A while back I published a blog about glass etching. All the “how-to’s” of that process can be found in that post. It really is a very easy process, using some sort of stencil and some glass etching paste. You can create stencils yourself using painters tape, or you can purchase the adhesive screen printing stencils from any craft store. These are great if you aren’t doing something too personalized; however, a lot of times they will make you buy an entire kit along with the stencils. I tend to make my own with painters tape and a print off of my design, since I’m not made of money (again specific how-to’s of this process can be found in the last post about glass etching).
I think beer mugs (or root beer mugs for the younger crowd) make a great manly present. I made some for my brother, dad, and my guy friends as well. You can put their initials, sport’s team name, and sport’s team logo on the mug. If you are doing these for a younger group of boys, perhaps for a themed birthday, you could etch the letter of the child’s first name, along with an image related to the party theme, maybe a cowboy, lasso, or some sort of cinema image if it’s for a movie night sleepover party! There’s really no limit to what you could put on them. I bought these mugs at WALMART for about 97 cents each! They come in a large and small size. They also sell mason jar glasses with handles, which would also be fun to etch as a present. The etching cream I always tend to have stocked in my craft box.
These wall letters are super easy to make and are a great touch to any child’s room or bland dorm room!
I picked up some foam boards from Michael’s or Hobby Lobby. They are 1 inch thick and measure 12″ x 10″. You can buy one for $4.99 or you can buy a pack of four for $10.99 (Hobby Lobby – Styrofoam Blocks) which is obviously a better deal if you are going to be doing more than one letter. I use one entire board for each letter, although you could make multiple smaller letters from one board (I haven’t tried this). Draw out the letter onto the foam board using a sharpie or pen (I use the edge of the board for the edges of the letter since this keeps all the letters the same dimensions). You can then use a serrated knife or any type of foam cutter to cut out the letters. Be careful not to press to hard as the foam might snap (if it does simply hot glue it back together and continue carefully). Once you have the letters cut out you can cover them with fabric.
I also picked up the fabric from Hobby Lobby while I was there. Just get enough to cover the number of foam squares you will be using, plus a little extra to be safe. The fabric is usually pretty cheap. Feel free to use any scrap fabric you may have as long as it is a little longer than 12″ since you have to slightly fold it over the edges. Cut the fabric into 13″ x 11″ rectangles. You then simply use hot glue to glue the fabric around your cut out letters.
If you wish to hang the letters, or would like to add a little more pizzaz besides just the fabric, I would also pick up some ribbon. Get an opaque type of ribbon that is smaller than the width of the styrofoam board (I usually get ribbon that is 3/4 of an inch thick although you could go up to 1″ thick). Using the glue gun again, secure the ribbon around the outside of the letters (on the surface perpendicular to the wall – see pictures). You can also use this same ribbon to create a hanger for the letters. You can glue this ribbon to the back of the letters.