Glass Engraving

Every day is an opportunity to make a new happy ending.
-Author Unkown

Engraving is a simple and inexpensive way to personalize items. You could commemorate an event, like a wedding or birthday, or just make a fun home decor item with your favorite quote. Another idea is to engrave your New Year's resolutions onto a champagne bottle.

If you can use a pen, you can engrave. Seriously. For this project, we'll be engraving a quote on a wine bottle that can be hung on the wall.


  • Clean, dry wine bottle with a hole drilled on the back (How to Drill Through Glass)
  • Tape Measure
  • Quote printed on paper
  • Carbon paper
  • Scissors
  • Ball point pen
  • Tape
  • Safety glasses
  • Towel
  • Pen Engraver


First, a bit about engraving pens.  I bought my engraving pen at Michael's. It looked kind of chincy but after giving it a try I fell in love. It was inexpensive, it's cordless, it only takes two AAA batteries and it is very easy to handle. You could also try the General Tools 505 Cordless Precision Engraver with Diamond Tip Bit available on Amazon. It looks like a comparable item.

Let's get started. Begin by measuring the engraving area on your wine bottle. Remember, you don't want to engrave over the seams. On my bottle, the area I wanted to engrave on was about 4 x 6 1/2 inches.

You can use a word processing program to print a quote or other words that fit into that area. Pick a nice font and position your words the way you like. If you want, you can use same quote I did. "Every day is an opportunity to make a new happy ending."

Print your words and cut the paper the same size as your engraving area. Cut a piece of carbon paper the same width as the words you are using.

Prepare your work surface by covering it with a large towel. This will help keep things clean by catching the bits of glass dust produced when engraving.

Position the carbon paper and tape it to your bottle.

Position the words you will be engraving and tape them to your bottle.

Trace over your pattern with a ball point pen.

Remove the pattern and carbon paper.

Before you start engraving, put on your safety glasses. You don't want any glass dust getting into your eyes. Ouch!

As you engrave, you need to be careful not to wipe off your carbon pattern. I do this by starting my work at the bottom of the bottle and working right to left, bottom to top.

For thicker embellishments I start by engraving the outline and will go back later to fill them in.

Hold the engraving pen at a slight angle, push the button and begin. You don't need to press down on the engraver any harder than you would if you were writing with a pen. You can blow off the glass dust as you go if it starts to cover your pattern.

Here's how mine looked after a couple minutes.

Continue engraving your letters and outlining the embellishments.

Once you are done with this part you can go ahead and wipe the dust and what's left of your carbon pattern onto the towel.

This is a great time to take a break. Your hand is probably a little tired, and your engraving pen may be getting warm.

After your break, fill in the embellishments by using small strokes to color in the empty space. Filling in larger areas makes a lot of dust, so you will need to stop frequently and wipe the dust on the towel so you can see what sections still need to be filled.

Once the embellishments are filled, you may want to go back and engrave over your letters one more time. It adds a little more depth to your work and improves the contrast between the engraving and the glass color.

When your engraving is complete, wash all the dust and carbon off your bottle to leave it sparkling clean. Now, you are just a hammer and nail away from displaying your awesome work on the wall. Enjoy your personalized creation, or pass it on to a good friend as a gift!



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The Chilly Dog: Glass Engraving
Glass Engraving
The Chilly Dog
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