This post was originally published on DIY Network’s blog Made + Remade in January 2013.
From a home decor standpoint, we don’t own much to suit the winter months. Once the holiday decor was taken down and we were back to having a blank slate, I decided to make a few new accents to suit the still-very-wintery season. I haven’t much thought before of how to decorate my home for the winter months (I suppose I usually just hold my breath and wait the season out until March when the first of the fresh flowers begins to appear in our garden), but I had an idea, so I tested it out. It turned out great.
There’s something about frosted glass that has always interested me, particularly DIY frosted glass, and even though I never before thought of it as a style that’s more suited for one season over another, it’s really starting to resonate with me as a classic wintertime look, kind of cold, and icy, and steamy, like my glasses after I come inside from shoveling the driveway. And what better to frost up than a bunch of glassware and make it host candles? Our new windowsill is so warm, I love it.
I started by buying a container of Armour Etch, a popular and accessible brand of glass etching cream. Retail priced, it felt a little cost prohibitive because I needed a large volume but I had a 50% coupon for the craft store which brought the price down to about $12. The glasses I used in this frosted glass project were mostly already-owned, but they had all been sourced from second-hand stores and yard sales.
In setting up, I grabbed a piece of scrap wood as a working surface; the warning label of Armour Etch is pretty lengthy, advising surface and skin protection more than anything else, so I made the mess on a board that I could throw out, and used an old paintbrush that I could also discard of rather than massage clean.
With the paint brush, I slathered my first glass (a clear apothecary jar that I once bought from a local salvage shop). Following the instructions, I let it sit for 10 minutes (or a little more) and then rinsed it clean under the faucet, using a foam brush to gently wipe away excess. Obviously, as shown, I didn’t use gloves. I avoided contact with the solution completely, and still washed my hands immediately after use. Use your best judgement, it will cause skin irritation.
As I worked, the small etched glass collection really started to feel more impacting, and it started to look really nice on the windowsill as more and more pieces were completed (less crafty one-off, more intentional set). The taller containers, you’ll notice, I only etched as high as the base of the apothecary jar using painter’s tape to make a sealed edge, creating a subtle visual line to differentiate the clear and frosted glass.
There were a few things I liked immediately:
- They were nowhere near perfect. You can see brushstrokes from the paint brush and some areas are more heavily etched than others, meaning that it doesn’t look much like manufacturer frosted glass, and that’s part of their charm. Most authentically, they look like when you take a glass mug out of the freezer and it starts to thaw.
- I put a colored candle in the clear vases, and it made the whole vase emanate that candle’s color. Ombre purple candle yields ombre purple candle holder.
- Also, frosted blue glass looks stellar, I wish I had sourced more colored glass for this project.
At night, they add a warm wintery glow to our hallway. No, the blue glass doesn’t hold a candle right now, although a taper would fit into it’s opening.
How do you accent your home during the cold, winter months?