Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Etched Copper...Personalized

I worked on a project last week, and am kicking myself 
that I didn't take more photos of each of the steps.  
But I enjoyed it so much, that I plan on doing more 
projects very soon, and will snap more pics of the process.

Our GodDaughter was confirmed this past Sunday, and I wanted to give her something
that had to do with her faith journey, and also something personalized just for her.
I toyed with making a piece of jewelry, but wanted to steer away from that 
because I've done that with past gifts for her.

I called her mom and asked what her "Confirmation Verse" was ~ each Confirmand chose a verse from Scripture that was meaningful to them.  So, the phrase I used in the project was the first part of that verse.  I decided to make an etched copper cross, and played around with some lettering:

Then (in the steps I failed to photograph), I cut a cross out of copper, filed the edges,
and drew the design directly on the copper with a black fine-point Sharpie.  
The Sharpie ink acts as a resist when the piece is put into the etching acid.

(Side note ~ with the bankruptcy of RadioShack, many of their stores ~~not all~~ are closing and liquidating their inventory.  I got a bottle of etching acid for  $1.40!  Everything was 90% off....they only had one bottle left, or I definitely would have stocked up on those $14 bottles.  So, be on the lookout for closing stores.)

Next, I needed to add a patina to darken my etched metal.  But all I had was some Novacan Black, 
which really only works well on silver soldered stuff.  Since it did very little to darken my copper, I resorted to just using a black Sharpie since I was in a time crunch (what else is new...).

Not ideal for permanency, but it worked okay.
Then I used 0000 steel wool to polish off the raised layer, to bring up all the etched detail.

My plan was to add the cross to a journal, so I bought a plain black Moleskin and tried it out:
 ...but it just looked kind of blah, flat, and maybe too much like a Bible.  
Plus, that elastic band was bugging me.

Then I came upon this gorgeous little journal!  It looks like a treasured antique, 
and has a neat little clasp on the side ~

I just love how it turned out, like a relic from the past, and hopefully our GodDaughter loves it, too!

We were on our way to church that day for the Confirmation service, 
and snapped a quick family pic in the backyard.
So glad my girl is home from college for the summer!

etched copper
on the horizon for me.  I love the process.  It's really pretty easy, with great results.
And perfect for a personalized gift!


  1. Maggie - LOVE this...when you run out of your etching solution from Radio Shack, let me know and I will send you the tutorial I wrote up for an art teacher friend. I use Muriatic Acid and Peroxide - works like a dream. And The Novacan does just have to go over it a few times to get it really darkened to your liking. This is gorgeous - I'm sure it will be treasured! XOXO

  2. Oh.My.Gosh. This is gorgeous and she is going to love it!!