Glass Engraving Tutorial

Written by kelly moore
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Glass Engraving Tutorial
Update your glassware by engraving it. (decorative vases image by MAXFX from

Glass etching is a relatively simple process that can yield quite elegant results. It requires very few supplies, so the initial investment is minimal and you won't need much storage space. Your creativity and a steady hand are the most important requirements for making beautiful engraved glass art. You can use any type of glass you want, from stemware to mirrors and beyond, to produce your own keepsakes and impressive homemade gifts.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Dust mask
  • Template
  • Tape
  • Die grinder tool
  • Diamond point wheel ball bit

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  1. 1

    Put on a dust mask to avoid inhaling the glass dust that results from engraving glass with a grinding tool.

    Glass Engraving Tutorial
    A dust mask will protect your lungs from glass dust. (ecologist in mask image by Alexey Klementiev from
  2. 2

    Secure an engraving template on the underside of the glass you will engrave. Your template can be a hand-drawn image or a stencil printed from the computer. For personalised items, type words in the font of your choice on a word processor and print. Tape is usually all you need to keep the template in place.

    Glass Engraving Tutorial
    Make sure your image won't shift as you are grinding by taping it in place. (a tape holder image by Rich Johnson from
  3. 3

    Trace the image with a die grinding tool and diamond point wheel ball bit. Trace slowly and steadily. If you already have a die grinding tool, you can get this bit for just a few dollars. If you don't have a die grinding tool, you can purchase a glass etching tool from a hobby store and get the same results.

    Glass Engraving Tutorial
    Die grinding tools have interchangeable tips called bits. (rotary tool image by CraterValley Photo from
  4. 4

    Remove the template and examine the glass. Using your tool, trace over the image again to get an even line. You may need to go over it several times, depending on the thickness you want for your image.

  5. 5

    Wash the glass to remove any debris and allow it to air dry.

    Glass Engraving Tutorial
    Homemade etched glass can be as beautiful as its professional counterparts. (Washing Up X image by Sophia Winters from

Tips and warnings

  • Practice on jam jars before you attempt your final project to hone your technique.

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