I used to do glass etching back when I used to go to camp. We'd design random glass bottles with whatever stencils the older kids had lying around. After camp, I kind of forgot about glass etching. But I stumbled across glass etching again and decided I needed to do glass etching again, starting first with making a spiral-etched frame.
Now, to backtrack, one aesthetic I had in my wedding was, long, flawy, ivy-like spirals. I know that's not exactly the most original aesthetic theme for a wedding, but I loved it simply because it came about organically. I just naturally picked things that had this is ivy-on-the-brick quality about them. After the wedding, I went nutty and purchased a ton of frames with spiral-painted borders (much to my husband's chagrin).
I decided that, for the sake of practicing my glass etching, I should make an etched glass frame with spirals.
Obviously, I was only doing it for the practice.
I outlined the frame on the contact paper in pencil so I could have a general idea of where things would go. I also kept the frame close by, as this particular frame had bolts at each corner, and I wasn't interested in having metal-etching as part of my design.
Cutting with an exacto knife isn't exactly the easiest, let alone cutting paper outlines of spirals that are only taped on with an exacto knife. By spiral 2, I was silently (and then not-so-silently) cursing myself, wondering why I couldn't have had a few basic squares as my main aesthetic.
As I've learned, it's okay with you can only remove the plastic adhesive. The paper underneath it stuck like mad and, after spiral 2, I realized that there really was no need to cut out the paper as well, as the paper is removed from the plastic adhesive after I am done, anyway. It was easier to see what had been cut out and which hadn't when I removed the paper as well.
Aside from the wall-to-wall tiles and ceramic, I also used the bathroom for one big reason: its ventilation system. Etching cream smells like Taco Bell farts. It is equal parts sulfuric and plastic and it's not a smell you want emanating throughout your home.
And now, you wait. For some etching cream, the wait time is 5 minutes. For others, it's as quick as 30 seconds. I actually flubbed completely and let it go as long as 10, but I thankfully didn't come into my bathroom to find disintegrated glass. From what I read up on later, leaving it on for long periods of time doesn't do any harm and might actually make the spirals more pronounced.
The frame I purchased (which I got off of Amazon) is meant for a 5 x 7 photo. I decided that, since the spirals are better seen when there isn't a photo in the way, I would choose a 4 x 6 picture instead. I choose a picture of myself right before the garter toss. It might seem narcissistic, but it was leftover from the pictures I ordered after the wedding and I'm pretty sure my husband would downright faint if I had ordered even MORE prints -- even if it was for the sake of practicing my glass etching.