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Holiday Gift Idea: How to Make Quick and Easy Etched Glass Ornaments

How to make quick and affordable holiday gifts such as etched glass Christmas ornaments with tips from Homemade crafts author Carol Endler SterbenzSure, you can buy a cheap set of ornaments from your local big-box retailer. But making your own unique baubles will give your loved ones a holiday to remember. From Homemade: The Heart and Science of Handcrafts by Carol Endler Sterbenz.

Small projects are very satisfying to do. Etching lets you add easy elegance to a clear-glass tree ornament. Take extra care when using tape to mask a design on a fragile glass ball. Work with the stretch property of the tape as it will help to adhere the tape against the round shape without requiring undue pressure or burnishing. Also, be aware that when the metal cap that holds the hanging loop is removed for the technique, the stem’s fragile and sharp edge becomes exposed. Watch your fingers and don’t press on that part of the ornament. To safeguard the ornament while applying the strips of tape, work over a padded surface.

• Remove the metal cap from the ornament.

• Clean the ornament with spray glass cleaner and a paper towel to wipe off grease or fingerprints.

• Apply strips of narrow tape in a swirl pattern around the ball, first in one direction and then in another direction. Carefully press down the tape using the back of your fingernail.

• Use a tapered paintbrush to apply an even coat of etching cream to the exposed areas of the glass. When the etching time has elapsed, turn the ornament upside down and rinse off the cream. Wash the ornament, draining any water that gets inside. Dry the outside surfaces with a paper towel.

• Replace the ornament cap. Your ornament is ready to display.

VIDEO: Carol Endler Sterbenz shows how to make a holiday wreath

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