How To Make An Etched Glass Tile Sign

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After seeing a fun project from Jennifer Maker that was about taking glass subway tile and adding some vinyl to make really pretty signs, I decided to combine that with my love of glass etching. I was thrilled with the result and shared it with all of my fellow Cricuters only to find that everyone loved it and had to know how I did it. So here we are at this post! I am going to show you how to make an etched glass tile sign, they are the perfect gift for a special someone or mom! 

Complete etched glass tile sign

These are so easy to make. Let’s get started.

Supplies For The Etched Glass Tile Sign

First you need to gather your supplies. 

  1. Glass subway tile 
  2. Amor Etch etching cream
  3. Removable Vinyl for the stencil
  4. Permanent vinyl for the names
  5. A cute little stand

Glass Subway Tile

You will need a glass subway tile for these etched glass tile signs. I use this one from Home Depot but you can use any glass subway tile, just note the size. The etching is whitish so I would recommend a tile that has a little color like the one here, this one is slightly gray. The one here is a 4×12 another common size is 3×9. There isn’t a right or wrong size, just depends what you like. 

Etching Cream

Etching cream is very easy to use, but it is a chemical. Armour Etch is the one I use and I have been happy with the results. I just have the tiny bottle and I have done tons of projects and still have tons left, a little goes a long way, and you can reuse it if you can get it back in the bottle. I recommend protective eyewear and gloves when using it as it can burn your skin!

Armour Etch

Removable Vinyl

You have some options with the removable vinyl. They do make vinyl just for stencils, you can get that here. I personally just use removable vinyl I get on clearance, it usually has a pattern I don’t care for but it’s cheap and doesn’t matter when you are using it as a stencil.

Permanent Vinyl

This vinyl matters since it will be the main part of the sign. You can choose whatever color you like, I used this teal green color since it matched my decor use what you have or like.

A Cute Little Stand For Your Etched Glass Tile Sign

Ok, so the stand is optional but how else would you display it?? You can search for “4 inch plate stand” and choose any you like but these are the ones I used. They are a great price and they are sturdy.

cut little stands for the etched glass tile sign

Making Your Design

This part is probably the hardest part. This can be done in Design Space but the cursive font has special characters that can be a pain to use. I make my graphics in Adobe Illustrator, so I am not as much help with other programs but I can try. To make this etched glass subway tile sign you will need two fonts. The background font is a heavy bold font and the front can be whatever you want but cursive fonts complement that background the best. The most popular are the fonts that have hearts between the words. I Love Glitter is one of the most popular.

The background of the Etched Glass Tile Sign

The background font I chose here is called Boucherie Block, it is a paid font. As I said you can use any bold, heavy font if you do not want to buy one.

In Design Space choose the font and write the word you want to use. Then you will make sure the little lock is not locked on the size and you will enter the size you want the text to be. Unlocking it will all you to warp the size and stretch it to fit the tile. You do not have to stretch it if your font looks weird you are welcome to leave space on the sides. I prefer it to fill the tile. I subtract a half-inch from the total size, so with this tile, I make my text 11.5 by 3.5 inches since my tile is 12 inches by 4 inches. You may also want to adjust your letter spacing since Design Space likes to add a bunch of extra space.

setting up the background of the etched glass tile sign

The Foreground of the Etched Glass Tile Sign

This one I used is called Lovely Melody. It is available on Dafont for free but note that this is for personal use, if you have any intent on selling your finished products then you should click through and pay for a commercial license. Whichever font you choose there will be instructions on how to use the special characters. When I got this font the swatches and hearts were made with underscores so I write “__name___name__”. It’s two then the name three then the name then two. Now it uses ~ and * to make them. It is important to note how this is done. The hardest part here is how to get these fonts to play nice with Design Space. You will want to write it out in a different program like Illustrator or Inkspace and bring it in as an image.

prepping the design of the etched glass tile sign

I am sorry I can’t be much help after that when it comes using these fonts. I did find this on Youtube, it could be of some help.

Cutting the Design

Depending on how you bring in the cursive font you will want to weld it to make sure it cuts as one whole piece. Then make sure it is the right length, I made mine the same 11.5 as the others but this time I made sure the lock was locked on the size since I didn’t want it to warp. Once you are ready click “make it”

The layout of the design ready to cut on the Cricut
This is my mat after hitting “make it” and moving the names graphic down a little.

Cut your stencil vinyl to 12 inches by 4 inches. Then cut the permanent vinyl to 12 inches by whatever the height of your name is rounded up. Mine was 2.3 tall so I just did 3 inches. You can do these as different mats by changing the color of one of them I don’t do this I just place the vinyl next to each other and move the design to the right places on the mat. Meaning I make sure the background is in the first 4 boxes on the mat then the front between the 5th and 8th box on the mat.

Vinyl on the mat ready to cut on the Cricut

Load you mat and get cutting!

Weed Your Design

While weeding your design for this etched glass tile sign, remember the stencil you will weed the opposite way you are used to. You will remove the letters and leave the outer parts. Then weed the foreground design as usual.

weeding the vinyl

Time to Etch the Glass

First place your stencil, carefully line it up and make sure there is no bubbles and the edges are laid down really well so it makes a seal. I like to let mine sit for about 30 min before it etch it, it seems to give the vinyl a minute to stick well to the glass.

laying the stencil

Now to dawn your goggles and gloves and grab a paint brush (or a sponge brush if you prefer, I use a paintbrush). Brush on the cream in a generous layer, it doesn’t have to be thick but you want it to be really covered. Wait a few min and brush on a little more. This first time I brush one way and then I brush the other direction the second time. Make sure there isn’t any spots that are too thin and let it sit. I usually let it sit for at least 15 minutes, but I have left it from as much as 30 minutes. It can’t hurt to let it sit a little longer.

etching the tile

Once it is ready to take it off you want to rinse it really well. I use my hose on the high pressure setting. Make sure to rinse it good. I like to wash mine with soap and water and then dry it good.

Adding the Names

You’re almost done! Use your transfer tape (I use painters tape but use whatever you want) and then line it up in the middle of your tile, burnish and remove the transfer tape.

adding names to the etched glass tile sign

You are all done with your etched glass tile sign! Place it on its stand and put it on the display!

completed etched glass tile sign

Video Instructions for How to Make an Etched Glass Subway Tile Sign