How to Print Stencils for Sandblasting on Glass

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Making your own stencils for sandblasting glass is a rewarding way to customize your designs.
Making your own stencils for sandblasting glass is a rewarding way to customize your designs. (Image: laser etched virgo in the glass image by Igor from Fotolia.com)

Sandblasting ornate designs onto a piece of glass can seem daunting to those with little artistic talent, but with the use of stencils, etching glass can be an enjoyable hobby for many. Making your own stencils instead of purchasing new ones is a way you can customize any image, word or phrase needed for a particular piece of glass. Using items commonly found around your home or acquiring material from your local craft store will get you on the way to creating limitless designs for all your etching projects.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • Photo resizing program
  • Printer with black ink
  • Copy paper
  • Cutting mat
  • Scissors
  • White translucent heavy waxed paper
  • Black marker
  • X-Acto knife
  • Masking tape
  • Glass for etching
  • Sandblasting glass kit
  • Gloves
  • Respirator

Instructions

Print out images, letters and numbers for stencils on the copy paper in black ink. Resize any images that are too large for the glass intended for sandblasting before printing, using the photo resizing program. Lay the cutting mat on a clear workspace and the printed stencil on the mat.

Cut a piece of the white translucent heavy-waxed paper to roughly the size of the copy paper with the scissors. Lay the waxed paper over the stencil and carefully trace the stencil outlines onto the waxed paper with the black marker. Fill in any thick lines with marker and refill the thin ink lines.

Remove the white copy paper stencil, and put aside. Lay the transferred stencil on the waxed paper on the cutting mat. Cut out the lines of the traced stencil carefully with the X-Acto knife. Remove all the black ink from the paper, creating open sections the sand will penetrate through to the glass to etch on the design.

Cut the stencil down to the size of the glass with the scissors. Prepare the glass as instructed by the sandblasting kit. Secure the waxed stencil onto the glass with the masking tape. Do not to cover up any openings with tape other than the design. Sandblast the glass as instructed by the kit in a well-ventilated area, using the respirator, safety glasses and gloves for protection from sand particles.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use translucent acetate or stiff plastic instead of waxed paper for longer-lasting stencils.
  • Use a sharp X-Acto knife when cutting the waxed paper.
  • Draw your own stencils onto the waxed paper instead of printing out free stencils.
  • Use caution when cutting with an X-Acto knife.
  • Always sandblast in a well-ventilated area, using the necessary safety gear.

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