Blog Hops and Linky Parties I host my own on Wednesdays and link with another on Fridays! Please join us!

    Happy New Year!

  8. I’m glad you’re getting “your” year!

  9. Wow!! I need to know more about these Silhouettes!!! These turned out great! How cool is that?! Happy new year! ~Zuni

  10. Susan, I hope that you savor each and every precious moment the Lord gives you this 2012 and many years to come.
    Much love,

  11. I have just read every post that I had missed in my absence and enjoyed them so much. I think my favorite was the one about the staircase. I have long wanted to see that. I loved the way you compared it to the arrival of Jesus in our lives. That was just beautiful to me, and I can relate.

    I used to have some glassware etched with our initial, but over the years, several pieces got broken. I would love to do this project.

    I wasn’t looking forward to 2012, to be honest. Sooner or later, though, that little engine that could that lives inside of me always starts revving its engine, and this year is no exception. I’ve been “tidying up” my point of view in the past days and am now ready to face the year ahead with eagerness and determination. Expect more Sallies!

  12. Wow! Those glasses are awesome!
    So glad you’ve made it to 2012 and it’s your year!
    The scripture you posted was just for me. Thanks!

  13. What a beautiful gift Susan and one I know she will treasure always! I have always loved patterned glassware but somehow never have purchased any. Would it sound strange to say that there is a part of me that feels I don’t deserve something so special and personalized? Weird huh?! 🙂 My plain Jane practical side always wins out. But now I’m going to give myself permission to find something special like the ones you made your daughter…maybe I’ll add that to my Sally List! Which, by the way, we are going to be doing a post about some of the things we have checked off of ours so far. We’ll let you know when we will be posting it! Thanks for sharing at Inspiration Friday and sorry for the ridiculously long comment. LOL!

  14. Would be great to do for a bride and groom for their wedding etch bride in one glass then groom into the other. And you could do the wording in cursive. 🙂

  15. I assume they are wash able,but will you loose the etching

    • Lucy, etching is a process that actually changes the surface of the glass, so, NO you don’t lose the etching when washing these glasses! (When wet, the design seems to disappear, but it’s still there, so don’t be concerned.)

      When you make your etched glasses, feel free to send a picture. (Close-up, flash off works best.) I’d love to see them. Good luck!