Hey everyone! I was recently given the honor of being a bridesmaid in one of my best friend’s wedding. Although they were engaged for about a year, when the wedding date finally arrived I was shocked and unprepared at how quickly it had come. The week before the wedding was filled with the typical wedding party responsibilities and spending time with the couple, who were moving out of state the day after the wedding. The night before the wedding, I realized that in all the commotion I hadn’t gotten them a wedding present! I rushed off to Bed Bath & Beyond and quickly chose a pretty photo frame. Even though I liked the frame, I was disappointed that I hadn’t chosen a more personal gift for my friend. I decided to use the frame and create a personalized wedding gift–and the best part is that it only took about 15 minutes to do!
DIY Personalized Wedding Gift Frame
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- A bridal frame, or any frame, so long as the pane is actual glass
- Armor Etch (etching cream)
- Contact Paper
- Silhouette Cameo
- Silhouette hook
- An old credit card or scraper tool
- Foam brush
I bought a frame for my friends in hope that they would display one of their beautiful wedding photos in it, so I wanted to keep the design simple. I didn’t want to distract people from the lovely couple! I opened up the silhouette studio and in the font Berrylicious I typed up their last name.
Once I had measured out my frame and sized their name to fit accordingly, I cut it out on contact paper. I made sure to place the design in the middle of my contact paper sheet, to allow for a thick border around it. This is important, and I’ll mention why in a bit!
Any contact paper will do, but I got mine at the dollar store. When I buy it at the dollar store, I don’t get upset if I mess anything up, so it’s perfect!
Once the name was cut out I began to weed the contact paper using the hook tool. Weeding is the process of removing the excess contact paper (or vinyl) from your design. Since I was going to use the contact paper as a stencil, I removed the lettering of the name. I made sure to keep the little pieces (such as the loops in the h, bs, etc) where they were. Once it was weeded, I placed clear contact paper over my cut out design.
I was using clear contact paper as transfer tape so that I didn’t have to transfer each of those little pieces I saved one by one onto my frame. I removed the backing from the contact paper and placed the contact paper and transfer type onto the glass of the frame. I didn’t want any of the armor etch to get on the actual frame, so I removed the glass first, but I made sure to make sure the design was centered, and that it wouldn’t be covered up once it was in the frame. I used the scraper tool to rub the contact paper onto the glass to remove any bubbles and to ensure that the contact paper was completely adhered. When the contact paper is firmly on the glass pane, I removed the clear “transfer tape” slowly and carefully. Also, take care when handling the glass pane–I didn’t and cut my thumb up quite a bit. Ouch!
Etching the Frame
Now comes my favorite part–the fun part–etching! Before I had done my first etching project I was extremely intimidated by the thought of etching glass. I am glad that I decided to try it out anyway though, because it is one of the simplest ways to transform simple glass items into beautiful, personalized works of art!
Before I got started I made sure–yet again–that the contact paper had no bubbles in it and that it wasn’t lifting up at all. Using a foam brush, I dabbed the etching cream onto the glass. I didn’t use a ton of the cream, but I applied it evenly and made sure that the entire name was covered. As I mentioned before, I left a thick border of contact paper around the design. When etching cream touches glass, it etches instantly, so I am always careful to dab carefully, so that it doesn’t splatter. The border of contact paper makes it even less likely that I’ll splatter and etch where I wasn’t intending.
It doesn’t take long for the etching cream to do its job…I leave it on for about 5 minutes just to make sure that it’s finished. As you may have noticed, etching cream is definitely not cheap! My 22 ounce jar it was about $25. I highly recommend buying it online or in a craft store that accepts coupons. Another great tip is that you can actually reuse your etching cream! I use an old credit card to scrape up the excess cream and put it back in the bottle!
After I’ve replaced the cream into its container I rinse it off in the sink. Don’t do this in a ceramic sink because it will etch it. Unless that’s what you want…
I’ve mentioned this before, but every. single. time. I rinse the cream off I am sure that it didn’t work but that never is actually the case! Once the glass is dry you should be able to see your beautiful design, clearly etched.
Please ignore those fingerprint smudges, haha! Once the etching cream is washed off, the design will never come off of the glass. You can wash it, or in my case, Windex the fingerprints away and replace it into the frame.
The Final Personalized Wedding Gift
I can’t wait to see some of their stunning photos in this frame!
What are some DIY wedding gifts you’ve made? Let me know in the comments!
Want more glass projects? Check these out!