Here is a different kind of DIY today. If you're like me and enjoy crafts, making things, and have more time than money, you might enjoy this project. I first did this last summer when I made a large monogrammed hurricane glass candle holder for a wedding present - it turned out quite nicely and I decided to make these for quick Christmas gifts.
When first working with etched glass, I used this tutorial from The Yummy Life (lots of good tips here). This process is actually quite easy; it just takes a little patience.
Glass item (these votives were $1 at Wal-Mart)
Etching Cream (I bought Armour Etch at Hobby Lobby with a 40% coupon)
Exacto knife (mine has a swiveling head)
1. Initially, I washed the glass with soap and water to remove any stickers and film. For the monograms, I made different sized letters with various fonts in Photoshop and printed them out. I picked which size best fit the glass votive.
2. Using a pen, I traced the printed letter onto contact paper. This made a faint impression (like this process at Rachel's Nest) onto the paper, which I then drew over so I could see it better. Using my swiveling exacto knife and a steady hand, I cut out the letter and left the negative space.
3. I used rubbing alcohol to remove any oils or residue from the glass. After removing the backing of the contact paper, I adhered it to the glass votive. I then used a Q-tip to spread the etching cream onto the glass within the letter (a little Armour Etch goes a long way). Like in the tutorial linked above, I set the timer for a couple of minutes, then "stirred" the cream around, so to speak, to redistribute it. I did this about three times within 6-7 minutes.
4. Using warm water, I rinsed off the cream and removed the contact paper. An etched monogrammed was left on the glass.This whole process is quite simple and easy. There are lot of options for creativity. After making the initial purchase of Armour Etch, contact paper, and an Exacto knife, this project becomes quite economical. For the hurricane glass and vase monograms, I did the letter the same way but used a small hole punch to make the dotted circled border. Have fun!