Silhouette Design Team Favorites Blog Hop & Giveaway

Wintry Etched Lightbulbs by Annie Williams - Main Photo

Welcome to my stop on the Silhouette Design Team Favorites Blog Hop & Giveaway!  You should have arrived here from Brittany’s blog, but if you get lost you can always start back at the beginning here.  Today, we are each showcasing our favorite Silhouette products and then offering you a chance to win them!  I’ve chosen the Glass Etching Starter Kit as my favorite because I love how etching elevates any simple piece of glassware or mirrored surface.  For my project, though, I wanted to try something a bit different…so I made these wintry etched lightbulbs that are pretty to look at on their own, but also cast gorgeous light patterns around the room.

Wintry Etched Lightbulbs by Annie Williams - Ungroup Design 2

I began by designing my vinyl stencils in the Studio software.  I knew I wanted to use snowflakes and holly because I thought these would create some beautiful patterns on my walls.  There are many, many snowflake designs in the store, but I actually thought this snowflake spray card design would give me a great variety of shapes that could easily be cut at the tiny size I needed for my bulb.  I simply opened the design up in my software, clicked on the Ungroup icon, and deleted the card border cut lines.

Wintry Etched Lightbulbs by Annie Williams - Duplicate Design 2

Then, to make sure I had enough of each snowflake design, I duplicated the entire set of shapes.  To do this quickly, I opened the Replicate Window (arrow 1) and clicked on Column of Three (arrow 2).

Wintry Etched Lightbulbs by Annie Williams - Change Page Settings 2

Since my bulb was spherical, I decided to apply the stencils by hand and avoid making the job more difficult using transfer paper.  This also meant I could save on stencil vinyl by nesting all of the shapes into the top portion of the workspace.  First, I had to open the Design Page Settings Window (arrow 1) and change the width of my page (arrow 2) to reflect the dimensions of my media (9 inches wide).

Wintry Etched Lightbulbs by Annie Williams - Nest Snowflakes 2

After opening the Nesting Window (arrow 1) and clicking the Nest button (arrow 2), all of my snowflakes were scrunched perfectly into just 3 inches of vinyl.

Wintry Etched Lightbulbs by Annie Williams - Duplicate Holly 2

Next, I opened up my holly design, replicated it several times, and resized them to a variety of sizes.

Wintry Etched Lightbulbs by Annie Williams - Mirror Holly 2

So that I could stencil groups of holly rather than just single holly leaves, I selected the entire group of leaves, opened the Replicate Window (arrow 1), and clicked Mirror Right (arrow 2).  Now I was ready to cut.  And because I only needed to cut a small piece of stencil vinyl, I placed the media onto my cutting mat and sent it through my CAMEO using the default settings for vinyl in the program.

Wintry Etched Lightbulbs by Annie Williams - Clean Bulbs 2

I placed the vinyl stickers one by one onto my lightbulbs in a random pattern.  Before applying the etching solution, I removed any fingerprints that might impede the etching process by wiping each bulb with a paper towel soaked in rubbing alcohol (isopropanol).

Wintry Etched Lightbulbs by Annie Williams - Etching 2

Now comes the weird contraption I built to hang my bulbs up while etching them…  I wanted to coat the entire glass surface of the bulb and realized that I wouldn’t be able to put my bulb down while working on it because any holder I used would ultimately touch the glass.  So, I built a third hand by securing a dowel between two storage bins and tying the bulbs to the dowel with baker’s twine.  Then I applied the etching cream using an old paintbrush (which was easier for me to use than the scraper tool because of the odd shape of the bulbs).  Please note the safety gloves and newspaper drop cloth…you don’t want to “etch” your skin or work surface too!

Wintry Etched Lightbulbs by Annie Williams - Remove Stencil 2

After a minute or two, I removed the etching cream by carefully wiping the bulbs off with damp paper towels.  You can save the cream and put it back in the jar, but I used so little on this project that I didn’t think it was worth the trouble.  When your bulbs are clean, you can just peel off your stencil vinyl.

Wintry Etched Lightbulbs by Annie Williams - Finished Bulbs 2

Here is a detail photo of my finished bulbs.  I am always amazed at the detail you can achieve when you etch using Silhouette Stencil Vinyl.

Wintry Etched Lightbulbs by Annie Williams - Snowflake Detail 2

The globe lightbulbs I chose had a normal base, so they fit into most standard lamps as shown here.  But, you can also arrange a group of them hanging upside down using a standard light cord kit to form your own unique fixture (as in my main photo).

Wintry Etched Lightbulbs by Annie Williams - Holly Detail 2

Depending on the angle and distance of your bulb from the wall, you can create all sorts of interesting patterns with these bulbs.  And something about the frostiness of etching is perfect for decorating this time of year.

I’m so glad I had the opportunity to share my project with you today.  Now’s your chance to win your own Glass Etching Starter Kit!  Enter using the Rafflecopter giveaway form below.  And don’t forget to hop along to all of the Silhouette Design Team members’ blogs for a chance to win even more fabulous Silhouette products!  Your next stop is Dawn Warnaar…she always creates gorgeous projects with her Silhouette so you are sure to love what she is sharing today!  And if you found yourself at my blog to start the hop, you can always work your way backwards too by heading to Brittany Saz’s site (beautiful, inspiring projects and photography to die for)!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rules and Guidelines:

  • Open to US/Canada residents; 18 & older.
  • Void where prohibited.
  • Giveaway is not associated with Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest. Prizes will be fulfilled by Silhouette America.
  • Winner cannot have won another Silhouette America giveaway in the past 90 days.
  • Winners should expect their prize to arrive within 4-6 weeks.

Good luck!  And if you’re looking for even more etching inspiration, you can check out the projects below.  What will you be etching for the holidays?

Designs Used: 

Snowflake Spray Card


32 Comment

  1. Dawn says:

    Holy cow, Annie! I came over to update the link and literally was blown away by how creative and gorgeous these are! So, so pretty and the pics are awesome!

  2. Brittany says:

    Annie! These are incredible!! What a creative use for the etch glass!! This is most certainly going on my “to make” list, bravo!

  3. Annie Wills says:

    Thanks so much guys! I was so nervous the bulbs wouldn’t work anymore by the time I was finished messing around with them!

  4. Efrat says:

    Wow! what a great project. I love this light bulbs.

  5. Beautiful!!! Very clever contraption to hold the bulbs while etching, too. 🙂 My first thought was to wonder how you would rinse off the etching cream, so it’s good to know damp paper towels will do the trick on something unique like this.

  6. Dawn D says:

    WOW! Stunning!!

  7. Analisa says:

    I love how you’re always finding fun pieces to etch Annie. These lightbulbs are stunning! Every time I see one of your etched glass projects I say I’m going to try it…but I still haven’t. I need to get over that because you make it look great!

  8. Beatrice Lawson says:

    Incredible!! I would be afraid to work with etching cream… I can imagine myself spreading all over the place, but you did an incredible job!

  9. So pretty and festive! TFS!

  10. What a great idea! Love it. Plan to make some for my grandkids, they will love them!

  11. Kim Nath says:

    This is one of the best Christmas projects I have seen! Everyone on my list is getting some. Thanks for such a great idea!

  12. Marilyn E says:

    I love this project! Thank you for sharing this amazing project and the step by step tutorial!

  13. Shawna says:

    I LOVE THIS IDEA! Wow, that is very, very clever!

  14. Kim says:

    ANNIE! Stop the madness! This is amazing. Love how the glass bulbs look – such a fun and unique project. What a beautiful holiday decoration this would make – or an entire Christmas tree with them.

  15. Laura Mooney says:

    Wow, those are awesome! It’s been YEARS since I’ve done glass etching, well before a cool tool like the Silhouette.

  16. Kathy Salido says:

    Wow such a clever idea!!

  17. Betsy says:

    These are so beautiful…and cool!

  18. vicki says:

    what an incredibly original idea! Love it!!

  19. SewCalGal says:

    What a super fun project. Thanks for the inspirational tutorial.


  20. Louise Murr says:

    WOW…I never thought of doing that on the light bulb. That is so cool the way it reflects on the wall…I have to try this!!

  21. Carla Hundley says:

    How fun and festive!
    Great idea and came
    out wonderful.
    Carla from Utah

  22. Cindi Hall says:

    Wow! these are gorgeous.

  23. FMG says:

    These would make great stocking stuffers, if you can find the light bulbs.

  24. Karen R. says:

    Such a great idea!

  25. What a clever idea! They’re beautiful, Annie!

  26. Love this idea. I have several lamps to try this on.

  27. Great idea, Annie! I can’t wait to try it!

  28. SUPER COOL!!! I love glass etching and never even thought of doing lightbulbs. GENIUS!!!

  29. Jan Thomas says:

    Your project is supercute. I looked at some of your cards and loved them. In one of the your tutorials you mentioned next time you would use MISTI to get a better stamped image. What is MISTI? I know it is an organization can you explain what that meant as we all want better stamped images. ha. thank you. Have a nice Christmas.

    1. Annie Wills says:

      Thank you for having a look around Jan! I haven’t gotten around to posting a better review of the MISTI tool yet (such a busy time of year!), but you can see what I’m talking about here: The owner/inventor has a lot of nice Youtube videos explaining how to use it and it seems to be a very popular new tool with those who have heard about it (I found out about it on Splitcoast Stampers and was lucky enough to get one a few months back…they sell out very quickly!). Hope that helps…and I hope you have a great Christmas too!

  30. Sandy Grego says:

    Cool Holiday look and wouldn’t they look great in a garden hanging from trees with other designs? The possibilities are endless.

  31. Melitta Ball says:

    Such a very clever idea! Thanks for the ideas!

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