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Etched Glass Storage Jars

Created By: Helen Norman, Raymond Hom




  • Glass storage jars
  • Painter's tape
  • Vinyl stick-on letters
  • Decorative tape
  • Etching cream


  1. Step 1

    Clean and dry the glass. Using painter's tape, mark off the area you want to etch. Attach vinyl stick-on letters and decorative tape; press hard to ensure they are attached firmly.

  2. Step 2

    Cover work surfaces (be sure to work in a well-ventilated area). Put on protective gloves and an old shirt with long sleeves. Paint an even layer of etching cream onto glass. Let stand for amount of time indicated by manufacturer's instructions.

  3. Step 3

    Rinse with warm water in a stainless steel sink. (Avoid porcelain sinks; the cream damages glazed surfaces.) Remove letters and tape.

Martha Stewart Living, March 2009



Reviews (70)

  • EricBosloor 1 Jul, 2013

    My sister-in-law is fond of doing some DIY and she recently tried doing this on recycled jars that she could find at home. These recycled jars usually come from used jars of mayonnaise or sauces. She would thoroughly clean these and recycle them to be used for other kitchen ingredients. I have made her some stylish self storage cabinets for the kitchen and these go well with her etched jars.

  • stayreal 27 Mar, 2013

    Nike Blazers

  • stayreal 27 Mar, 2013

    s Investors Service (MCO) estimates that Russian individuals and companies have Cheap Nike Blazers at least $30 billion in Cypriot banks. If those depositors aren’t Russia’s mega-rich, who are they?

  • susan_lontine 6 Sep, 2012

    The constant tapping on the X to get rid of the ad from Project Runway is most annoying. Every time I go to another page, it shows up in the bottom of the page. Several times I tap the X for the banner ad on the bottom and immediately a full page ad pops up obscuring all of the content until I again tap the X.
    I understand Martha needs to make her money, but can this annoyance be limited to once during the enire visit to the site. Ten minutes and at least 30 times tapping the X. ANNOYING!!!!!!!!

  • christineward 27 Apr, 2012

    Great idea, it makes a very professional finish to a jar, for you UK users we have been using lakelands also has a good selection

  • mrsnoid 27 Feb, 2012

    The etching creme Armour All is no longer available in most if not all California craft stores, like Michael's. Is it a state wide ban? EPA? Any other alternatives available over the counter in California? Don't want to order over the internet and have the product sent via mail or Fed Ex and pay hazardous shipping charge on top of everything else.

  • calliecat112 21 Jun, 2011

    I love this project idea! I tried it last week and didn't have very much success (for many different reasons) but plan to try again. For what not to do, take a look at my post at

  • calliecat112 21 Jun, 2011

    You can use painters tape instead of the decorative tape. I've also seen cute decorative tape for sale on etsy.

  • Elaineisadinosaur 4 Mar, 2011

    Where can I find this decorative tape? I've tried searching online but all I find is decorative duct tape. :-/ Anyone have any ideas?

  • oMordah1 1 Mar, 2011

    ...As always something lovely to make from MS! Thanks!

  • louiseparke 22 Feb, 2011

    You can find these at

  • kytravelrn 25 Jan, 2011

    The Container Store. They have online site and physical stores. Search for Cracker Jars. They are cheap and in sizes up to one gallon. They are the ones pictured in the project.

  • christinaorleans 25 Jan, 2011

    Target has similar jars and they are pretty inexpensive too.

  • LostArtsKItchen 20 Jan, 2011

    Does anyone know where I might find glass canisters like the ones pictured? I saw ones just like them in a cookbook and would love to have such wide-mouth, squarish jars for storing dry goods.

  • Marthafan4years 8 Jan, 2011

    You dont have to have a steel sink..just rinse the etching cream off in an old pail or steel bucket, then wash it in soap and water..and the stick on letters can be found at hardware stores, craft stores and places that have teaching supplies for grade schoolers.. etching is a lot of fun too

  • mustlovehomedecor 9 Aug, 2010

    So if I don't have a stainless steel sink I can't do this? :(

  • mustlovehomedecor 9 Aug, 2010

    So if I don't have a stainless steel sink I can't do this? :(

  • mvanburen 5 Feb, 2010

    Does anyone know where to find the vinyl stick-on letters in Lower Case like shown in the photo above? I have looked at Michael's and Blicks, but can only find Upper Case.

  • hilaryesta 20 Dec, 2009

    I got my jars (just like the ones pictured) at Target for $5 a piece.

  • PaulaPL 5 Nov, 2009

    waterh20clr maybe You could bake some cookies and give them to Your family or friends for Christmas? You could paint some funny christmas pictures on your jars, creating nice cookie jars. I always bake something for my family and friends and they love such gifts.

  • packysmom 4 Nov, 2009

    I think I got mine at KMart-from her line of products

  • sherwu 4 Nov, 2009

    Any idea where I'd find the type of jars shown in Martha's picture?

  • waterh20clr 4 Nov, 2009

    Help please..I have 10 extra large pickle jars and have no idea what to use them for..
    I'd hate to just throw them out..any ideas??!

  • packysmom 4 Nov, 2009

    Love this idea-any good resources for words or do you think these are special ordered?

  • craftmaster 20 Oct, 2009

    This really is very easy and interesting. I first learned about this from

  • wzrdovoz 16 Jun, 2009

    I've found some great glass jars like this at Crate and Barrel. i shop at their outlet store!

  • WILDoats 25 Mar, 2009

    Not sure where this exact etching tape came from but Cristina Rey sells decorative lace tape at Many on line stores carry it if you search for decorative lace tape.

  • paperlace 16 Mar, 2009

    Hi. Where can I find the decorative tape? Thanks.

  • Craftydevil 5 Mar, 2009

    to get stickers to stick firmly, after applying them, lay a piece of paper over them and rub firmly with the back of a pen, letter opener or burnisher. Sometimes it is the sticker, you have to use vinyl stickers not paper ones

  • Craftydevil 5 Mar, 2009

    you can neutralize it with baking soda before pouring down the drain. Pour 1/4 of a box into a tub and rinse off the cream into the tub. To protect your sink, lay some newspaper down and sprinkle with baking soda. Armours products are cheaper than some other brands and you only need to put a quarter inch thick on, so it goes a long way

  • Craftydevil 5 Mar, 2009

    Etch cream

  • shellcottage 4 Mar, 2009

    Doesn't sound good for the environment - after rinsing off, think where the substance ends up.

  • ecogreeNicole 4 Mar, 2009

    My sitckers won't stick firmly to the glass and while the jars aren' t expensive the etching cream is. Any ideas?!

  • Craftydevil 4 Mar, 2009

    Etchworld also sells a reusable dipping solution called Etch bath and they sell sticker type stencils so you can make clear patterns in the glass. Etch Bath frosts beads in a jiffy too.

  • Craftydevil 4 Mar, 2009

    I found that the best way to get adhesive off of jars is nail polish remover w/ acetone. You can buy the store brand for only a dollar. Soak the paper part of the label off with hot water, pat dry and while the glue is still soft, then clean with the nail polish remover, it comes off easily. If there's still stubborn spots, pour some remover in a plastic container and lay the glue side of the jar in the remover for about 5 minutes or so and it will come off.

  • vjthedj 4 Mar, 2009

    For a SAFE and Reusable etching cream go to There is a cream and a liquid Dip-N-Etch product. Barb, the owner is a great lady and very helpful. I was certified as an Etchall Master Etcher last year by Barb. I am loving this product and the many uses I am finding for it.

  • lakotakat 3 Mar, 2009

    Just a drop or two of plain old vegetable cooking oil (or a quick spritz of cooking spray) will usually take off any adhesive residue. Whatever you use, tho, ou have to wash container with soapy water.

  • pleonard 3 Mar, 2009

    Also Ikea has jars of all sizes with lids, also try Walmart. I can also imagine that Avon's skin so soft or any baby oil would take off any adhesive.

  • barlillis 3 Mar, 2009

    Forgive the plug - but Avon's Skin So Soft bath oil will remove all kinds of adhesive.

  • azrins 3 Mar, 2009

    Mineral spirits works well to remove adhesive and you may already have some on hand. Dampen a cotton ball with it and leave it on the adhesive for a minute or two and then wipe off.

  • kim_c 3 Mar, 2009

    I echo madampres2 ...Target has great jars.

  • kim_c 3 Mar, 2009

    I echo madampres2 ...Target has great jars.

  • madampres2 3 Mar, 2009

    Target has nice jars.

  • Stewart14Fan 3 Mar, 2009

    Does anyone know where to find jars like this? Big ones to hold coffee and flour? Thanks!

  • watercolorlily 3 Mar, 2009

    This makes a great gift for Christmas. Making candy or spiced nuts and putting your friends name on a pretty glass container.

  • jsbunge 3 Mar, 2009

    Does anyone know where you can get decorative tape?

  • lbuser 3 Mar, 2009

    You can get the etching cream at any hobby shop, Michaels, JoAnn's, sometimes at WalMart. You can also buy letters that look like etched glass from Uppercase Living (sorry about the advert) and they just stick on and stay on. The etching cream is sooo easy to use, though.

  • kellyrenee 3 Mar, 2009

    You can also buy "frosted glass" spray paint that could be used. I made holiday luminaries using the product and it's a snap (

  • deedub 3 Mar, 2009

    I use 'Goo Gone' to remove glue. It works like a charm. Highly recommend.


  • cjc2277 3 Mar, 2009

    hmmmm... when I click on etching cream, it tells me page not found, may have been removed from this site! What's up with that? :-( For those familiar with the cream, is it pre-made or am I mixing it? I love this idea.

  • hermionefan 3 Mar, 2009

    Big Lots and all the dollar stores are good places to get cheap glass items

  • Tecatu 3 Mar, 2009

    I've got jars but can't get the glue off...even with steel wool! I need help please!!!!!

  • organicmama 3 Mar, 2009

    Does anyone know where to find inexpensive glass jars?

  • Craftydevil 3 Mar, 2009

    The best Etching cream is Armour Etch Cream which Martha has used on a number of other projects on her shows ( latest project was aired 2/25/09 on NBC-fish tank project) and in her magazines. It is available at Michael's Craft stores or directly at Armour's retail website They have many neat items as well as a project corner, demos and complete printable instructions from all of their packaging for you to view before you buy.

  • sdmcclain 3 Mar, 2009

    Are there any etching creams that would work on my no BPA polycarbonate canisters?

  • jhr 3 Mar, 2009

    "Armour Etch" is a readily available etching cream. It comes in various size jars. It's at your local craft stores and hardware stores. It's not very costly either.

  • MountainberryButterfly 3 Mar, 2009

    I've done glass etching for years, and would add one comment. Be sure the glass you use is not heat resistant. Heat resistant glass won't etch with etching cream, you need to use sand etching for that.

  • MountainberryButterfly 3 Mar, 2009

    I've done glass etching for years, and would add one comment. Be sure the glass you use is not heat resistant. Heat resistant glass won't etch with etching cream, you need to use sand etching for that.

  • curlygirl222 3 Mar, 2009

    I've been wanting to do this for some time.
    There are many products/companies on-line. Which would you recommend?

  • wduke2 3 Mar, 2009

    I have done a lot of glass etching and it's easy and very effective. If you make sure you don't get the cream in your eyes and are careful not to get it on your skin, the hazards are nothing to worry about. When you first rinse it off and is wet, it looks like it didn't work, but when it dries, it is great. Be careful that you don't drop any cream where you don't want it, because you will have a mark where it drops. Mask off the areas carefully.

  • MASAbond 3 Mar, 2009

    @capecoralgreg: Glass etching cream can be somewhat dangerous to work with if you're not careful. Look online for the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) of the brand you buy. Here is an example of one:

  • jackie_d302 3 Mar, 2009

    what a simple great project. i bet my art kids can do this...but i would put the chemical on and off. thanks!!!

  • capecoralgreg 3 Mar, 2009

    AviMari says there are hazards. What do you know about the hazards? Thanks.

  • teririley 3 Mar, 2009

    The easiest way to do this is if you have a Cricut machine, you can cut out the entire word, using vinyl or contact paper, place it on the glass to be etched, it is not nearly as time consuming as putting each individual letter on.

  • Rocco220 3 Mar, 2009

    Opps forgot one they are also at Ikea.

  • keristoner 3 Mar, 2009

    I have several jars like that. I bought them at Walmart for about $5 each! Cute idea.

  • Rocco220 3 Mar, 2009

    Any good store has them in the kitchen area. I have seen them at Kmart, Sears, and Kitchen Collections.

  • rchile 3 Mar, 2009

    I've seen jars like this at Wal Mart. KMart might sell them, too.

  • ABarnard 3 Mar, 2009

    I love those jars, I wonder where I could find jars like that- any ideas commenters?

  • AviMari 3 Mar, 2009

    I've been concerned about the hazards of etching cream for years. My alternative is the faux frost from Plaid Gallery Glass for the faux stained glass look. After it dries, you can't peel the frost off as easily as the other Gallery Glass colors, but you can scrape it off with a razor if you need to.