DIY Kentucky Bourbon Etched Glass Set: Perfect Gift for Dad!

My husband is a simple man with just a few loves of his life: the New England Patriots, a rare sirloin steak, yours truly and the pipsqueak (he better agree!), and Kentucky bourbon.  A couple months ago, being the awesome, crafty wife that I am, I surprised him with an etched glass to use while enjoying his bourbon concoctions.

I was really just looking for an excuse to practice getting my etch on since I’d only done one project so far (my Dad’s dual-sided “Dad/Grandpa Est.” glass), so I was a little surprised when he said “That’s cool!  When are you going to make me a set?”

Uhhhh, a set??  As in a small collection of objects?  Meaning he wanted more than one of these things??

No problem, and after getting a little more clarification, he didn’t want four of the same exact glasses, but he’d like to have more than one, each with a cool bourbon saying since that’s his libation of choice.

And since I’m not one to disappoint the love of my life, I finally finished up his DIY Kentucky bourbon etched glass set, and here they are!  It’s also Silhouette Challenge time again, and this month’s theme is DIY Gifts with the bonus challenge of Etched Glass….nailed it!

DIY Kentucky Bourbon Etched Glass Set | Where The Smiles Have Been

[Full Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.]


DIY Kentucky Bourbon Etched Glass Set

The original glass that I made was inspired by this beauty that I spotted on Kentucky for Kentucky’s Instagram feed one day.  I’m from KY and miss my beloved Bluegrass state dearly, and my husband, the Mainer, has come to love the land of fried chicken, fast horses, and amazing college basketball just as much as I do.

He lived there for several years thanks to a stint with the Army at Fort Campbell then us falling in love, marrying, and putting down roots in the central part of the state before a new job brought us down here to Bama.

DIY Kentucky Bourbon Etched Glass Set | Where The Smiles Have Been

Here’s the original glass I surprised The Hubs with….“Keep Your Friends Close & Your Bourbon Closer.”



We’ve had this set of drinking glasses for years and years, and Matt is the only one who uses them.  I prefer to drink from our cheap freebie plastic cups that have been through the dishwasher so many times they’re warped and you can’t even make out the printed designs anymore.  Hey, what can I say, it takes me back to my childhood….no high-maintenance woman in these parts!

Here’s everything I ended up using for this project:

DIY Kentucky Bourbon Etched Glass Set | Where The Smiles Have Been


Designing My Stencils

I fully admit that I’m not very clever or original, so I searched the interwebs for help in coming up with the other three sayings.  Here’s what I ended up going with:

  • Keep Your Friends Close & Your Bourbon Closer
  • Nothing But Kentucky Bourbon
  • Creativity is 80% Bourbon & 20% Ice
  • Can’t Spell Bourbon Without BBN
    • Go Big Blue!….this wasn’t part of the design, just cheering on the Cats! :)


Vinyl Cut Settings in Silhouette Studio

I used the default Vinyl cut settings but bumped the speed way down to a 4 since these cuts were pretty small and intricate:

  • Speed: 4
  • Thickness: 9
  • Blade: 2
  • Cutting Mat: Checked

{Note: Even though all four designs are shown here, I turned the cut lines off for the “Keep Your Friends Close” stencil since I had already etched that glass.  I just left the design on the page to help with sizing the other three.}

DIY Kentucky Bourbon Etched Glass Set | Where The Smiles Have Been


Cutting out Stencils on Silhouette Cameo

Now that my designs were ready, it was time to cut them out.  I’ve always had success with using vinyl stencils, whether it be on canvas, wood, or a tote bag, and since it worked well for my Dad’s glass, I decided to use more for this project.  If it ain’t broke….

I flipped through my vinyl storage organizer until I found a color that I had a surplus of and that I don’t have any plans for using in the near future: a burgundy red sheet.  So I loaded it up on my cutting mat, applied a couple strips of painter’s tape to the sides just to keep it nice and secure (my mat is very well-loved and therefore not very sticky anymore), then loaded it into my Silhouette Cameo.

DIY Kentucky Bourbon Etched Glass Set | Where The Smiles Have Been


Applying Vinyl Stencils

Once the stencils were cut, I trimmed them up, weeded (or removed) the excess vinyl, and slapped some transfer paper overtop.  Then I put on my gloves, cleaned the glasses off with some isopropyl alcohol, and using the hinge method (which I talk about here), I applied each stencil to a glass.

DIY Kentucky Bourbon Etched Glass Set | Where The Smiles Have Been

Once the vinyl was applied, I then went and added a border of painter’s tape around all the edges, just as a little safety net of sorts.  I’m a pretty messy DIYer and need all the safety precautions I can get to help save me from myself.

DIY Kentucky Bourbon Etched Glass Set | Where The Smiles Have Been


Adding Etching Cream

It was finally time to get my etch on!  You can check out my first post on glass etching where I talk about this etching cream in more detail.  Basically, make sure you’re wearing gloves and eye protection because this stuff has some pretty intense chemistry going on (I mean, it’s permanently scarring glass, so it oughta!), and watch out for powder that *poofs* out when you first take off the lid….it gets me every time!

DIY Kentucky Bourbon Etched Glass Set | Where The Smiles Have Been

I set the timer on my iPhone for five minutes and then grabbed a super cool, neon green plastic knife (a remnant from my son’s first birthday party) and started smearing the etching cream onto the first glass.  Once the first glass was fully covered and finished with application (which took about 30 seconds), I moved onto the second and did the same, then finally onto the third.

Then, instead of just sitting and waiting around for the remainder of my five minutes to pass, I went back to the first glass and started moving the etching cream around some more with my knife.  I’m not sure if it’s necessary (probably not), but I think it helps for a smoother and more even etching (I could be crazy though), and it also helps the time fly by (added bonus).

DIY Kentucky Bourbon Etched Glass Set | Where The Smiles Have Been


Washing Off Etching Cream & Removing Stencils

Once my timer buzzed, I scraped the excess etching cream back into the bottle, and then it was a mad dash to the sink!  The etching cream washes off really quickly and easily, so once all three glasses were cleaned and dried, I started peeling away the painter’s tape and vinyl stencils….and held my breath to see if this was a successful project or a craft fail.  Ahhh, the anticipation was almost too much to bear!

Luckily, it was a success!  The vinyl stencils are the bee’s knees and provided crisp lines with NO bleeding of the etching cream.  Wahoo!  It took a few minutes to peel away all the little bits of vinyl off the three glasses, and once they were bare, all I needed was another rinse with some soap and water and this project was complete!

DIY Kentucky Bourbon Etched Glass Set | Where The Smiles Have Been


The Final DIY Kentucky Bourbon Etched Glass Set!

And here they are!  A complete set of custom-made etched drinking glasses from which my husband can enjoy sipping his sweet Kentucky Bourbon.  I’m such a good wife. :)

{And let me just say that I absolutely HATE photographing etched glass!  It is so dang difficult to get a good, clear shot.  Even adding black paper inside these glasses didn’t work, and The Hubs wouldn’t let me fill an entire glass up with bourbon to try and make the etching appear better….he was all “You can’t do that!  Then everyone will think I’m a raging alcoholic!”  So friends, my apologies.  These were the best shots I could get. ;)}

DIY Kentucky Bourbon Etched Glass Set | Where The Smiles Have Been

DIY Kentucky Bourbon Etched Glass Set | Where The Smiles Have Been

DIY Kentucky Bourbon Etched Glass Set | Where The Smiles Have Been

DIY Kentucky Bourbon Etched Glass Set | Where The Smiles Have Been

DIY Kentucky Bourbon Etched Glass Set | Where The Smiles Have Been

DIY Kentucky Bourbon Etched Glass Set | Where The Smiles Have Been

I even went and picked up a new bottle of the good stuff for the fella to enjoy in his new glasses AND I placed a festive (and left-over Christmas) bow on it. {*I’m so fancy….*}  It’s not his favorite brand of brew, but this was on sale so I couldn’t pass it up….must be in my chromosomes to leave no sale behind. ;)

DIY Kentucky Bourbon Etched Glass Set | Where The Smiles Have Been

DIY Kentucky Bourbon Etched Glass Set | Where The Smiles Have Been


***UPDATE!!!!  Please READ!****

I’m sorry but I am not selling any sets of these glasses, any sets of vinyl stencils, or the cut files at this time!  I’ll be sure and update this post if I ever get around to opening up a shop!  I’m glad to hear there’s interest though! :)


The Silhouette Challenge

But wait!  There’s more! ;)  This is this month’s Silhouette Challenge post, and 15 of my bloggy buddies are also sharing projects with DIY gift ideas they made using their Silhouettes.  Hop on around to them all for lots of inspiration!

Sixteen Gifts You Can Make with Your Silhouette Machine! | Where The Smiles Have Been

DIY Personalized Notebook DIY Kentucky Bourbon Etched Glass Set: Perfect Gift for Dad! Silhouette Monogram Ideas - Easy Monogram Photo DAD Accordian Fold Father's Day Card Etched Oregon Swing Top Bottle - May Silhouette Challenge Leather Bookmark DIY Wedding Gift Etched Glass Vase with a Silhouette How To Make Etched Glass Tile Coasters Simple Handmade Gifts for Under $10.00 Family Tree Frame with Vinyl Mother's Day Etched Glass Terrarium: The Perfect DIY Gift Wood Monogram Wire Bracelet The Art of the Etched Casserole Dish: Your Questions Answered! Faux Chalk Mason Jar Glass Delicious! Any More? An etched Glass plate

1. Weekend Craft // 2. Where The Smiles Have Been // 3. Confessions of an Overworked Mom // 4. Simply Kelly Designs // 5. Adventures in All Things Food // 6. Sisters, What! // 7. Create & Babble // 8. Creative Ramblings // 9. Practically Functional // 10. Briick by Briick // 11. My Paper Craze // 12. DIYJustCuz // 13. Made in a Day // 14. The Thinking Closet // 15. Architecture of a Mom // 16. Get Silvered

Also, come check out my board on Pinterest that is dedicated to all things Silhouette!

Follow Christine at Where The Smiles Have Been’s board Silhouette Cameo: Tips, Tricks, & Tutorials on Pinterest.

Thanks so much for stopping by!






About Christine

I'm Christine, a SAHM to a spunky toddler and his mini-me infant brother, and married to the best guy you'll ever meet. I (try to) spend their nap times getting my craft on and I blog about my creations and adventures in parenting at Where The Smiles Have Been. My loves are all things DIY, especially Silhouette projects, wreaths, & personalized decor. And ice cream....definitely love me some ice cream.


  1. Laura Layne says:

    Hi! I love these! What size is your design/glasses? I would love to make these for my husband and father in law, but not sure what size glasses to get! Thanks!

  2. Did you ever get a shop up and running? I’m wanting to purchase the cutting file for these glasses. We live in KY and they are perfect! I also use SVG files not sure if you still only have it in one type of file format.

  3. Katherine Theios says:

    Love these. Are you willing to share or sell your file so I can re-create these? My husband would love them.

    • Hey Katherine! I’m planning on opening up a shop in the fall to start selling some files, including these. Right now I’d be able to sell and email you the .studio file of these (sorry, that’s the only format I can do now), so if you’re interested, just shoot me an email using the contact form here on my site!

  4. I LOVE these! I don’t have a silhouette and I can’t find anyone around me who does either. Anyway you’d sell the stencil? I’d pay you time and shipping! My husband would love this as a gift! Thanks for sharing this awesome idea!!

  5. These are super cute and I like how each glass says something different! You are so creative and I cannot wait for you to open an Etsy store! Hopefully you open a store. I should be so presumptuous. haha

    Thank you for sharing at #SmallVictoriesSundayLinkup !

    • Haha, Brandi…your comment made me smile! :) Yep, I’d like to open an Etsy shop eventually….just have to find the time! I’m so glad to hear you like these glasses. Thank you so much for all the kind words….and the chuckle! ;)

  6. Very cute. Thanks for linking up to the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Party. I have pinned to the Bloggers Brags Broad.

  7. Hey Christine, I too am a proud KY native, we live in Richmond! Could I possibly get you to sell me some of the stencils on this exact project? I want to make as a gift for our upcoming wedding in July. I don’t have a Cameo, YET :). I absolutely love them and your instructions make it seem so simple.

  8. Those are too cute!! I just got my silhouette today!! I have had a cricut for years but I just loved some of the features that silhouette offered that cricut didn’t so now I have both. I haven’t etched anything in forever. Now I want to etch something!!

    • Thanks Sheena! I don’t have any experience with the Cricut but I sure love me my Silhouette! And etching is so fun! Thanks for stopping by and good luck with your Cameo! :)

  9. These are awesome! I’ve only tried a super simple design on a dollar store glass to get the idea of doing it. This project makes me want to try something bigger and better!

    • Hey Nancy! Yep, these aren’t hard to do, just small little intricate parts….have fun weeding! Good luck, and thanks for stopping by! :)

  10. Christine these came out amazing! I haven’t tried armour etch yet just the silhouette brand. Great job photographing them I always have issues photographing etched glass but your pictures are amazing!

    • Thanks so much, Michelle! Glad to hear I’m not the only one with issues photographing etching projects….it’s so frustrating, but these will do. :) Does the Silhouette-brand etching cream work well? I’ve only ever tried Armour Etch….the bottle seems to be ever-lasting!

  11. I love the set you’ve made for your husband. What a great gift idea – the set and the different phrases on each one is an inspired idea.

    My Silhouette Challenge project was an etched piece too and I know exactly what you went through photographing your glasses. Your pics did turn out great though despite not using all the bourbon!

  12. What a thoughtful gift for your husband. Sadly I am afraid we wouldn’t get along well with him being a Pats fan. :) Your etching turned out fabulously!

  13. These are adorable! Definitely a great gift idea! I’m going to have to make some of my own. I had never heard of the “hinge method” either…thanks for the tip!

    • Thanks, Brittany! The Hubs was very happy with them….he feels very fancy sipping out of one-of-a-kind glasses now. :) And yes….the hinge method is amazing!! It will change your Silhouetting life!

  14. What a fun idea. I love glass etching but I’ve never tried to make my own stencils!


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