Crafting: Etching Mason Jars

After about a month of collecting all necessary supplies, prepping the perfect monogram and big talk, I finally sat down to etch 12 handled mason jars. I intend for these to be every day use glasses and to replace the many many many beer pint glasses that RP has collected over the years. Don’t worry, his glasses won’t be tossed, they’ll be carefully packed and put in the attic. They will sit beside at least six other boxes of beer glasses that will eventually have a home in RP’s man room. Lucky for me, having enough space for a man room is a LONG way off.

Anyway, back to the process.

Prior to doing any work, I did my research to find a recommended technique. HGTV ended up to be the source I relied on the most. I followed Norm Dobbin’s technique almost exactly, ignoring his safety precautions – because I live on the edge.

After seeking Maggie’s advice, I decided that I’d place the monogram on the jars so that it would be facing a right-handed person as they drink.

I covered the jars with white contact paper.


Then I set to work on placing the monogram on the jar. I first tried to measure the jars to center the monogram.


I actually had better luck just eye-balling the placement and after asking RP’s advice, I ended up using a level to make sure that the bottom of the P was straight. I used scotch tape to secure the paper monogram printouts to the contact paper.

IMG_3485 IMG_3486

I used an exacto-knife to cut through the paper and contact paper. RP tried using a box cutter to help, but the exacto-knife had a finer point and was likely sharper. My lines were much cleaner, so I let him head back to the couch to watch the Nats battle the White Sox (for 14 LONG innings).


About half way through, I had to take a float break. RP and I had picked up a mixed six-pack of Sprecher sodas from a recent trip to the Dairy Godmother for this purpose. Tonight’s flavor was cherry cola and it was delicious!


Finally, all of the monograms were cut. I took the paper off, leaving just the cut out contact paper.


Per the instructions on the Armour Etch, I cleaned the monograms with glass cleaner.


This is where I made some mistakes. I used a foam brush to apply the Armour Etch to the monogram. I followed the directions on the bottle for application but followed the HGTV instructions for timing.


I walked away for the 15 minutes and came back to find the etching cream running down the side of my jars. Cue swearing! Not only had it escaped the contact paper edge, it ran all the way down to my table. Everyone please remind me to put paper down before beginning crafts. Luckily, I was able to clean up the table (no damage) and the little extra etching doesn’t bother me at all. One of the many benefits of not being a craft perfectionist. Things are perfect in their imperfection, right? Well, at least my mason jars are.

I rinsed the etching cream off with tap water and then peeled off the contact paper. I think they turned out great!

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They are exactly what I wanted to go with my new dishes! I can’t wait to set a table with them!

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From start to finish, I would say that it took me about 3 hours. Luckily the Nats played the longest game ever, so I was able to watch baseball even away from the park (ugh!). I have six 1/2 gallon mason jars that I am going to use for pantry staples like flour, sugar, coffee, etc. I think I’ll etch them as well. I’ll let you know how they turn out. This was a quick, easy and inexpensive way to dress up some mason jars. I love them.

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About senseandnonsenseblog

A Midwestern girl living the East Coast life with a little help from her friends!
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27 Responses to Crafting: Etching Mason Jars

  1. This is genius! I absolutely love it! And my last name starts with P!:)


  2. Kristen, they are so easy to make and P is a great last initial! Will you be keeping it or taking the Spaniards?


    • I am keeping my name! I have always wanted to keep my name… which of course in America and in past relationships has been quite the topic of discussion:) But in Spain the woman NEVER changes her name! No discussions needed on this side of the pond!:) And the children (one day) will take both. This was surprisingly one of our easiest cross-cultural compromises.


  3. Maggie says:

    LOVE the Mason jars – I definitely need to spend some time crafting in my early retirement!


  4. Pam Pearson says:

    Wow, DIL, I am mightily impressed! The monogrammed glasses are awesome!!


  5. Kristen says:

    Wow, that’s amazing! What an awesome project and gift!


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  7. Angelica says:

    Hi! I was wondering what type of font did you use to put on the mason jars?


    • Angelica – what a great question! I used Palatino Linotype. I sized it up to 175 and put a circle around it. Piece of cake! I do remember that my first print outs were too big, so be sure to measure or you’ll just frustrate yourself and have to reprint.


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  9. Lisa says:

    Would you not be able to use a stencil of some sort and affix it to the mason jar via tape? Just an idea to keep from having to cut out printed off the computer stuff attached to contact paper. However I do not know the consistency of the etching and a crisp line is a must.


  10. I absolutely love these and am trying to recreate them for my friend’s bachelorette party at a lakehouse this weekend…But my etching doesn’t come out white like yours…more just like frosty and it’s not that easy to see. Any suggestions?!


    • Molly,
      Mine just photographed white. They are definitely frosty. If you’re looking for them to be more defined – maybe leave the etching solution on for a little longer than the recommended 15 minutes. That might give you the look you’re going for. I can’t say for sure, but I’d give that a shot.


  11. Erin says:

    These are wonderful, are the dishwasher safe or how do you wash them?


  12. C. Honstein says:

    Hi! I came across this blog looking for a christmas present for my husband. Just wondering what size mason jars you used and where you bought them from? That’s a great idea! I hope I can do it without screwing it up!


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  14. Paula says:

    Where did you get your stencil?


    • I actually just printed out a font that I liked from Word. I taped the paper on top of the contact paper and cut through both layers. I’ve done these a couple times now with the same method and it works great!


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  16. courtney davis says:

    how do you print on contact paper??


    • I actually didn’t print on the contact paper. I put contact paper on the glass and then I taped my template (printed on plain ole computer paper) and used the exact-o knife to cut through both the paper and the contact paper. Worked like a charm.


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