Etched Glass Tutorial: DIY Plaid Planter

Are you ready for spring? Check out this ADORABLE planter! A little glass etching adds so much character to a cheap dollar store planter! This etched glass tutorial {with awesome tips!} will have you etching every piece of glass in sight!
etched glass tutorial

Etched Glass Tutorial

Have you ever done glass etching? This is only my second time to try it. I learned some tips along the way that might help you achieve perfectly etched glass the first time you try it! It’s not very difficult to do and I love the classy result. Let’s get started!

how to etch glass


  • Glass container
  • Etching cream
  • Painter’s tape
  • Paint brush
  • Scissors (optional)

etched glass craft

Step 1: Tape off your first set of stripes. I chose to start with vertical. I cut several strips of painter’s tape in half and used a couple of full-size strips as well. I just eye-balled where I would like my stripes.

Tip: Tape of the top of your glass so you will have a clean line where the vertical stripes end.

etched glass

Step 2: Apply a liberal amount of etching cream to the exposed glass.

Tip: When I say ‘liberal amount of etching cream’ – I mean it! :) I recommend using a thicker coat than pictured in this step.

Step 3: Let the cream sit for longer than the suggested five minutes. I probably let it sit for 30. Then wash it off.

Tip: While you are rinsing the cream, it will look like nothing is there. Don’t freak out! It will show up when dry.

etched glass tutorial

Step 4: Repeat this process with horizontal stripes.

plaid etched glass

And you are done! You can see my mistakes in this photo. My vertical stripes did not turn out that great because I didn’t apply enough cream. Lesson learned! I still love the look, though.

spring craft

I got this vase at the dollar store but I think it makes a perfect mini cactus planter, don’t you?

garden craft

Do you have any glass etching project ideas? Hope you enjoyed this etched glass tutorial!

Thanks for stopping by today!


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  1. 1
    Jennifer Park

    Use rubbing alcohol to clean your surface before etching to get a solid etch. I’ve had some disappointing turnouts until I learned this tip. Never use glass cleaner, like Windex, it can leave residue that will give you an inconsistant result.

    1. 1.1

      Ooo, good tip! I just clean my glass with a towel. I will try rubbing alcohol next time.

  2. 2

    The etched glass is cute, but your cactus will die. It needs a sandy soil and extremely good drainage to live. A closed bottom glass container is the worst thing you could put any plant in. If your glass had a large hole drilled in the bottom, the cactus might have a chance of survival.

  3. 4
    Jennifer C

    Did the etching cream say to dilute it? I almost bought some, but it said to dilute it, but gave no instructions by how much! That is not helpful! So, did you use the etching cream full strength?

    1. 4.1

      Jennifer, I used the etching cream full strength. Not only full strength but heavy application! To the best of my memory, my bottle did not say anything about diluting.

      1. Jennifer C

        ok, thanks! I guess I’ll go ahead and use it full strength – can’t hurt!

  4. 5
    Christine S.

    Haha…I’m laughing this morning because I opened my email inbox to this post from you and last night for my monthly Craft Night we did some etching on glass vases! I’ve done it before, but the others had not and definately enjoyed themselves. I usually use contact paper and either my cricut or a punch to cut the design out of the contact paper before adhering it to my piece of glass. Caterpillars and butterflies abound last night!

    1. 5.1

      That sounds so cute, Christine! In the past I have also used my Cricut and vinyl to create a design – it works so well.

  5. 6

    Thank you very much for the tutorial. I’ve been wanting to do this and you made it look so easy!

  6. 7
    Sarah Mullin

    I didn’t know there was an etching cream!! I’m so excited to try it.

    1. 7.1

      Good luck, Sarah! I bet you’ll make something awesome. We’d love to see your finished product on our Facebook page!