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I don’t remember where I first came across this idea (somewhere online, I’m sure), but it is a keeper! You can also purchase these on Etsy, if you prefer. Personalizing pans make for a fantastic and affordable gift, perfect for a housewarming present, wedding shower gift, birthday or Christmas.
The first time that I made these, I was extremely lucky and had been wanting to do it for a little while… then there was a huge renovation sale at my local Canadian Tire. I was able to scoop up a whole bunch of Anchor-Hocking 8×8 and 7×11 pans for very good prices. There are even still some in my stash. I can’t reveal what a great deal I got them for, or everyone will know! ;-) Lately, I have found the giant pyrex batter bowls with lids on sale frequently at Canadian Tire, as well as some baking pans with insulated carrying cases.
I bought the large bottle of Armour Etch Cream at Michaels, knowing that I wanted to make a lot of pans but not knowing how much I would go through. A little bit goes a very long way and I think you have to make over a hundred items before you need the large bottle. Note that this stuff is pretty darn dangerous, make sure to follow all of the safety precautions. It is also a bioaccumulator, so be extra careful to avoid any contact. Here is a link to the Material Safety Data Sheet that you should take a look at before using the product. I store my bottle in a ziplock bag, so that it can’t leak onto anything else and wreak havoc, including my hands! It also prevents any crusties that form on the lid from ending up on my hands or falling off onto things.
Personalized Baking Pan Tutorial
What you will need:
- Glass Pan or other Item
- Disposable Gloves
- Plastic Spoon or Paint Brush
- Contact Paper – you can get specifically made paper, or use the stuff for lining drawers
- Exacto Knife or Cricut
- Dish Soap
- Tape – Scotch, Hockey or similar
- Printer (if not using a Cricut)
- Cardboard and/or a Drop Cloth (Check out my awesome, plastic, Santa tablecloth!)
- Measuring Tape
- Armour Etch Cream
First up, you need to figure out where you are going to put the text on your pan. Originally, I was putting them on the very bottom of the pan, so that they would show through to the top. However, I found that the text wasn’t really visible if the pan was dirty or still had contents. Lately, I’ve been putting it along the side, instead. Measure the size of the area that you would like to cover with text, making sure to not include areas that have too much curve. If this is your first time doing this, I suggest that you start with some of your own things. I have etched Anne onto about a third of my pans at this point in time! I am glad I did, as I learned a few things in the process, such as how long it takes for the letters to show up well.
On your computer, make text the size that you would like. You can set exact sizes for your word art if you are using Microsoft Word or Publisher. When designing your lettering, remember that you will have to position any central pieces by hand, such as the middle circle in an “o” or the top piece of a lower case “e.” Also ensure that you don’t have any extremely narrow sections, as they can be hard to line up straight once they are cut out. Print the text out backwards (or flip your image on the screen first), if you want to put it on the bottom of the pan, so that it is legible from the top. Most printers have a setting that allows you to do this, if you search the internet, you can probably find instructions. Alternatively, use a cricut or a silhouette cameo if you have one, to directly cut out the letters you would like.
Next, cut around the piece you just printed out, leaving an edge large enough to tape. Then cut out a piece of the contact paper you are using that is at least half an inch bigger on all sides than your text. Working on cardboard or cutting mat, tape the piece of paper with the text on it to the contact paper. If you want to keep it from moving, tape it to the cardboard as well. Working carefully, use an exacto knife to cut out the inside of the letters. Try to keep the outside edges nice and smooth and do not cut too far, as that will be your exterior. You need to keep the centers of any letters with holes in them, such as “A” or “p” or “e.”
I use clear hockey tape, I find it pulls off easily. At the time, I probably used it because I couldn’t find scotch tape and I’m lazy like that; now, I use it on purpose. Once you have cut out all of your letters, detach the contact paper from the cardboard and figure out where you are going to place it on your pan. You need to wash and thoroughly dry your glass pan before attaching the stencil. Also make sure that your hands are clean, so that you don’t leave any oils or other residue from your fingers. Carefully peel off the back of the paper and stick it to the pan. Now rub it onto the glass very well, making sure there are no bubbles on the edges of the letters, otherwise the etching substance will get underneath and your letters won’t have crisp edges. Gravity is going to go to work once you have applied the Armour Etch, so ensure that you have protected any areas that might end up covered in Etch by using some extra vinyl or some extra hockey tape.
I will reiterate, this stuff is dangerous. It eats through glass, for goodness sake, imagine what it would do to your body! So now is a good time to put on your rubber gloves. Make sure your area is well ventilated and that you are going to be able to get from where you are to a usable sink fairly easily. Now open your Armour Etch and apply a solid layer using your plastic spoon. Make sure that it is fairly evenly coating your surface and is thick. If it is too thin in some areas, the etching won’t be uniform. Once it is all on, start your timer. You will see warnings everywhere that you can’t use it on pyrex and to not use it for more than a few minutes. Here’s where we deviate greatly from the directions. Leave that stuff on for at least 45 minutes. In the meantime, recap the bottle of Armour Etch and carefully remove your disposable gloves, without covering your hands in Armour Etch. I will usually wash my hands while the gloves are still on, using soap, and then take the gloves off without touching the outside.
When the timer goes off, put gloves back on (a new pair, or the ones you had on before) and scrape the excess Armour Etch back into the container using your spoon. You really don’t need very much of it per project. Once you have returned what you can to the bottle, put the lid back on, wipe the bottle down with some paper towel and store it in a ziplock bag, so that it doesn’t accidentally get on anything or on your skin. Then carry your project over to the sink (make sure there’s nothing in the sink, so you don’t cover things in the etch!). Working fairly quickly under running water, wash off all of the excess Armour Etch, then add a bit of soap to get it nice and clean. While still at the sink with your gloves on, peel off your stencil. Wash the whole project again with soap now that the stencil is removed. Carefully remove your gloves again and dispose of them.
While you were washing, you might have been worried that the letters didn’t show up very well. Don’t worry, most of the time they are extremely difficult to see when wet! Now that your project is nice and clean, dry it off and sit back and admire it! You may or may not want to add in the original packaging. Most people know how to use glass baking pans though :-) If you picked up one of the pans in a carrying case, it is easy to stuff the packaging back into the case and put the pan inside.
This one says Matt on one side and Laura on the other :-)
It may seem a little pedantic, but please heed the safety instructions included. They’re really not that difficult – ventilation, gloves, store in a ziplock bag, and they will keep you nice and safe for years to come :-)
Thanks to Melissa’s blog for helping me out when I first started!
Thanks to Linda’s Lunacy for hosting a linky.