"The sea, once it casts its spell,
holds one in its net of wonder forever."
- Jacques Cousteau
The window measures 32" x 58" so I had a lot of space to play with. I found some SVGs that were perfect for creating the scene I had in mind and added a quote from Jacques Cousteau. This is by far the biggest etching project I have ever done so I decided to break it down into easy, manageable segments. I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut the vinyl stencils and started with the jellyfish in the upper right of the design.
When you are using a stencil to etch glass, just remember to weed out the parts that you want to have etched. I weeded the jellyfish, leaving just the outline, and then picked it up with transfer tape and applied it to the glass. I had previously cleaned the window and wiped it down with rubbing alcohol.
The jellyfish was a little over a foot long and did not fit on my 12'x12" cutting mat. I had to piece it and then I promptly ordered a 12"x24" mat to be used later in my project! Once the entire image was in place I used the pads of my fingers to make sure there were no air bubbles and then covered the outer edges with tape to protect the rest of the window. I covered the entire stencil area with a thick layer of etchall® etching crème.
After waiting 15 minutes I scraped the etching crème back into the jar - because it is completely reusable! I used a sponge to remove any remaining etching crème - wiping and rinsing with the sponge several times - before removing the stencil. (You can see in the last image that I decided the head of the jellyfish was too plain so I added some "brains" before I etched it!)
I love how it turned out!
So basically I finished the window a section at a time. My next section was the sandy ocean floor and some aquatic plants. I just wanted to share a couple of important tips to remember if you decide to tackle a big project.
Be sure to cover any exposed area that you do not want to be etched! I put several layers of tape around the edges of each vinyl stencil and taped plastic sheeting (trashbags, old shower curtain or plastic table cloths) underneath the area where I was working to catch any drips - because there are ALWAYS drips.
Gravity! See the mess I made below? If I had not put the plastic in place that would have been my tile tub surround!
You may be wondering about the color of the etching crème I used. For the jellyfish it was almost white and for the ocean floor it was chocolate brown. I used 2 different jars of etching crème.
The etching crème will darken with age or exposure to heat from white to caramel to chocolate brown to black. The color of the product does not affect usability or performance. I chose to use the older jar to finish the window because it was thicker and easier for me to manage on a vertical surface. Also, I did not mix the old and new crème as it would have weakened the newer product. You can find a lot of information about the care and use of your etchall® etching crème on the manufacturers page by following this LINK.
As far as placement of the stencils go I was pretty flexible and would eyeball it based on my original design. After the stencil was weeded and covered with transfer tape I would hold it up against the window until I was happy with placement and then I used blue tape to mark the spot. You can see in the pics below I was not precise, but I really did not need to be for this project.
I am sharing the images below because you need to make sure you remove all of the etching crème and residue. In the first picture it looks like I had splotchy etching. Not so! The second picture is of the same area after I went back with the sponge and did a better job of completely cleaning the etched area. ( BTW - I did end up getting all the specks wiped away!)
Here are a couple of close ups for you:
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you find some time to play today! Susie
Materials for DIY Etched Glass Sea Turtle Window
etchall® etching crème
etchall® etchmask Stencil Combo Pak
ShopSVGmarket - Sea Turtle 14 Designs