Since my Beloved Dragon Cup broke last Fall I have been searching for a new tea cup. Inspired by these tea cups I decided to create my own tea cup. I bought two standard white mugs at Goodwill: one for experimenting on, and one that would be my final mug--because I loved the shape and size. I experimented using some etching cream that I bought at Hobby Lobby. It seemed to work, but I had to leave it on a long time, and the stencil I bought didn't work/stick very well. I came up with the idea of using some kind of stickers. What sticks really well? Duck tape. They sell it in sheets at the craft stores, so I picked up a sheet.
I have been hemming and hawing for months about what to etch into the cup. A spiral? My initials? A cat? All those things are a little hard to cut out. I was planning on just etching a design at the bottom of the cup and leaving the rest of the cup intact. Today I decided I want a cup! I decided to etch ginkgo leaves into the cup. Then Ross suggested doing the negative--instead of the way I had been thinking before. Brilliant! One of the reasons I hadn't etched the cup was because I was trying to figure out how I was going to stick a flat piece of sticker on the rounded inside of the cup without distorting the shape I had cut out. Placing just stickers and etching the rest of the cup solves that problem.
I traced and cut out two of Gingie's leaves. I peeled off the backing and stuck them in the cup. Then I placed a straight line of tape along the inside of the cup. I carefully rubbed all the stickers down to make sure they were stuck on really well. I slapped on the etching cream--very thickly. Then I took a nap. You see, I always want to take the cream off right away, and I needed to give it time to work. The etching cream was on for about 2 hours. I washed it off--and I could tell that the surface was different. It seemed to have worked so I peeled off the stickers and washed the cup really well.
You can see the shininess of the ginkgo in the second photo. The inside of the cup is very smooth, kind of velvety. I'm going to make a cup of tea now--and start the staining process. I'm so excited!