Learning How To Engrave Glass – A Beginner’s Guide

The art of glass engraving is a method of decorating glasswork to draw patterns or pictures onto its surface. It leaves a quite striking finish but whilst most people would probably imagine it is quite difficult to do, the effect is actually surprisingly simple to achieve. Why not try it out yourself? This quick beginner’s guide will run you through the simple steps so you can practice it yourself either with a view to learning more or just to kill an afternoon.

Find or Buy a Tool

There are many precision tools and tips which you could buy if you wanted to get quite serious at glass engraving. However, this guide is not for that so you just need to find anything appropriate. There are lots of items which people have lying around their house which would be ideally suited to doing a basic job but which will leave a beautiful image and finish. What I would recommend is something like a Dremel. It doesn’t have to be from that actual brand but anything like that will work for this. A lot of us have one of these lying around somewhere so have a quick rummage around and dig it out. Failing that, they are reasonably inexpensive to buy and have a multitude of uses so it might be worth investing in one.

Choose an Image

The next step is to find an image which you would like to reproduce onto a piece of glass. This will form a template for you to copy so decide how adventurous you’re feeling. Maybe start with something a bit more basic but if you’re feeling up to it or it’s a rainy day and you have plenty of spare time on your hands let your imagination run wild! Having chosen your image you will need to print it out. Then place it inside or beneath the piece of glass you are going to engrave, line it up and tape it down in place.

Trace the Image

This part is key to the finished look. Carefully and methodically trace the image carefully onto the glass surface. You need to take your time with this stage. Bear in mind that it can be quite difficult to see where you have previously traced so try to start with one point and go around the image in a fashion that helps you work back to the point where you started without missing any areas or having to go back over sections too much.

Remove the Image and Repeat

Now you just need to take the image out, find a piece of dark material as a background so that you can see the image you have traced out and go back over it. Again don’t rush as this could lead to some unsightly blemishes but if you are methodical and patient it should be simpler at this point as the indentation you have previously made will let you just follow the lines. Congratulations you have done your first piece of glass engraving! Either display your piece of handiwork or if it didn’t go so well pop it in the bin and try again.