Although school’s out for the summer, here’s one final equation and it leads to a fun DIY project: Glass Etching Cream + Wallternative Pattern Pack Minis = Etched Glass Bottles. Yes, it really does all add up. And, with Fourth of July just around the corner, this DIY might just be the one thing you’d need to complete the look of your celebrations!
Although ‘Wallternatives’ has the word “wall” in it, it can be used on various surfaces! Decorating lemonade bottles with fun shapes is one of them. Since I was in a patriotic mood, I decided to go with the Stars.
Supplies to make this project:
- Wallternatives Stars Vinyl Pattern Pack Minis
- Etchall Etching Creme
- Glass bottles – I used Starbucks Frappuccino bottles
- Goo Gone Sticker Lifter
- Dishwashing soap like Dawn
- Glass cleaner spray
- Paper towel
- Striped straws
Optional Supplies for tray liner:
- Scrapbook paper
- Left over Wallternatives Stars Vinyl Pattern Pack Minis
Step 1: Remove labels from the bottles
I found that Goo Gone Sticker Lifter worked effectively for removing the label off your recycled bottles. Just put some of the Sticker Lifter liquid on the labels and let the bottle sit for a few minutes. I recommend you do this over a sink because the liquid is really runny. Use the plastic lifting tool to scrape up an edge of the label. Keep pushing the tool under the label – it will peel away from the glass. After the label is removed, you might need to apply a little more Sticker Lifter to clean the remaining glue off the glass. Then, wash the glass with a grease-cutting dishwashing soap like Dawn. This will clean all the residue off the bottles. With the Frappuccino bottles that I used, it took me a total of only 10 minutes from the start to finish with finally dried bottles. Of course, you can always use new glasses without any labels on them to avoid the hassle.
Step 2: Put Wallternatives minis on the bottles
Vinyl decals by Wallternatives are perfect for glass etching because 1. they‘re vinyl so they’ll work okay with the etching cream, and 2. the shapes adhere super tight to the glass so etching cream cannot go under the edges.
I used the Wallternatives stars vinyl minis for a Fourth of July party theme, but they’re also available in dots, triangles and hearts. I used white to bring the “white” to “red, white and blue.” But the mini shapes are available in 20 colors so you can do so much more with these shapes. The pattern packs come in quantities of 70-75 depending on the shape. So unless you’re etching a lot of bottles you will have several vinyl minis left over to play with later. As for the etching, the color of the vinyl decal won’t matter, so choose a color that you’d want to use for multiple projects.
Make sure all the edges of your sticker completely adhere to the bottle with no edges sticking up anywhere. You can press the edges down with your fingers, or use a wood popsicle stick.
I used the spare peripheral border edges from the Wallternatives vinyl to create straight border lines on the glass bottles.
Step 3: Frost the glass bottles with etching cream
For this step, here are a few tips from the product’s directions:
- Before etching, clean off fingerprints with glass cleaner sprayed on a paper towel and dabbed gently on the glass.
Put a heavy coat of the etching cream on the glass.
You should cover the entire area you want to etch – including over the vinyl shapes – with enough cream that you cannot see the vinyl shapes.
- Let the etching cream sit on the glass for 5 minutes.
- Clean off the etching cream in a stainless steel sink, a utility sink or a plastic bucket. Be ware that Porcelain or enamel sinks can lose their shine during repeated exposure to the etching cream.
The etching cream was very easy to use and gave desirable results for an evenly frosted glass. It’s the kind of project that you’d think would take longer than it actually does! Washing the cream off and watching the glass dry and reveal the frost was a rewarding experience in itself. As the etching cream directions warn, don’t worry if you don’t see much frost effect while the glass is still wet. The frosting shows up better when the glass is dry.
I’d say the small bottle of etching cream that comes with the starter etching kit would be enough for three Frappuccino bottles even if you are etching most of the surface of the bottles, as I did. If you etch on less area of the bottle, the etching cream bottle will go further. There are larger bottles of etching cream available for bigger projects. Also, I’d recommend using a larger brush for larger projects.
Optional Step 4: Put the Wallternatives minis on other things
This little lemonade bottle scene was missing the “blue” of “red, white and blue.” Scrapbook paper to the rescue! I flipped through my stack of scrapbook papers and found a dusty blue paper with a pattern that looks like all-American bandanas. I cut the paper into a circle to fit inside the circular serving tray, then put some Wallternatives mini stars on the scrapbook paper. So easy, so fun!
This simple step is a great way to change up the look of any tray, and make it fit a party theme. You don’t have to permanently glue the paper. Just set it on the tray. That way you can easily switch the look.
Step 5: Serve your lemonade
Now it’s time to enjoy your lemonade! Pop in some striped straws – I found them in the party section at Hobby Lobby – to get the Stars and Stripes. For this Fourth of July look, I even had some dried Allium flowers sitting nearby which look like fireworks exploding.