DIYke Club: Etched Glass Tumblers and Whiskey Neat

DIYke Club_Rory Midhani_640px

I learned lots of things at October A-Camp. Like how to spell chlamydial, adorable marriage proposals make me cry uncontrollably, and glass etching is my new favorite hobby. It’s so simple even craft-challenged weirdos can pull it off, and I mean really – who doesn’t feel like a baller sipping whiskey out of a personalized glass?


Etched Glasses


Supplies Needed:

+ Glasses to etch
+ Sticky stencils
– I ordered custom vinyl stencils here for camp
– Or you can make draw your own stencils on contact paper, and cut them out with an exacto blade
+ Masking tape
+ Armour Etch glass etching cream (It is reusable so it will last a long time. You can find it on Amazon for $11/ 3oz -OR- $22/22oz)
+ Makeup sponge
+ Latex gloves



1. Choose your design. If you are an amazingly talented human (which I am not) draw or trace it onto the contact paper and cut it out with an x-acto blade. If you are an averagely talented human like myself, order a custom vinyl stencil from Etsy.

2. Clean your glass so they are free of dirt/smudges (you don’t want to etch dust or fingerprints onto your glass). A paper towel and some hot breath are fine, glass cleaner will also work.

3. Carefully place the stencil on the clean glass surface, then rub down to get all air bubbles out. When the stencil is securely attached to the glass remove the top carrier sheet.



4. Tape the edges of your stencil just to make sure no etching cream escapes your carefully placed stencil (but be sure not to overlap your design). Prepare to etch! Shake your bottle of etching cream thoroughly (for best results the AmourEtch website suggests your cream and glass surface be at least 70 degrees – however, it was snowing at camp and our glasses still came out fine).


5. Put on the latex gloves to make sure icky chemicals don’t touch you and apply a thick layer of etching cream with a make-up wedge (you should not be able to see the stencil or the glass beneath) while staying within the taped area.

Photo on 10-6-13 at 12.40 PM #4



7. After ~10 minutes have passed, use the makeup wedge to scrape excess cream back into the bottle (reusable!) making sure not to contaminate any of the clean glass surface. Then run your glass under lukewarm water until any remaining cream has rinsed off.

Photo on 10-6-13 at 12.41 PM #3

8. When the cream is gone, peel the rest of the stencil off (some of it might come off with the rinse – this is normal) and dry off your glass. Then clean your glass (soap/water or glass cleaner) and sip some whiskey!

Photo on 10-6-13 at 1.24 PM

Whiskey Neat (Rocks if you must)

photo 2

Prep time: 0 mins

Serves: as many as you want… this isn’t a real recipe duh!

This is by far the least complicated beverage your DIYke group will ever make – but you’re making whiskey glasses so I’m not really sure what you expected. No idea where to start with whiskey? Ask Ali – she might be able to help you!

Step 1: Pour whiskey of choice into amazing etched glass tumbler.

photo 1

Step 2: Sip whiskey of choice out of amazing etched glass tumbler.

Step 3: Talk about kittens or something.

Header by Rory Midhani

Thanks for reading DIYke Club! Some friends and I started a DIY/crafting group that gets together a couple of times a month. We try a fun drink recipe and do a craft we haven’t made before. We’re having a blast and thought you might want to get in on the action. Maybe you’ll start your own local DIYke chapter? Let’s all get liquored up and make things!

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Vegan science ninja working on her PhD in social cognitive neuroscience at UCLA. DIYke at Autostraddle. Lacrosse coach. Trevor Project volunteer. Chemical dependence on green tea.

Liz has written 5 articles for us.


  1. I tried glass etching once years ago and kind of half assed it – these look *so good*! I think I’m going to have to try this again sometime soon!

  2. Yeah! This was one of camp highlights for me.

    Thanks for posting this – now I know what to get and where. ETCH ALL THE GLASSES.

  3. These glasses look incredible! I love glass etching because it is SO cheap if you make the stencils out of contact paper, plus you get the “YOU MADE THAT?!” reaction, which is what we all go for, right? Although now that I see how great the stencils you ordered are, it’s making me reconsider my hand-cut route. That shiz takes forever.

    • Ya with ~50 campers the pre-ordered ones were a must but some people cut their own stencils and they turned out amazing! If you’re only making 1 or 2, its much more doable/fun.

  4. If some young humans (or you) want to etch but aren’t ready for harsh chemicals, Martha Stewart has an etching effect paint that you bake on. Also offers you the ability to get brush strokes in your etch for further awesome.

    • A second change might be to swap out the whisky at the end for apple juice, if you’re doing this with children. Kittens can probably stay though.

  5. How did you know I bought my mom a casual set of martini glasses for Christmas that just arrived yesterday? This is uncanny.

  6. Liz I wanted to come make these with you at camp but it was all full up. I am happy I can attempt this now from home.

  7. Take my money now because I’d like buy this set. I understand it’s DIY but I feel like I’d some how goof it up so I’d just rather buy it pre-made.

  8. This is why I should go to A-Camp one day. I had no idea this was even a thing! *adds to holiday project list*

    • All thanks to you DeAnne! The time/energy you put into making the spelling list super practical was not wasted on me – Im sure everyone came away feeling like they learned some useful words!

  9. I didn’t etch glasses at camp because I didn’t know if I’d have room to pack anything else and because I’m the kind of person who would want a set of glasses, BUT I recently bought a set of glasses super-cheap and am planning on etching sooon.

    Also, the recipe for whiskey made me laugh out loud.

  10. Also possibly of interest for those REALLY looking to DIYke it up: you can crack off the top of glass bottles with heat to make your own glass cups. See this video (some guy doing it at home) or this one (fancy equipment and history and things).

  11. Holy crap this is amazing! How did I not know how easy this was? Just figured out what I’m getting everybody I know for any future birthday/holiday/other gift giving occasion.

  12. Glass etching is seriously the most versatile craft for gift giving. Plus it has the absolute lowest effort to effect ratio! I had no idea you could order custom stencils though – I’ve always either made my own or used stickers, but now there is a whole new world out there.

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