DIY Etched Mugs without Vinyl Stencils (2 Different Methods)

Custom etched mugs are an easy and inexpensive gift idea. That is why you see them as Father’s Day, Christmas, Birthday, and even groomsmen’s gifts. Unfortunately, most of the tutorials that you see for them require cutting a stencil out of vinyl to adhere to your mug. What do you do if you don’t have any vinyl or you are still waiting for that cutting machine? That is what I wanted to find out so I made DIY etched mugs without vinyl stencils. I tried 2 different methods to see which worked best: a plastic stencil and sticker outlines. Find out the outcome and my tips below.

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Make DIY etched mugs without vinyl stencils. I tried 2 different methods to see which worked best. See the tutorials and find out the outcome (+ tips).

 

Make DIY etched mugs without vinyl stencils. 2 different methods (+ tips) #diy #crafts #etchedmugs Click To Tweet

 

Method 1: Plastic Stencil

Materials

 

Make DIY etched mugs without vinyl stencils. I tried 2 different methods to see which worked best. See the tutorials and find out the outcome (+ tips).

Step 1

First, make sure that your mug is clean. Giving it a quick wipe down with a damp cloth is sufficient.

 

Make DIY etched mugs without vinyl stencils. I tried 2 different methods to see which worked best. See the tutorials and find out the outcome (+ tips).

Make DIY etched mugs without vinyl stencils. I tried 2 different methods to see which worked best. See the tutorials and find out the outcome (+ tips).

Step 2

Place your stencil on your mug where you would like the design and tape into place with your packaging tape.

 

Make DIY etched mugs without vinyl stencils. I tried 2 different methods to see which worked best. See the tutorials and find out the outcome (+ tips).

Step 3

Before doing anything else, put on protective gloves. You don’t want to get the etching solution on your skin.

 

Make DIY etched mugs without vinyl stencils. I tried 2 different methods to see which worked best. See the tutorials and find out the outcome (+ tips).

Step 4

Open your etching solution and apply over your stencil using a paintbrush.

Tip:

  • Brush towards the center of your stencil openings. This will help keep the solution from getting under the stencil and give you cleaner lines.

Step 5

Allow to sit according to the time on your etching solution directions.

Step 6

Put your gloves back on and rinse off your solution. Once the bulk of it is off, remove your stencil and rinse off any remaining solution.

 

Make DIY etched mugs without vinyl stencils. I tried 2 different methods to see which worked best. See the tutorials and find out the outcome (+ tips).

Step 7

Dry your mug and you are finished.

Method 2: Sticker Outline

Materials

 

Make DIY etched mugs without vinyl stencils. I tried 2 different methods to see which worked best. See the tutorials and find out the outcome (+ tips).

Step 1

Again, make sure your mug is clean.

 

Make DIY etched mugs without vinyl stencils. I tried 2 different methods to see which worked best. See the tutorials and find out the outcome (+ tips).

Step 2

Cut out the stickers that you want to use. Be sure to leave excess around the edges.

 

Make DIY etched mugs without vinyl stencils. I tried 2 different methods to see which worked best. See the tutorials and find out the outcome (+ tips).

Step 3

Pull off only the inverse of the letters and stick them to your mug where you want your design.

Tip:

  • Remember to add the centers of letters that have openings.

Step 4

Before doing anything else, put on protective gloves. You don’t want to get the etching solution on your skin.

Step 5

Open your etching solution and apply over the inside of the sticker outlines using a paintbrush.

Step 6

Allow to sit according to the time on your etching solution directions.

Step 7

Put your gloves back on and rinse off your solution. The sticker outlines will soften and wash off along with the solution.

 

Make DIY etched mugs without vinyl stencils. I tried 2 different methods to see which worked best. See the tutorials and find out the outcome (+ tips).

Step 8

Again, dry your mug and you are finished.

 

Make DIY etched mugs without vinyl stencils. I tried 2 different methods to see which worked best. See the tutorials and find out the outcome (+ tips).

Make DIY etched mugs without vinyl stencils. I tried 2 different methods to see which worked best. See the tutorials and find out the outcome (+ tips).

Make DIY etched mugs without vinyl stencils. I tried 2 different methods to see which worked best. See the tutorials and find out the outcome (+ tips).

Both of these methods for DIY etched mugs without vinyl were successful. However, the sticker outlines method resulted in cleaner lines. The removal of the sticker outlines and etching solution is also much easier. Also, both of these methods work if you only have stencils or stickers available to you. My overall opinion is to go with stickers if you have them. They seal everywhere which results in a beautiful, clean design. Have any DIY alternatives you want tackled? Let me know in the comments and I’ll see what I can come up with!

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I’m a nerdy, crafty mom of three adorable little kids. I love writing and creating, but in my non-existent free time I also love karaoke, taking my kids to the zoo, and reading. I got my degree in Science (no idea how that happened) but I took every English class I could get my hands on because, yeah, I’m that girl.
  • Megan Chamberlin

    I’ve had an etching kit in my craft room for like six months – maybe I should dust it off! 🙂