Bluegill fish sandcarved on flat glass.

Sandcarving Plate Glass

Glass etching is a process that abrades or chemically eats areas of shapes or patterns into the glass which creates a rough frosted image. The frosted areas become noticeable with an elegant and unique white appearance. The design is elegant because the details that make up the image are nothing but the glass itself. I consider it to be a unique type of glass art because it can be done through multiple techniques.

With a little imagination, you can easily create marvelous artwork.

For a step by step guide with pictures, see the simple “how to” page. The method I show in the example uses the acid cream, but the whole stencil creating process is relatively similar to other methods, which I will talk about more below.

Wine bottle etched for a wedding.

Sandblast Etching on a Wine Bottle

To start the process, it all begins with the pattern & stencil material. You will need to make stencils from a black & white designed pattern that will resist areas of the glass that you don’t want etched. Exposed areas of the pattern will be etched to create the image. Now let’s look deeper here to examine the different methods.

Acid Cream

The majority of people looking at doing this craft use the popular acid etching cream. This is because it requires only a few cheap supplies that can be purchased at a craft store. But this process isn’t the most interesting in comparison to other ways discussed throughout my down-loadable information manual and by reading below.

Sandblasting Glass

Not only is the sandblasting method more noticeable, but you also have a lot of possibilities with it when used with sandcarving and shading techniques. It is becoming the most recognized by hobbyist and artists for its beauty. The only discouragement is it usually requires expensive equipment to operate. Hey, but you’re in the right place, because I created Glass Etching Secrets to help people save money and learn abrasive etching with professional or advanced methods on a budget.

Cincinnati Reds pilsner glass.

Abrasive Etched Pilsner Beer Glasses

Hydrofluoric Acid

Some people think the acid cream is the same substance as hydrofluoric acid, but they really aren’t exactly the same thing and I like to categorize them separate to help distinguish them from each other. Let’s get our facts straightened.

Hydrofluoric acid is an extremely dangerous chemical, and the acid cream is a much safer process which is why it is more popular in the huge craft market.

You can read more about this acid type and the dangers that I mention throughout the website.


I like to categorize this differently from etching. Engraving is more recognized as a process using motor powered utensils. This can be done by using a copper wheel or an electric engraver tool to custom design your objects. It produces a distinctly different look in comparison to the other methods. The effects are usually more sketchy looking, like that of a pencil drawing. It looks like this because the engraver uses a rotating tip powered by electricity. Typically it is done through the use of following or tracing a sketched pattern placed behind the glass. Since most glass is transparent (unless it’s very dark colored), you can see the pattern easily.

Other Examples

If you’d like to see other examples, then check out some of my previous etched work or check out my new project ideas page with an image gallery. I hope you enjoy the website so feel free to roam around throughout the pages and think of some items you would like to make. If you are even remotely interested in this hobby, I recommend you to read my information manual.

Overall, this is an astonishing craft. Although it’s not widely recognized, there is a long history of etching with more than just glass. I have talked with many people that started personalizing glass and most of them tend to stick with the hobby forever. It is very fun and addictive! Be sure to read throughout my website for more information on different types of processes & techniques.

About Me & My Hobby

I became a huge fan of etching years ago and was astonished by the creativity and endless possibilities of what types of items you could create. My first idea was to start a business doing this line of work, so I sought after inexpensive equipment. I found a lot of sources and learned how to get into this industry at lower prices, so I turned that business idea around to create this site offering my information manual which is aimed to help others. Click on the cover below to get a glimpse of it:

ebook for download

Please share/ bookmark this page on social media!