Last week, I cut out a bunch of Halloween shapes in some black vinyl on my Silhouette cutting machine and decorated some ceramic tiles. I had a couple decals left over. They were of jack-o-lantern faces so I knew I wanted to use them as a stencil or resist to make a jack-o-lantern. I knew I had an old jar of Armour Etch floating around in my craft supplies (I made some candle holders with contact paper a while back), so I decided to etch some glass.
I started by using some painter's tape to transfer my vinyl decal. I tore off two strips and used a plastic dish scraper to burnish the decal to make sure it stuck to the the tape. I just started cutting decals on my cutting machine, so I don't have a proper burnisher/squeegee or transfer tape/paper, but this worked fine for this simple design.
After the design was burnished, I peeled it up and applied it to a cleaned pickle jar.
With the black decal, it's easy to see through the painters tape. I just eyeballed where I wanted the design and stuck it down. I then burnished the design again and carefully peeled the tape back. There were a few bubbles, but since I wasn't going to leave the vinyl on, I just made sure the edges were smoothed down so it wouldn't let any of the etching cream under the vinyl.
It turned out cute enough after just sticking the vinyl on that I am thinking about taking the rest of my jars in the craft stash and putting black decals on them, but for now, I repeated the process with the other decal and the painter's tape to get it ready to apply.
I stuck the other decal onto the center of a glass plate from the dollar store. I smoothed it down along the edges just like the jar to get it ready for the etching cream.
I put on some vinyl gloves, and put some tinfoil down in my sink. It's handy to do the etching in or near the sink as the cream gets rinsed off to stop the acidic reaction (or if you get any on you--rinse with water). So clearing out one side of your sink for rinsing and another for etching would work out perfectly. Tinfoil works pretty well for the working surface since it can be molded to keep any round projects from rolling around and you can toss it when done. I slopped on a layer of the armour etch and left the whole thing for 5 minutes.
After my 5 minute timer went off, I rinsed the cream off and checked on the progress. On my other etching projects, I etched a small design and left the rest of the surface clear, on these, I was covering the jack-o-lantern face to stay clear and etching the rest of the surface, so it was a large area. I knew I was probably going to have to etch twice to catch any areas that might have gotten missed on the first pass.
I also had to etch the back side of the jar, so after they were rinsed and dried, I flipped the jar over and applied another coat of cream to the plate to get any spots that were missed. I was pretty pleased with my second pass, but did end up with a couple of missed spots on the jar that I had to apply a few spots of cream to. My armour etch is starting to get old and a bit lumpy, between that and the large area I was etching, I had some blotchy spots. If you're etching a smaller area and are careful with your application, you can etch with just one pass.
After washing the last of the cream off and drying the jar and plate, I started peeling up the vinyl. The designs came out perfectly crisp with clean lines and no feathering. I was super impressed with how clean they came out. I will definitely try using the vinyl decals cut with a cutting machine for etching in the future.
I ended up with one cute Halloween plate and a little luminary jar. I spray painted my jar lid with oil rubbed bronze spray paint to hide the dancing pickle logo and put a tea light in the jar. The jar would also work great for holding candy. I can't wait to use the plate for goodies on Halloween!