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!