DIY Birthday Gifts Tutorial: Etch A Glass Mug In 3 Easy Steps

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I’m always in need of quick and easy DIY birthday gifts. This little (well, not little… more like gargantuan) etched glass mug was absolutely perfect!

See, a few years ago I got my husband a big ol’ mug with a funny little message (“I’m the Dad, and What Your Mother Says Goes” – ha!). But the clever message on the front wasn’t dishwasher safe and didn’t last very long.


So I got him a new mug. A MASSIVE mug. This time, I etched the phrase into the glass. Eat that, dishwasher!

Man Mug

This was such an easy project – and SO fast – that I just had to share it with you! Now I can’t wait to try it with goblets, vases, and pretty much anything glass I can get my hands on.


  1. Glass Mug
  2. Mailing Label (I used a 3-inch x 4-inch label)
  3. Cutting Machine (like a Cricut or Silhouette… or a razor blade and patience)
  4. Engraving tool (or use etching cream, gloves, and a paintbrush)
  5. Safety Goggles

Step 1: Make Your Stencil

Making Stencil

You can use a store-bought stencil, or make your own as I did.

I started by creating my words on a Cricut machine (my neighbor let me borrow it – thanks neighbor!). I sized and resized the letters until the word “MAN” filled up most of the width of the label.

Do the same with your own words or phrase and have your cutting machine do the hard stuff for you.

If you don’t have a personal cutting machine like the Cricut, just print your words using a regular printer. Then cut the letters out with a razor blade. You only need the parts that don’t have ink on it.

But be careful my friends!

You don’t want to loose or accidentally mutilate little pieces that you might need – like the letter “A” needs its inner triangle or “O” needs its inner circle to look right. Don’t lose that inner piece.

Ha ha! Get it? Inner piece… okay, okay, corny joke. 🙂

Step 2: Place It

The Man Etching

Carefully peel your label off the backing and place it on your mug where you want it to show up. I had to be super careful putting the little triangle on the inside of the “A”, but once it was in place, I pressed it down hard.

Use your fingernail or a credit card to press down the edges. You really want them down solid.

Quick Side Note: I wish I’d put the label a little lower on the mug… but that’s the perfectionist in me. 😉

Step 3: Etch It

Making the Etch

Don your goggles and bust out your engraving tool – time for the fun part!

I used the Engrave It Pro. It’s inexpensive and I *love* how easy and fast it is (p.s. I tried to personalize a hammer with it and ruined the tip… so I just stick to glass).

Staying inside the lines of the label (be careful there!), hold your engraving tool at an angle and start “coloring in” the letters or image. Be careful not to etch through the label!

Wipe off the glass dust (don’t breathe this in), then go over any places you might have missed with your engraving tool.

If you’re using etching cream, follow the instructions on your bottle.

Basically, you don your gloves and use a paintbrush to spread the cream on in circles over the image or letters. Be careful not to get any outside the label! You don’t want it etching in random places. Let it sit for the time listed on your bottle, then wash it off.

Revealing the Work

Now peel off your label and tada! You have an amazing new birthday gift ready to wrap.

The Etched Mug
Etched Mug View
Man Mug Etched

This was seriously one of the easiest DIY birthday gifts I have ever made! My husband is super excited about his new statement piece for the dinner table. It goes well with his “MAN” apron. 🙂

Happy gifting – and remember to post your pictures so I can see your awesome projects!

-Brenda | The Gifting Enthusiast

More DIY Birthday Gifts

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DIY Birthday Gifts For Men: Flip Flops Tutorial

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