I honestly can’t believe that a month has gone by since my last Silhouette Challenge Group project, but the calendar claims that it is, and so I have another fun DIY that you can make with your Silhouette! This month’s theme? Gifts! The bonus theme is etched glass. If you’re curious about what I created, read on!
This month I was seriously lacking inspiration. Really, it was bad. I started a project, only to throw my hands up in frustration. I tried to write a list of things I could do, only to stare at a blank page for minutes on minutes. I tried looking at the projects of others hoping to gleam from them, but to no avail! I was right on the verge of deciding to skip the challenge this month when I decided to travel to Michael’s and hoped I’d find a project amongst all the crafty supplies. LUCKILY, after a few more discarded ideas, I found the inspiration I was looking for!
It’s almost impossible to go into home decor or craft stores without seeing terrariums. Really, try to find one! Urban Outfitters, Target, Michaels, and Anthropologie, (and the list goes on and on) all sell faux terrariums. Even Lowe‘s sells several live-terrariums! I’m not a gardener…I have one plant (an orchid) that I keep mostly alive. Every time my mom comes over she comments on the orchid–I’ve told her to get one too, but with some plants she seems to have a black thumb.
Enter the terrarium. I’ve always loved the look of terrariums, but after seeing a thousand faux ones in Michael’s, I decided to do some research on them. It turns out that succulents are extremely resilient and it’s pretty difficult to kill them. They need a very small amount of water occasionally…some sunlight…and that’s about it!
Since Mother’s Day was coming up I figured this was the perfect gift for my mom. She can put it in her office as some adorable desk decor, and not have to worry about caring for it constantly.
I was intrigued by the bonus challenge (etched glass)…I’ve always thought it looked beautiful, but complicated and difficult to do. I couldn’t have been more wrong! This is such a simple project that took about 40 minutes total (including time for the Silhouette to do its cutting!)
Here’s my finished project:
And here’s what you need to make a terrarium of your own!:
- Glass Container
- Sponge Brush
- Etching Cream
- Transparent Contact Paper
- Silhouette Cutting Machine
- Potting Soil
- Gardening Glove
- Succulents & Cacti
I bought fast-draining potting soil specifically for cacti and succulents. You could also use vinyl instead of contact paper, but I like to save my vinyl for other projects!
To start, I I went to the Silhouette design store and went to look for the perfect design. I originally picked this beautiful design, but trying to lay that image flat over a rounded bowl didn’t work out perfectly for me. Maybe a more experienced etcher could have pulled that off, but I was too nervous attempting it my first time. Instead, I wanted something a bit simpler but still pretty. I settled on this:
Once I had my design cut out onto contact paper, now came the hardest part of this whole process: attaching it to my bowl. Trying to perfectly lay a flat object to a rounded one is…almost impossible. The only way this work at all is because I cut little lines into the contact paper which you can see here:
For the most part, this worked out pretty well, but the fact that the contact paper isn’t that sticky didn’t help at all (for rounded surfaces maybe vinyl would work much better!). With glass etching, you need to make sure that your stencil is completely flat to your glass with no bubbles around the cut out part of the stencil. The glass etching cream is basically acid and if even a little bit touches the glass, it will be permanently etched. Another thing I should have paid closer attention to was the lines I had cut into the contact paper–though I was fortunate and none of the cream got through the lines, it very well could have and would have ruined this project.
I took my foam brush and liberally applied the etching cream on top of the stencil. TAKE CARE THAT THE ETCHING CREAM DOESN’T GET ANYWHERE ON THE GLASS BESIDES THE STENCIL. Yes, that deserves all caps. Trust me on this.
After 30 minutes, I rinsed all the cream off of in cold water. At first, I was pretty disheartened because it didn’t appear that it had worked…but after I dried off the bowl it looked great! **Edit: apparently it doesn’t require 30 minutes to etch…but I was nervous, so I left it on for a long, long time!
Next, the actual terrarium part. Like I said earlier, I am in no way a gardener, but I did a little bit of a research and here are the steps to create your own:
- Place rocks or stones in the bottom of your container.
- Add some activated charcoal (this is especially important if you’re having an enclosed container.
- Top stones and charcoal with a few inches of potting soil.
- Add plants, making sure to pat them down securely in the soil.
Clean up your huge mess
- Voila! You’re all done!
(For those of you who are using succulents, here is a great post on how to properly re-pot them!)
I used my PixScan mat to make a cute little potted card and cut out some vinyl for the watering bottle (to remind my mom to water the plants occasionally, at least) and called it a day!
If you’re feeling inspired to create your own terrarium, check out these pictures of my final product (and also the pinterest board, above, I made of some other beautiful ones!).
Love this? Pin it!
If you want to check out some other gift ideas (and a few other glass etching projects) click below! You won’t be disappointed!
Want to Check Out More Silhouette Projects?
My Silhouette Challenge buddies and I are all sharing projects on our blogs today, so peruse the projects below for a wealth of Silhouette inspiration!
1. Weekend Craft // 2. Where The Smiles Have Been // 3. Confessions of an Overworked Mom // 4. Simply Kelly Designs // 5. Adventures in All Things Food // 6. Sisters, What! // 7. Create & Babble // 8. Creative Ramblings // 9. Practically Functional // 10. Briick by Briick // 11. My Paper Craze // 12. DIYJustCuz // 13. Made in a Day // 14. The Thinking Closet // 15. Architecture of a Mom // 16. Get Silvered