Flea markets have been inspiring me for years, but two of last Saturday’s finds in particular, a black Jasperware Wedgwood dish and an etched glass finger bowl, sparked a fantastic weekend project!
Here’s a close-up of the Roman bust in the center of the dish. I love the strong features and pronounced details in the face.
And here’s another image of the etched glass finger bowl I found.
Together, these two flea market finds reminded me of a round mirror I picked up at the Antiques Garage on 25th weeks ago.
As you can see, the mirror is simple and beautiful on its own, but I just felt it needed more. I had been trying to think of ways to update it…and then it hit me! Using Armour Etch (a brand of etching cream), I could etch that stunning bust onto the mirror! But why stop there? I also have a set of functional (but very plain) CB2 glasses that, with a little etching, could make the most fantastic gift! First, I photographed the bust on the Jasperware dish, made it completely black, then tweaked it just a bit. I did mine on a computer, but an easy way to make a silhouette of anything is to take a picture of it, print it out, then use a black sharpie to fill it in. That way, when you cut it out, it would be easier too see. Next, using a
photocopy machine, I blew it up to the appropriate size for the
Then, all I needed was the etching cream from Armour Etch, the mirror and glasses, clear contact paper, scotch tape, a sharp Exacto knife and paint brush.
Now that the silhouette is enlarged, it’s much easier to cut out. It’s sort of like creating your own stencil. Remember, the more accurate you are with your tracing, the more exact your final etching will be.
Next, I covered the mirror in clear contact paper, which you can find at any
hardware or art supply store. Then, I centered the stencil of the bust and taped
it into place. Using my Exacto knife, I carefully traced the perimeter. Here I am totally concentrating on each cut I make. This takes a little practice, so go slowly and be careful!
Here, I’ve removed only the bust portion of the contact paper, revealing the shape that is going to be etched. In preparation for the etching cream, I cleaned the exposed mirror surface with Windex.
Next, with a pair of rubber gloves on, I applied the etching cream by brushing evenly inward, leaving nice, clean coverage within the stencil. Make sure you follow the directions on the bottle of your etching cream with regard to time, though I left the cream on for an additional five minutes to ensure my mirror was etched sufficiently. When the time was up, I washed the mirror with warm water and soap. After drying it thoroughly with a dish cloth, I removed the contact paper and cleaned around the etching with Windex.
Here is the same idea scaled down to fit one of my CB2 glasses. I went through the same process as I did with the mirror to etch a smaller version of the bust on the glass.
I think the etching totally turned this glass into something much more special, don’t you?
And how chic does the mirror look, now that it’s done? This project was so inexpensive but definitely looks rich! I would estimate the entire project cost about $50. Here, I’ve accessorized the scenario with fragrant white Casablanca lilies in a 1920s Italian pottery urn, together with my collection of beautiful silverplate candlesticks. Another idea would be to etch “His” and “Hers” on a pair of medicine cabinets in a bathroom. I think it would be so cute!
So, I hope I’ve inspired you to experiment with etching, and be sure to let me know about it!
Perfection! I etched a bunch of cheap Ikea champagne glasses with tiny dots (bubbles) to give as christmas presents a few years ago. You have to be careful about the edges of the design, and about getting the etching cream on your skin, as it is acid.
Love love this!! I am always walking around my house trying to find some activity/craft to keep me busy and this is perfect! I’ve been meaning to etch things for awhile now, so thanks AGAIN for the motivation!
Love it! Looks like one DIY I have to try.
What a fabulous idea! I think the etched mirror would be devine in a baby’s nursery – with the baby profile it would be personalized and still hot hot hot.
thanks for the inspiration!
I am so obsessed with your ideas and blog!! You are so talented and are making me sad I just cancelled cable and can’t watch you do magic on Top Design.
Where do you get these kinds of things (glue, etching paper, etc) in the city? I live in NYC too and feel like I’m on a constant search for this stuff since we don’t have a Michael’s.
I love the sketching idea and how pigtown-designs painted dots on champagne glasses for gifts – too cute!!
p.s. what is the cross street of the Salvation Army you just went to? I live on 52nd and would love to stop in…
You are AMAZING!
i’ve been meaning to do an etching project for a while now and this has given me the push i need…*sigh* another weekend project to undertake thanks to eddie ross 🙂
I LOVE it! It reminds me of the gorgeous men I lusted over in HBO’s series “Rome”. But I digress; what a great, creative idea!
I have always been so afraid of etching glass–it seems so final, and so easy to screw up! But maybe it’s worth a shot, especially since it’s so inexpensive. Thanks!
I just got home from the thrift store with a vintage glass cocktail shaker. I think I’ll try your etched silhoutte on it. As always, thanks for the great ideas!
The silhouette rather looks like my Grandfather, although Grandpa was better looking by far. To this day friends see photos and exclaim, “Your Grandfather was a FOX!” He was, and it drove Grandmother nuts. Women swooned and don’t think he didn’t enjoy THAT:)
When I was a little girl I thought he was the man on the dime. He was fairly prominent in our little town of Geneva, Ill. In my little head…why WOULDN’T they put him on the dime? (But I also thought we’d gone to the ocean because I couldn’t see land, found out years later, it was Lake Michigan.)
Life’s Short…Buy Art!
I love the mirror! Fantastic!
I recently did a silhouette on canvas of my three kids. I think it add a little something to the family room that a regular photo just can’t do.
Thanks for the great directions.
Eddie, this idea is SO fantastic! I can’t wait to use it! I have a few of the Juliska glasses with the Roman bust on them (only a few as they are ridiculously expensive), but who needs more when I can make something so fabulous on my own??
This post is bringing back memories of sorts for me. For my sister’s baby shower a few years back I handmade all the invitations using her silhouette from a Disneyland silhouette portrait we had done when we were really little. I transfered the bust onto Paper Source stickers, cut it out and then put the sticker onto a Paper Source card, which I then customized a bit with a hand drawn border (used a ruler). It was a LOT of cutting (I think I had to do like 30 invites!), but well worth the time, and it turned out really cute.
Its almost Wednesday…yay! Can’t wait for tomorrow’s show!
This is such a great idea. I love etching cream, but have never used it on a mirror surface before – must try. LURVE this.
This is beautiful, Love the glasses. After finding and pouring over your blog for the last day and a half I would LOVE a Eddie Ross home tour.You have inspired me,I love your style, Your just amazing.
Great project, but I have to say I’m most enthralled by the wall color that sets off the mirror. What is that taupe-y grey color of the wall in the last photo?
Your blog is beautiful, by the way. I’m new to it, and just realized that you’re the designer behind several pages of Martha Stewart Living that I have torn out for my inspiration file. Thank you!
Such a cool idea!
Your Jasperware etched glasses are divine!Great project!
fantastic. i love your vision!! 🙂 i’m really enjoying your blog, keep up the good work. (and looove you on the show) ok, i’m done kissing ass for now.
Forever etched in the mirror of my mind.
Now you have me itching to etch – and I think i will do some one for each of my children and my dog too.
You are fabulous! And why haven’t I found you before. I am in love,sigh.
Stop it, did you really do this? Love it! Magical transformation.
I swear that, when I was a little girl, I wanted to grow up to be Eddie Ross. You are truly amazing.
May our paths cross soon. I will be waiting at the Hell’s Kitchen flea market!
SHUT UP! <-- in my best Stacy London voice
Eddie – LOVE the etched mirror. I’ve been looking for a mirror to put over my mantle, and once I find one, etching a design might be the perfect finishing touch.
Love you on Top Design!
I love this idea!!!
I will be doing this at some point. Most definatly.
By the way I thought the bachelor’s apartment was great…
Hi Eddie, I found you via Joni at Cote de Texas. Little did I know you’d be THE Eddie I hope will win Bravo’s TopDesign. I saw this picture set of you in the garage thrift market and have to ask if it’s the Chelsea garage market on 26th or 27th? I live in Upstate NY, but visit NYC often – my uncles live on W. 23rd, and my last visit included a stop at the garage thrift market and a parking-lot thrift market filled with gorgeous African and Asian wares. I’m still kicking myself for not picking up one of those calligraphy brushes. I’m going to continue reading through your insightful and beautiful posts. I’m sure I’ll gain quite the education.
oh , this is just mad brilliant. how cute would this be as a gift to a newly married couple?? with their own profiles? love.
That mirror rocks. LOVE it.
OMG the mirror is perfect. You have such an imagination and find the most beautiful treasures. The more I read your blog the more in love with it I become. I’ve been behind this week and I think I’ve the weeks worth now. Hopefully I can keep caught with you now. You are one of my very favs. I am adding you to my blog list.
Eddie – Thanks for your quick responses. I have to paint my living room the colors in this room. What color is the gray and the white trim??
This is fantastic! I can see a perfect gift idea for friends and family: creating a set of four glasses using a silhouette of their kids. You are brilliant!
A few weeks ago, I gave this a shot with some great results — well, except for the part where some of the etching cream got on my granite countertop!
Mishap aside, this is a great project. Thanks for the inspiration!
(A few pictures of my mirrors are here: