These previous three pictures were my first trial. It could have been worse but it turned out not too bad for the first run. I got some of the cream on the outside of the stencils. However, you can only see this in the light because the glass etching cream is so white. Thankfully the etching became easier as I did more and more jars. The instructions from Pinterest said that I should leave the cream on for 5-10 minutes and the Armour Etch cream bottle said that I should leave the cream on for 1 minute. I left the cream on for 5-7 minutes and the etching was similar to the bottles on Pinterest but theirs was a little darker– or maybe it’s because their lighting was better than mine, who knows.
I wish Pinterest warned me of how permanent the Armour Etching cream is because I thought if I spilled a little bit, it would come off with lots of toothbrush scrubbing… but it doesn’t. I flicked an ounce of cream on my laptop and now it doesn’t come off. But my laptop is damaged so I think it’s fine.
The process of trial 2:
I don’t know if you can see my laptop screen, but I brainstormed what I was going to do with each jar. As you see on the table, I had jars of many sizes so I thought it was logical to put spices that my family and I don’t use as often in smaller jars while sugar, flour, and other common kitchen items went in the larger pickle jars. (Don’t worry I washed the pickles jars three times to get rid of the pickle stench.)
I found that it was helpful to place a piece of tape and align the stencils to the bottom so it was even. Although it’s not shown in the picture, I realized later on that it would be useful. After the first two or three bottles, I started to go beyond the Pinterest instructions and do what was easiest.
In addition, I found that it was beneficial to overlap the stencils and then place the tape as close to the opening of the stencils as possible. This will eliminate the etching cream from getting in the cracks so only the letters are etched. In the beginning of the blog, you can see the outline of the stencil on the S in salt because I did not overlap the stencils and tape.
The instructions say to use a disposable, foam brush but I thought using a popsicle stick was much more efficient. First of all, the foam brush had a hard time getting the cream from the Armour Etch bottle because the opening was so small. As I clicked on other Pinterest blogs, I read somewhere that a popsicle stick would easier because you have to spread the etching cream before it dries too quickly.
The finished product!
I repeated this process and I learned new tips as I was going each bottle/jar.
The remaining jars…
Once I filled the jars, I realized that the etching on the sugar and salt jars was washed out. I tried using charcoal, Sharpie, and magic marker to color in the writing but that didn’t work because it would just rub/wash off. As I was running around the house looking for things to color in the etching, my last ditch effort was using a regular pencil because I thought “why not?” Low and behold, it fills in the etching and did not rub off!
Once I saw that the salt and sugar jars came out nicely, I tried coloring in the other jars but since the contents in them were dark, it didn’t work as well.
Overall I am proud of this part of my Genius Hour project because I can finally give my family’s kitchen a modern, chic look without the plastic bottles from Costco cluttering our pantry.
Pinterest versus Me
- use jars that have flat faces like the sugar jar because it is very easy to place and stick the stencils on them
- I liked the stencils that I used, but next time I would buy larger so you can actually see the etching
- the stencils I used were “Plaid: Peel & Stick Stencils 6in x 5.5in” these are reusable stencils which is very handy especially when you plan on working on multiple jars
- to take off the labels on the jars/bottles, use Goof Off, not a knife like listed on the Instructables website
- when rubbing the Goof Off on the bottle, make sure you are in a well-ventilated area like your garage or even better, outside!
- to make sure that the bottles are extra clean on the surface, pour rubbing alcohol on a paper towel and rinse the bottles. If you miss this step, your stencils and etching cream will not stick to the bottles
- it does not hurt to leave the etching cream a little longer than the designated time because the results look the same if you leave the cream on for 4 minutes or 8
- remember: always wear latex gloves when handling the etching cream (it is not healthy for your skin!)