Thursday, July 1, 2010

Paint Your Own Stemware

My friend's birthday was a few weeks ago. She is a huge fan of our school (Georgia Tech) and she loves margaritas, so I figured that GT-themed margarita glasses would be the perfect gift. Of course, there are no official Tech glasses, so off to the craft store!

Finding an inexpensive set of glasses was easier than I thought. Amazon has tons, and I got mine at Target. The paint required some research. I ended up using PermEnamel Glass Paint that's oven-safe and dishwasher safe (even if you never plan to put it in the oven, you still need this kind of paint! Others can be toxic, so be careful). Joanne's had a little kit that came with 8 colors, the primer, and the liner. If you need a lot of one color, you'll have to buy them separately, but if you don't, the kit saves a lot of money.

You'll want to do this in a ventilated area. I used the garage with the doors open. First clean the glasses with the cleaner provided in the kit. You'll have to let them sit for a while, and in the meantime you can get your pattern ready.

Since I've never been good at freehand painting, I wanted to keep the pattern simple. Less chance of messing it up, better chance of it looking professional. I did dots of our colors (white, blue, and gold) around the glass. I did this on the outside, so it will never some into contact with the drink. If you're doing a pattern like this, do all of one color first, and add them on opposite sides of the glass (ie 12:00 and 6:00, before moving to 3:00 and 9:00). Then switch colors.

I painted the stems blue. It ended up just a little streaky - glass paint is a lot thinner than regular paint. It is made to be translucent on the glass, so don't expect it to be darker. On the bottom, I put the GT logo. There' a trick to this. Print out the image that you want in the correct size in mirror (or, if you can't, print it out and then trace the lines on the back of it. It will end up as a mirror image). Tape this to the top side of the foot of the glass. Flip the glass upside-down and trace the lines onto the glass with the tracing paint in the kit (it's much thicker than the paint). My dad was experimenting with this and he found that the liner was actually too think; he ended up using a permanent marker to make the lines. If you put enough on, the paint won't run. Let that dry, and then fill it in with some of the paint.

You can tape and trace any image you want, but remember not to put paint on the inside of the glass. I also recommend not putting any on the upper lip of the glass, where it might get into someone's mouth. This paint is supposed to be non-toxic, but don't take a chance. The whole process is pretty fast. Here's how mine turned out.

Click to enlarge. For my first time painting glass, I think they turned how pretty well. Happy crafting!

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