Besides showing thoughtfulness, homemade glass gifts are fun to do with children and are generally inexpensive. Here are three ideas to get started with.
1. Etched Glass Platter or Tray
Etching a glass platter with someone’s name, a quick inscription, or meaningful symbol doesn’t take much time. Required materials include etching cream, a foam brush, contact paper, a utility knife, and latex gloves. Cut a pattern with a utility knife out of contact paper, taking note that it is the empty spaces cut out of the paper that will be covered with etching cream, creating a pattern.
Tape the contact paper onto the platter, carefully smoothing out any bubbles of air. Clean the patter with window cleaner first, and wear gloves when applying the acidic etching cream. Apply the etched cream generously with the foam brush. Allow it to dry for about 15 minutes. Rinse off under running water; then remove the contact paper to reveal a beautiful etched gift.
2. Sea Glass Mosaic Framed Mirror
Beautiful sea glass comes in many different colors and makes great materials for creating a mosaic. Required materials include a mirror with a wide frame, assorted sea glass, tile adhesive, tile nippers, and mosaic grout. Sea glass can be found on many beaches or purchased online. Find a mirror (or picture frame) with a wide, smooth frame made of metal or wood. Using tile adhesive, glue pieces of sea glass ( you may need tile nippers to shape the glass) onto the frame. Leave about 1/8 to 1/4 inch of space in between the pieces of sea glass.
Allow the adhesive to dry for several hours. Spread a mosaic grout into the cracks with your fingers or a grout spreading knife. Clean off excess grout with a damp sponge. Getting off the extra grout will require going over the sea glass several times with a damp sponge. Rinse the sponge off after a couple of swipes so that you are cleaning the glass, not smearing the grout. Allow it to dry for about 24 hours.
3. Potpourri Lanterns
A potpourri lantern can be made quickly using a mason glass jar, a long thin strand of Christmas lights, your favorite fragrance of potpourri, and about 2½ feet of baling wire for the handle. Start by placing an inch or so of potpourri on the bottom. Then start coiling the strand of lights up the jar, filling in with potpourri to build the coil up, until it gets to the top of the jar. Make sure there is enough length left in the lights so that it can be plugged into an outlet.
You can make a handle by making a loop about 8 inches from one end, then wrapping both ends of the wire under the lip of the jar and around to the other side. Twist several times until the short end is used up. Run the longer end up and over the jar and into the loop on the opposite side from top to bottom. Twist to secure. When you turn on the lights, the heat will help to better spread the scent of the potpourri.