Nothing elevates a simple piece of glassware quite like etching an intricate design into it. The entertaining and gift-giving season is upon us, so today I’ve created a piece that can be used to accent your own winter décor or would also make an elegant and expensive-looking gift. Simple glass pieces like this can be found at discount stores or even yard sales…and then you can decide if you want to tell your guests or recipient that it’s handmade!
If you are new to glass-etching, I would recommend starting with a flat surface – the bottom of plates or serving dishes, a squared-off vase, or a cylinder like this. Spherical pieces can be used, but it can be tricky for a beginner to get the vinyl to lay flat enough for a crisp image. Unless you want to etch the negative space of your design, you will need to create a stencil using your shapes. For this project, I simply measured the height and circumference of my dome using a measuring tape from my sewing kit and created a rectangle in Silhouette Studio in these dimensions. This enables you to build a perfectly-spaced scene that will be nicely aligned all the way around your dome. Here I’ve made sure that all of the village buildings were placed at “street-level” using the Align Bottom tool, while scattering a few of the trees and reindeer at other heights to give the scene a bit of dimension. I also added snow to the sky above.
After you have cut your stencil vinyl, weeded your design, and affixed your transfer tape, I found it easiest to peel back the tape backing just a bit on only one end and carefully press the vinyl onto the glass as straight as possible. Then you can just roll the piece backward while your peel the rest of the backing off from underneath. Once you have pressed all the little bits down firmly with your scraper tool, the transfer tape pulls off very easily and the hard part is over!
The great thing about a piece like this is that you can fill it with anything to match your own décor. I left mine empty in the main photo and just decorated around the base to really accentuate the etching, but in these detail shots I placed a yummy cupcake on top of a doily (cut with my Cameo) inside.
Other ideas for filling your mini cake domes – Christmas balls, glass ornaments, pine cones and greenery, candles, or even battery-operated mini lights.