Custom Etched Wedding Frame

Custom Etched Wedding Frame by Annie Williams - Main

A couple that is very special to me recently got married in my hometown…and being the uber-pregnant lady that I am right now, I was unable to travel all the way there to attend.  In an attempt to make up for my absence, I wanted to give them an extra-special personalized gift.  The theme was kind of a classy “barn” style with tons of natural elements, but I really took all of my cues from their wedding invitations…directly!  So, I traced a few things, identified the correct fonts, and got started on making a stencil with my CAMEO to etch the glass in this store-bought frame (which is obviously empty because it’s a gift and I don’t have a picture of them yet anyway).

Custom Etched Wedding Frame by Annie Williams - Stencil Outline

Anytime I make a stencil with my CAMEO for etching using vinyl, I start by drawing a shape that corresponds to the entire size of the project.  Even though this uses more material, it ensures that all of my elements will be perfectly centered and all of my other areas will remain un-etched.  I can be a manhandling slopper of etching cream at times, and the Silhouette etching cream is so strong (compared to Martha Stewart brand for example) that even a few seconds of it sitting on the glass before you have a chance to wipe it off can result in a full-on etch…so I have to be safe.

First, I drew a rectangle using the Rectangle Tool (arrow 1), and then I opened the Scale Window (arrow 2).  Once I adjusted my dimensions to the size of my glass insert (arrow 3), I clicked “Apply” (arrow 4).

Custom Etched Wedding Frame by Annie Williams - Adding Frame

I wanted to keep the etching simple since the frame itself was a bit more elaborate, so I started by creating a thin rectangular border for my stencil.  To do this, I simply opened the Offset Window (arrow 1), clicked on “Internal Offset” (arrow 2), adjusted the distance to a quarter-inch (arrow 3), and clicked Apply (arrow 4).  After I repeated these steps one more time, I had created my thin border line around my frame.

Custom Etched Wedding Frame by Annie Williams - Adding Date

Next, I typed the date of the wedding into the bottom of the frame.  I was lucky to have one of the same fonts on my computer already (“Samantha Italic” – a very pretty, purchased font) that the couple had used on their invitation, so I opened the Text Tool (arrow 1), selected my font (arrow 2), and typed my lettering.

Custom Etched Wedding Frame by Annie Williams - Centering Date

To make sure the date was centered, I selected both the outer edge of my stencil and the text (arrow 1), opened the Align Window (arrow 2), and clicked on “Align Center” (arrow 3).

Custom Etched Wedding Frame by Annie Williams-Scanning

Next, I wanted to add a very specific floral branch directly from the design of their invitation.  I chose to scan the invitation directly into my Studio software by choosing the “Scan” command from the File Menu (arrow 1), selecting my scanner from the Source drop-down box, and clicking “Start Scan” (arrow 2).

Custom Etched Wedding Frame by Annie Williams - Tracing

Your scan will automatically show up on your workspace.  I zoomed in to trace the floral branch design.  To trace, open the Trace Menu (arrow 1), click on “Select Trace Area” (arrow 2), draw a box around your desired element (arrow 3), and click “Trace” (arrow 4).

Custom Etched Wedding Frame by Annie Williams - Traced Image

My final trace looked like this…a little ragged and it also contained some extra pieces that I would need to delete.

Custom Etched Wedding Frame by Annie Williams - Editing Trace

You will need to click “Release Compound Path” in the Object Menu (arrow) in order to separate the cut lines and delete your extra pieces.

Custom Etched Wedding Frame by Annie Williams - Point Editing

I always clean up the cut lines on a traced design as well.  To start, I open the Point Editing Window (arrow 1) and click on “Simplify” (arrow 2).  This will remove some of the extraneous points and help to smooth out the overall image, but I also spend a little extra time removing additional points by hand in some of the tight corners where my blade might get snagged.

Custom Etched Wedding Frame by Annie Williams - Mirroring Images

Once my floral design was traced, I shrunk it down and placed one in each corner.  To create images for the other three corners of my frame, I opened the Replicate Window (arrow 1) and started by clicking “Mirror Right” (arrow 2).  The other two floral designs were made by then mirroring “down” followed by mirroring “right”.

Custom Etched Wedding Frame by Annie Williams - Final Stencil for Etching

My final stencil design looked like this.  I cut this out of stencil vinyl and weeded it before adhering it to my glass pane (which was cleaned with rubbing alcohol before adding the stencil).  Then, I applied my etching cream to the clean glass in an even coat and let this sit for about a minute or two (the Silhouette cream does not take long at all!).

Custom Etched Wedding Frame by Annie Williams - Detail

I thought the etching turned out great and added just enough of a special touch that should help commemorate the couple’s beautiful occasion in a very personal way.  I can’t wait to see what their picture looks like inside!

Please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts!

2 Comment

  1. Marilyn says:

    Such a great gift, love the personalization! Although I own the stencil kit, I have not worked with it yet. I really appreciate your tutorial, thank you for the step by step directions!

    1. Annie Wills says:

      You’re welcome Marilyn…I hope you try out your stencil kit soon!

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