Homemade Birthday Gifts Etched Glass Mugs

Birthdays only come once a year, so why not make your loved one’s birthday extra special by making them one of those lovely homemade birthday gifts? The how-to below is a DIY etched glass mug birthday gift tutorial.

Not only will they appreciate the time and effort you put into it, but they’ll also have a unique and memorable gift to keep forever. And something new from which to drink beer! :beer:

So whether you’re looking for ideas or just casually browsing, read on for some of the best homemade birthday gifts out there.

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


Introducing the Homemade Birthday Gifts Etched Glass Mugs Tutorial


See, a few years ago I got my husband a big ol’ mug with a funny little message:

I’m the dad, and whatever your mother says goes.

HA!

But the clever message on the front wasn’t dishwasher safe and didn’t last very long.

Bummer.

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

homemade birthday gift project image etched glass mug tutorial intro
Homemade Birthday Gift
Etched Glass Mug Tutorial

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.

Follow along as I ‘splain it, Lucy. (That’s my Ricky Ricardo imitation.)


What you will need for this project. (A.k.a. “supplies”)


  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

Homemade Birthday Gifts Etched Glass Mugs Step 1

Make Your Stencil


homemade birthday gift project image etched glass mug tutorial make the stencil
Make the 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.


Homemade Birthday Gifts Etched Glass Mugs Step 2

Place It


homemade birthday gift project image etched glass mug
Place It

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.


Homemade Birthday Gifts Etched Glass Mugs Step 3

Etch It


homemade birthday gift project image etched glass mug making the etch
Etch It

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.


Homemade Birthday Gifts Etched Glass Mugs

The Big Reveal


homemade birthday gift project image etched glass mug revealing the work
The Big Reveal

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

homemade birthday gift project image etched glass mug The Etched Mug completed
homemade birthday gift project image etched glass mug The Etched Mug completed side view
homemade birthday gift project image etched glass mug The Etched Mug completed The Man Mug view

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.

If you decide to try it, I recommend pairing a mug like this with a gourmet snack basket like the one I’ve shown on my birthday gift baskets page.

Happy gifting!

-Brenda | The Gifting Enthusiast


Thank you for visiting! Be sure to browse through my site for ideas that’ll make your loved one feel special on their big day, including this short list below. With a little creativity and effort, you can show every gift recipient how much you care with a heartfelt gift they’ll never forget.

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