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Pick Your Poison Etched Drinking Glasses

I wanted to fancy up a set of drinking glasses and what better way than to literally let someone ‘pick your poison’?

set of four glasses etched with Lead, Arsenic, Cyanide and Mercury

This isn’t strictly a Halloween craft but it certainly fits that seasons aesthetic. I’ll be keeping mine out all year, of course I also keep a 5 ft tall skeleton in my front flower bed 12 months a year.

My sense of humor is a little on the dark side sometimes. If you didn’t know that this DIY project should clue you in!

Etched Drinking Glass Supplies & Instructions

You’ll need a few specialty supplies for this craft, even I didn’t have everything on hand and considering the overflow coming out of my craft room/office that’s saying something.

Drinking Glasses

Obviously you’ll need some drinking glasses. You can hit up the dollar store for glasses or my new favorite place on earth, Home Goods. TJ Maxx is also a great option.

Since I started Tipsy Chickens (which is cocktail based) I’ve been buying a healthy amount of drinking gear. You can snag some great deals at the HGs and TJs of the world, especially if you aren’t picky and you hit up the clearance aisles.

I’ve actually made these glasses THREE times over the years and never got around to posting them. The last two times I’ve picked up clearance glasses at Home Goods.

tall glass with mercury etched on the front filled with green liquid and a metal straw

I ended up paying $5 for a really nice study set of glasses, way better than my first attempt with glasses from the dollar store. For the best result try to find glasses that are straight up and down. You’ll have less trouble getting the vinyl to stick with out bubbling.

If you’re using glasses you already have and use you might want to grab some alcohol pads to clean them off. I skipped that step because I was pulling clean glasses right out of the box.

DIY Stencil

I’m pretty out of the loop craft wise, I’ve been focusing on chickens and somehow I’m like 100 years behind in the world of vinyl cutters. I’m still using my OG Cameo (basically a relic) but I imagine you can use any vinyl cutter for this.

The vinyl won’t be part of the final project here so this is a great opportunity to use up some of your stash. Just make sure it’s not permanent, you need to be able to remove it easily at the end.

Download the Pick Your Poison Cut File

I skipped the mat and cut straight on the vinyl and used a pin to weed away the excess. See that big square around the design? You need that to pull this project off so make sure you keep it.

Grab some transfer tape and carefully pull off the vinyl, the letters are tricky and it will take some fiddling to make sure they stay where they need to be.

Speaking of, a few of the letters ended up crooked so I had to remove and replace them. Those are also the letters the etching cream seeped beneath.

This set of glasses was for personal use so I don’t really mind but if you’re making these to give as a gift work slowly and take your time. If you stencils don’t transfer correctly, toss them and start over with a new stencil & a clean surface.

I used a scrap of transfer paper as a guide so I could keep all the stencils straight and at the same level on the glasses. Then press down the stencil and carefully remove the transfer paper.

Glass Etching Cream

After you’ve put all your stencils on it’s time for the dangerous part. I put a layer of old felt on the table and stuck spools of thread between the glasses to keep them from rolling all over.

Use a paint brush to apply a glass etching cream like Armor Etch. Be very careful not to get it anywhere you don’t want etching, there is a small scuff mark on one of my finished glasses where I must have gotten a bit of etching cream.

You should wear gloves and safety glasses for this part and lock up all your cats. Cats love ruining projects that involve dangerous chemicals.

Keep in mind that you don’t need a thick layer of etching cream, on my 2nd attempt (these pictures are from the 3rd) I went in a little to hard and some of it dripped off the stencil. And it’s permanent so my Arsenic glass will always be a bit wonky.

Rinse of the cream taking care not to splash it all over. I like to use the same paint brush I used to apply it to sort of scrub it off. There is a warning on the etching cream about potentially damaging your sink but I haven’t noticed anything in either of my sinks.

After the cream is gone use a pin to remove the stencil and give the glasses a good wash.

The only downside to this that the etching disappears when it gets wet. If you fill it up with a nice cold beverage (maybe a Pineapple Upside Down Cake Cocktail?) and the glass sweats suddenly all your hard work is invisible.

Yield: 1 Set of Glasses

Pick Your Poison Drinking Glasses

Pick Your Poison Drinking Glasses

Let your guests 'Pick their Poison' with a set of DIY etched drinking glasses perfect for the Halloween season or everyday use

Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Difficulty Medium
Estimated Cost $25-50


  • Drinking Glasses
  • Vinyl
  • Transfer Tape
  • Etching Cream



  1. Cut stencils from vinyl & weed
  2. Clean glasses with rubbing alcohol if necessary and apply stencil using transfer tape
  3. Apply etching cream according to directions on the bottle.

    I used Armor Etch & there are no instructions on the bottle. According to their website: apply a layer of etching cream and allow it to sit for 15 minutes.
  4. Rinse off cream and remove stencils. Thoroughly clean the glasses before using them.


Please follow all safety precautions! We're not really trying to poison or harm anyone!

Recommended Products

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I think these etched drink glasses are a little bit quirky and very fun. They are definitely the kind of thing that make you do a double take!

A set would make a fun housewarming gift or birthday gift. If you wanted to take it one step further you could wrap them up with a bottle of booze.

I think a set of poison shot glasses would be pretty awesome too if shots are more your style.

Check out my Vinyl Page or my Halloween Page if you’re looking to keep it spooky or start with these:

glass of red juice on a red vinyl hand made coaster shaped like a blood splatter
Frosted glass candle holders with fake blood dripping down and text overlay for DIY candle tutorial





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