Spoiler Alert: for all my family and friends who may be reading this post--this technique may just be my new favorite thing to do for gift-giving festivities. If you don't want a gift with your name on it (literally), you better just say so now! ;)
My sister-in-law is getting married in a couple of weeks, and I recently went to her bridal shower. I wasn't exactly sure what to get her for the shower. You know the debate--do you buy straight off the registry, or do you try to personalize? Well, after wandering around Sears for nearly an hour contemplating the allure of cookie sheets versus spatula sets versus candle fragrances, I got an idea of how to win on both sides of the debate--buy off the registry AND personalize.
My sister-in-law (oh, and her soon-to-be husband, too) had sets of Pyrex glass storage containers on their registry, and I suddenly remembered this little gadget that my brother had gotten for me for Christmas, and I had still not given it a proper wearing-in. I (oh, and Casey, too) actually had this on our own wedding registry through Target (although they don't currently have it available now), and my brother somehow (how??) realized this was probably more for myself than Casey. He got it for me for Christmas when it was left on the registry after the wedding.
So, Casey and I picked up the Pyrex dishware along with a couple kitchen-y odds and ends, and headed home for the personalizing process to begin. I always thought it was kind of fun receiving gifts at my showers or for the wedding that included what would soon be my new name. It was a really nice reminder (and still is!) that Casey and I were coming together and starting a life together as one family. In fact, Casey's sister was one of the individuals who gave us a gift incorporating the Gries (my married) name. Because of this, I felt like Casey's sister would really enjoy having a gift that included her soon-to-be married name incorporated in the gift as well.
I have to tell you though, I was PRETTY nervous opening up the Pyrex box, and wielding an etching tool on them, but I had faith (and an extra couple days to go out and find a different gift if this was an utter failure). To practice, I used one of my own glass containers and etched my last name. I then worked on the shower gift ones, which was a set of 5. In the end, I really liked how the engraved glassware turned out, and I think everyone at the shower, including Casey's sister, enjoyed the final product as well.
So, at long last, here is how I did it, using one of my own glassware containers:
1. Inscriblio engraving tool (about $15-$25 depending on where you look w/ or w/o S&H)
2. Glass storage container (or whatever else you might want to engrave--you can engrave glass, plastic, wood, stone, etc.)
3. Sharpie marker
4. Isopropyl alcohol
5. Cotton pad, napkin, or tissue
And that's it, folks! Oh, AND a steady hand!
To start, I first used the sharpie to write out what I was going to etch onto the glass container, to serve as an etching guide. If you don't like the way it looks the first time you write it out, simply apply some of the isopropyl alcohol to the cotton pad, wipe away the Sharpie, and start over. I did this many times when I was making my sister-in-law's etchings, trust me!
|Draw/write out your design with Sharpie first, to use as a guide when you are etching. You can remove the ink with isopropyl alcohol if make a mistake.|
Next, let the etching begin. I started at the first letter and just etched all the way through, but of course you can start wherever you want. Use a firm hand or the etcher can shake and get away from you. This part takes a lot of concentration, so go slow and steady, and you will be fine. The dust from the glass will settle on the surface, so feel free to stop and wipe the design to make sure you can follow your Sharpie guide.
|When etching the design, go very slow and steady. This is not a race!|
|Finished with the overall design!|
|Wipe away the remaining Sharpie ink and check the design for anywhere needing a final touch.|
Until next time!