Dirty Dogs and Making Etched Glass

We went to the dog park yesterday, which always tires our pup out. Towards the end of our time there, a woman and her teenage daughter arrived with their dog, a little terrier. The woman was one of those people who thinks dogs are weird and gross, unless it’s her little angel. She climbed on top one of the benches in the park and pulled her knees up, like she was on a dock and afraid that fish were going to bite her toes. Dogs kept running under and past the bench (it’s a dog park). She thought that all dog behavior was the weirdest thing she’d ever seen: “Why are they doing that? Why are they running around? They’re hurting each other! [They were not.] Should they be wrestling? [to me] Your dog’s going to get dirty!”

Lady. Seriously. I understand that dog parks can be kind of overwhelming for small children and the elderly, but you own a dog. Not a puppy. You own an adult dog. It’s not like you got her yesterday and this is your first time out. I feel like you should not be as confused about general, normal dog behavior as you were. You know what happens when dogs play? They get dirty. And then, like magic, you give them a bath and all that dirt goes down the drain.

I kept trying to tell this woman that if their tails are up and wagging, everything’s fine. No one’s seriously mad at anyone else; they are playing. This is how dogs play. And if our dog, Puppy K, was actually hurting this Other Dog (not even hers), Other Dog wouldn’t keep coming back for more. I tried to kindly explain all of this, and explain that we can give her a bath. I don’t know what her deal was, but people: if you have a dog, try to understand the basics of how dogs work. Never thought I’d have to say that.

She also refused to pet a puppy that had come over to the bench. Her daughter said, “Mom, pet this puppy. It’s so cute and soft!” The mom said, “No, ew, I don’t want to pet it. I’m not touching it.” You know your dog is a dog, right?

 

ANYWAY.

I love personalizing generic house stuff. Everyone has plain Pyrex bowls, or a plain glass casserole dish, or plain pint glasses–with just a little magic etching cream and a few stencils, you can make awesome, one-of-a-kind housewares that are pretty and functional.

Glass Etching

Glass etching cream–you can get it at Michael’s

First, you need some glass etching cream. I got mine at Michael’s. It’s sort of expensive (I think around $17 for a small jar), but I’ve had this jar for almost two years. A little goes a long way. You’ll also need some q-tips.

Glass Etching

Make sure you have a paper towel under your bowl–this cream is not messing around.

Next, you need something glass. Some Pyrex won’t be affected by this etching cream, so check a small, hidden area with a dab of the cream before you start your project. My Pyrex bowl took to the cream just fine.

Glass Etching

Get the stencils that say “adhesive” on them!

The last thing you’ll need is a pack of adhesive stencils. I love the Martha Stewart ones (I got them at Michael’s as well). They come in all kinds of patterns and typefaces. I used the “Blossoms” set. These are great because they stick right on, are repositionable, and once you rinse them and pat them dry, they are sticky again.

Glass Etching

Stick your stencil onto the glass. You can move it around if you mess it up. Make sure there are no air bubbles in the stencil, and press it down firmly, especially around the fine detail in the pattern.

Glass Etching

Now goo on some etching cream with a q-tip. I usually keep looking through the other side of the glass to make sure the cream is in an even layer. Put on enough that the cream is pretty opaque. If you get any on the glass outside of the stencil, use the clean end of the q-tip to wipe it off immediately so it doesn’t etch anything.

Glass Etching

Here’s what the stencil should look like from the other side when it has etching cream on it.

Glass Etching

You can do a bunch at once, to make the process go faster.

Leave the etching cream on for about 20-30 minutes, to get a really good etch. After 20-30 minutes, rinse the excess etching cream off the stencils, then peel off, and finish rinsing the etching cream off of your glass. Dry thoroughly with a paper towel, and pat your stencils dry. Continue sticking on stencils, etching, and rinsing until your piece is done.

Glass Etching

It was weirdly difficult to get a good photo of the finished bowl, but here it is. I made a whole set of them (baby bear, mama bear, papa bear), and they look so much nicer than just plain glass bowls. I also made some personalized pint glasses, and I jazzed up a covered casserole dish that we got for the wedding.

It’s a time-consuming project, but totally worth it. Once etched, your new project is permanent–if your glass is dishwasher-safe and/or oven-safe, so is your etching. It’s not paint, it’s a chemical process.

Have fun!!

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