Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Glass Bottle Etching Take #2

A couple of months ago I did a little write up on glass etching homebrew bottles.  Back then I used a cutter from work as the cutting device.  But I did not have the proper sticker adhesive to stop the etching compound from sneaking in under the material.  So while the bottles were "etched" they didn't have the professional look I wanted.  I then talked to my buddy at Anytime Signs about using his cutter for some homebrew bottle stickers.  He was nice enough to come through with a healthy stack of my hop logo reverse cut for etching.

The process is simple, with the additional hope of having friends and family return the bottles instead of tossing them in the recycling bin.  Plus these nice 750 ml 29mm capped bottles are $$$ and just look fucking cool.

I am still on my 1st bottle I purchased off Amazon for $12.00.  It has done about 40 bottles so far. 

Sticker ready for application

Smoothing out any bumps or folds

Original white paper pealed off
Up to here it is all cosmetic, but very important.  I found my logo tended to fold at the very top on the outside of the circle.  This looks minor now but after the etching compound is put on it will travel up that fold and etch the glass in unwanted ways. 

Etching Material on the bottles

All the stickers were put on and leveled for consistency.  I was careful to double check for any bubbles and only did 3 bottles at a time.  This helps with watching for any runs or spots that needed to be touched up.  I let the material sit on the bottles for 15 mins.  (At about the 10 min mark I reapplied the material to cover any thin spots.)   Make sure you cover the area nice and thick or you will get spots that will not etch down enough. 

Finished professional bottles

Washing off the etching material needs to be done quickly with cold water.  They say wear gloves but I did not. (but you should)  I used a old sponge.  Once the bottle was clean I used a peeler to take off the rest of the blue vinyl sticker material.  Then grabbed a towel and dried them off.

Overall this a cheap thing to do if you can located a sticker shop to cut the material.  The rest of the cost is just really time related.



  1. Those do look professional.

    I have some glass etch and have been meaning to try this. I'm probably not as big of a label perfectionist as you are, being that you are in the industry. So in your opinion, for my needs is there a good cheap way to make a re-usable stencil for this method?

    1. The cheapest way would be to order plotter cut vinyl stickers online. have them not weened so that you can use some for bottles and some for normal stickers. Or hit up a local place and ask for scrap material.

      As for the industry, it is kind of a stretch. I run a shirt printing/embroidery production facility. We stay away from stickers and any vinyl cutting if at all possible. I just used our Applique cutter for college letters. I'm sure I dulled the blade.

  2. Those look very nice. You're starting to blur the line between badass and super badass. I always try and keep those bottles when you share a beer with me. Maybe one day I'll return a few to you...

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