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Flea-market finds and dollar-a-glass specials can be transformed with monograms, stripes, and whimsical polka dots. All you need is etching cream (available at craft and art-supply stores), masking tape, and a steady hand to cut a template.

When using etching cream, wear plastic gloves and an old shirt with long sleeves, and be sure to work in a well-ventilated area.

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What you need

Materials
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How to do it

Part 1

Step 1

Start by deciding upon your design. We used masking tape to make the stripes and adhesive hole-reinforcers (for loose-leaf paper) to make the polka dots. The M stencil was created by enlarging the typeface on a photocopy machine and cutting a stencil.

Note: To make a monogram stencil, place the enlarged letter on a piece of Con-Tact paper, which has a sticky back that will adhere to glass. Trace the letter, then cut it out with a utility knife, discarding the letter itself and reserving the template -- remember to reserve the center cutouts of letters with closed shapes, like O and A.

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Step 2

When applying your design, always clean and dry the glass first; press the design onto the glass, and rub hard. Using a paintbrush, apply a thick layer of etching cream to the glass. (Avoid spills, since cream will leave permanent marks.)

Step 3

Wait 5 minutes, then rinse off the cream with warm water, and remove the stencil.

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