DIY Kitchen Canister Glass Etching

I don’t know about you but I really like the look for glass containers in the kitchen.  You know, like those tall skinny ones for pasta or a big glass cookie jar.  I recently found some medium-sized rectangular glass canisters at The Christmas Tree shop for $4 each and decided it was finally time to add this look to our kitchen.  Since Jon and I do a lot of baking, I decided to start with 3 – flour, sugar, and confectioner’s sugar.

As much as I liked the look of the clear glass, I wanted to add some kind of decoration or embellishment to the containers so we could easily identify what each of them held.  There are SO many options I considered (chalkboard contact paper, vinyl and contact paper, glass etching, etc.) but I finally decided to go with the glass etching.  In my humble opinion, it looks elegant, timeless, and would work well with any color kitchen.

Keep in mind I’ve never done any type of glass etching before.  I was a little nervous because I read on multiple websites that etching cream is dangerous and a pain to work with.  However, besides making sure I used rubber gloves and keeping the dog away while I was working on this project, I didn’t think it was difficult at all.  In fact, I finished all 3 canisters in about 30 minutes and the majority of the time was spent placing my stencils as perfectly as I could.

Speaking of stencils… In my DIY Dry-Erase board post, I mentioned that I recently bought stencils by Martha Stewart (similar ones) at Michael’s.  Well, they worked perfectly for this project too.  I would highly recommend them because they’re reusable, washable, and self-adhesive.  The self-adhesive property was probably the most important factor for this project.  It would have been a pain to tape down each letter and then re-tape it if I had to reposition it.  (Trust me, there was a lot of repositioning!)

So besides my glass canisters and the stencils, all I needed was a pair of rubber gloves, glass etching cream, a cheap disposable paint brush, and a hard flat surface to work on.

Tip:  I used a cheap piece of poster board that I had lying around.  Another option would be to lay down some old newspaper/magazines on your table.

As a slight perfectionist, it took me a couple trys to align my stencils straight and even.  Once I was satisfied with how they looked, I brushed on a thick coat of the etching cream and let it sit for about 2 minutes.

After the time was up, I rinsed the cream off with warm water (with my gloves still on) and then dried the canister with paper towels.

Once all three of my canisters had been etched, I took them to the kitchen to fill ‘em up!  Seriously, such a quick and easy project!  I know etching cream is fairly expensive (my small bottle was $12) but Michael’s always has 40% off coupons and I have LOTS leftover for future projects.

I know the etching is kind of hard to see in my pictures but they’re much clearer in person.  Sorry about my lack of photography skills!  I love how this little project turned out so I’m thinking about picking up a couple more in different sizes for coffee, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda.  Obsessed?  Maybe a little. ;)

DIY Kitchen Canister Glass Etching

Inspired by Create and Delegate
Linked up with Leslie’s Twirl & Take a Bow Party

You Will Need

  • glass canisters
  • self-adhesive stencils
  • rubber gloves
  • disposable paint brush
  • Armour Etch Glass Etching Cream

What to Do

  1. Cover your work surface with a drop cloth or newspapers/magazines and keep all children and pets away from your work space.
  2. Stick your stencils to the glass surface to spell whatever words you choose.
  3. Put on the rubber gloves and brush on a thick coat of the etching cream.
  4. Let it sit for 2 minutes (or however long your package says).
  5. Rinse off with warm water and pat dry with paper towels.
  6. That’s it! Fill your canister and admire the elegance!

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This project was featured on Leslie’s Twirl & Take a Bow Party #16!

55 thoughts on “DIY Kitchen Canister Glass Etching

    • Yay, so excited to hear that! Honestly, I couldn’t believe that it was so quick and easy either. Let me know how yours turn out. I’d love to see pictures. :)

  1. Those are ADORABLE!!! I want them in my kitchen right now!! I really should get some canisters for all the sugar/flour/etc. that I use, but I just keep them in the bags! Ugh. Those are so cute. This is really making me debate about re-doing my kitchen!

    • Yay, I love hearing when people are inspired! You should totally go for it.

      Jon and I had always kept our baking supplies in the bags too but with as much cooking/baking as we do, I figured they needed to be more easily accessible. I’m willing to bet you’re in the same boat haha. Plus the wide-mouth containers are perfect for using measuring cups too!

    • Thanks, Casey. I agree – I’ve seen all kinds of these pins around and each one is a little different but I definitely think this method is the easiest. Let me know if you give it a go!

    • Haha, I know what you mean. I had never used this stuff before either so I wasn’t sure how to go about it. I found it at Michael’s for $12 and that’s for the smallest bottle (make sure to go with a 40% off coupon!). If you have a smart phone, download the Key Ring app – I pretty much just use that app for Michael’s coupons.

      As for what it is… I’m not entirely sure. I’ve read that it works like an acid and “burns” the glass and that’s how it leaves the etched look. Make sure to keep children and pets away while you’re working!

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    • Awww, thanks Judy. I’m really happy with how they turned out! Such a great suggestion to etch some glass containers and fill them with holiday goodies – two presents in one!

  3. Wow, I had no idea you could do glass etching that way! I’ve wanted to do some etching on my glass baking pans, so that when I take them to potlucks, people know who to return it to :) What a great project, nice job Leah!!

    • Thanks, Maura! This project is 1,000 times easier than I expected it to be. That’s a great idea to etch your glass dishes for parties – Let me know if you end up doing it!

    • Thanks, Joan! Sorry to hear about your old canisters – I think a lot of craft type stores (The Christmas Tree Shop, Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, etc) sell them pretty cheaply if you’re in the market for new ones. Can’t wait to see if you etch them! :)

    • Thanks, Chelsey! As I’m sure you recently encountered when creating your chalk paint labels, there are so many options to decorating canisters! It was hard for me to finally pick one!

  4. Hi Leah, I think we are in sync! :-) I just did something similar with mine, I bought some nice stickers to write with chalk and I love it, I just bought white mat paint (for glass) and have been wanting to paint them since last Sunday but never had a chance! if I do, I might post it (If I like the result) :-) I love yours, they look really nice! :-) BTW, me too I’m a bit obsessed with these in my kitchen (I got 10 of them) :-)

    • Haha, thanks Julia but I owe it all to Pinterest. Seriously, some of the things people create amazes me! I never realized glass etching was this easy either but I’m glad it is. I can’t wait to do some more projects like this one!

  5. It looks professional. I like how it is subtle. You are well organized in the kitchen. That is one thing to do on my kitchen organize to do list before the end of the year :)

    • Awww, thank you Irene – that was so kind of you to say! Trust me, I’m not as organized in the kitchen as I would like! There are plenty more projects I look forward to completing to get there though. :)

      Good luck with your kitchen to-do list. At least there are always New Year’s resolutions too. ;)

    • Hi Laurie! Thank you for checking out my post. I’m so glad you found some inspiration. :) I hope to see pictures of your finished flower vases (great idea!).

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  8. This is such a wonderful idea! I was just at hobby lobby and saw some beautiful jars that, after reading your post, I noticed would be perfect to etch! I’ve always loved keeping dry staples in decorative jars on the counter in the kitchen;not only do they provide beautiful decorations, but they also free up a bunch of space in the cupboards. So, I’m really excited to try these out. I know I’ll start off with the basic etchings of flour and sugar, but I might also try ones with pictures of flowers for a more creative touch or maybe even try to etch a glass pitcher. The possibilities are endless. Thanks for posting and keep up the great ideas! I just followed your blog in anticipation!

    • Thank you! You’re right – The possibilities really are endless! I love your idea of adding flowers. I think it’d be fun to etch a set of glasses or to etch a frame (maybe with initials or a date?). I can’t wait to see what you come up with when you create yours. :)

  9. Love, love LOVE!! I just bought a glass etching kit from a yard sale and have been wanting to use it. Just last night, I was thinking that my “flour sack in the big ‘ol Ziploc bag” might be something I wanted to stop using. Now I know what to do! You are just full of great ideas!! You wouldn’t know how to make Dol Towers would you? :)

    • Thank you so much! I’m really glad we’ve stumbled across one another’s blogs. :) Glass etching is seriously one of my favorite easy DIY crafts even though I haven’t done much of it. Haha, before I started using these canisters, I just kept my ingredients in the bags they came in but now I have an excuse to show them off!

      As for Dol Towers, I have no idea what those are so I can’t say I know how to make them haha.

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