Etched Bottles

One day I was on Pinterest (when am I not?)and I saw this awesome tutorial on how to etch glass bottles, for say oil/water/wine etc. I’d done etching on glass cups before but I hadn’t had a chance to do bottles. I went to my local thrift store and found two great tall, square bottles and picked up some corks to go in the top. These bottles sat around for about six months before I had a chance to etch them – this was the first DIY project that I did with my friend Kaitlin and it turned out great.


  • Bottles to etch
  • Cork or something for the top – depends on if you’re using them to store or for decoration
  • Contact paper – clear or a light color
  • Sharpie
  • X-acto knife
  • Soft bristle brush – I used a paint brush
  • Rubber gloves
  • Stencil – or you can free hand it when cutting the contact paper
  • Newspaper or something to lay the bottle on while you put the cream on
  • “Armour Etch” Glass etching cream – can be found at any craft store


  1. Cut the contact paper to fit your glass bottle. This is where the steps for stenciling varies. You can: free hand what you want directly onto the front of the contact paper (where any labeling is) or you can use a stencil and trace the design onto the contact paper.
  2. Lay contact paper with your design onto a flat surface so that you can cut out the designs. If you use a letter such as “a” e” “o” etc, you can either cut it out and save it for later (if you want it seen on the design) or you can just not cut it out and have it be filled in.
  3. Once you’re done making your design, remove the  backing of the contact paper – pull apart slowly so that it doesn’t roll or warp the design. Then place the contact paper stencil where you want on the glass – it’s okay if you mess up, gently pull it up and reposition it.
  4. Once the design is exactly where you want, smooth it out with a wooden spoon [or your hand] making sure that all bubbles are gone. Also make sure that the edges (inside the design and the outer edge are completely secure on the glass. If not, when you paint the etching cream on, it may run under the contact paper and mess up your design.
  5. Put your gloves on and place your newspaper on a flat surface and lay the bottle stencil side-up. Depending on if your bottle is round or square, it may be easier to just hold it as you brush the cream on. Or wad up a dish towel to keep it from rolling around. Dip your brush in the etching cream and brush it onto the bottle over the cut out areas of the contact paper. Brush on a thick coat so that you cannot see through the glass – I did it 2-3 times to make sure you couldn’t see through.
  6. Check your bottle for instructions on how long to leave the cream on for – mine said 3-5 minutes while the tutorial I used said 10 minutes. I erred on the side of caution and did about 7-8.
  7. Make sure the sink you use to wash the cream off of is clear – you don’t want this stuff on them! Still wearing the gloves, gently rinse the bottle under warm water until the cream is removed. Then carefully remove the stencil, rinse the bottle again and dry it with a towel.

In mine I put canola oil and olive oil, my two most used cooking oils. To keep it closed I grabbed a bag of corks from the craft store – pretty, but pouring the oils you have to make sure to clean it up or you’ve got messy bottles.


Hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial! I’d love to see photos of the ones you do and what you put in them!

Posted in DIY

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