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Etched Glass Ornaments

Be a trendsetter by personalizing glass ornaments for your loved ones. Your friends will love the way these ornaments catch the light on their Christmas trees.

Gifting Glitches

Be sure to wear a protective apron, rubber or plastic gloves, and protective eyewear when working with etching cream. The cream is an acid and should not touch your skin. Be sure to work in a well-ventilated area and have all your supplies assembled ahead of time. Also work near a source of running water.

The Gift of Knowledge

You might want to buy a special pickle ornament at a Christmas store to include with your handmade ornaments. The pickle is a German symbol of good luck. Traditionally, German parents decorated their Christmas tree on Christmas Eve, hiding the pickle ornament last. The first child to find the pickle on Christmas day received an extra gift from Saint Nicholas. You could also make your own pickle ornament out of dough.

Time frame: Two to four hours

Level: Moderately difficult

What you need:

  • Precut glass forms from a craft store (I found glass Christmas ornaments with a hole in the top for stringing.)
  • Glass etching stencils
  • Masking tape
  • Popsicle stick
  • Gloves, eye protection, and protective clothing
  • Armour Etch solution
  • Paintbrush
  • Window cleaner
  1. Clean the glass ornament with water and a paper towel.
  2. Select a stencil design and position the stencil on the cleaned glass. Secure the stencil to the glass temporarily with pieces of masking tape.
  3. Rub the stencil with a Popsicle stick to transfer it onto the glass. Rub up and down and left and right, being careful not to gouge the stencil. The stencil will change in appearance when rubbed.
  4. Remove the top sheet of the transferred stencil by carefully peeling it back. If the stencil is not completely transferred, put the sheet back down and rerub the stencil.
  5. Apply a border of masking tape around the entire stencil, overlapping the tape on the blue stencil by 18 inch to prevent the etching cream from running over the stencil and etching unwanted areas.
  6. Shake the Armour Etch cream thoroughly. Be sure to wear protective clothing, gloves, and eyewear for this step! Using a paintbrush, apply a thick layer of the cream on top of the stencil. Keep the cream out of the reach of children.
  7. Allow the cream to remain on the glass for one minute only. Then immediately wash off all the etching cream under warm water. After all the traces of etching cream are washed away, remove all remaining tape and stencil pieces and clean the glass with window cleaner. Your etching is now complete.

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Making Great Gifts © 2001 by Marilee LeBon. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


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