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May the Frost Be with You: Etch Your Own Star Wars Drinking Glasses


Some of the best wedding gifts are those that manage to convey the personalities of the bride and groom while still being functional items. So, Andrew Nguyen’s newlywed friends were surely very excited to receive these handmade Star Wars etched glasses!

Nguyen’s technique for transferring a pattern in order to frost the clear glassware renders a nerdy thing of beauty, complete with well-defined borders and a uniform application. Nguyen walks through the process in this imgur album he published.


His process is fairly simple. He first obtained the images he wanted and laser printed them in white with a black background on glossy brochure paper intended for laser printing. The toner is then transferred to the glass by slowly and carefully ironing the image onto the surface of the tumbler. The paper is removed and the toner remains as a stencil for the etching. Nguyen applies some Armour Etch, lets it sit, rinses off the toner, and voilà! A beautifully nerdy custom beverage holder that looks professionally made.

Nguyen made four Star Wars glasses as well as one for each of the Harry Potter houses. After all of his practice (and some failed attempts) he says he would do some things differently. The printing and ironing process proved to be really time consuming, so he advises some sort of die cutting machine to do the stencils. Nguyen washed the Armour Etch down the sink drain during the removal process, but Redditors pointed out that this may not be very environmental. It’s better to scoop up the excess and save it for reuse. Once you’d like to dispose of it, Armour Etch should be treated as hazardous waste. Sandblasting is another viable option that Nguyen didn’t have the time or resources to explore.


Nguyen admits that he finished the gifts a mere hour before the wedding due to a couple failed starts. He advises something that is true of most projects — that you give yourself ample time to complete it!


Sophia is the managing editor of the Make: blog. When she’s not greasing editorial gears, she likes to run, ride, climb, and lift things, and make lo-tech goods like zines, desserts, and altered clothing. @sophiuhcamille

View more articles by Sophia Smith