Glass Engraving for Beginners

If you have been looking for a simple project to practice your glass engraving skills, follow my step by step process of how I engrave some Zentangle® inspired patterns onto a wine glass

Glass Engraving machine

In this project I use a Foredom® K.1070 Micromotor Kit

Foredom micromotor drill

Glass Engraving Equipment

It is important to use safety precautions to protect yourself from the glass dust. I always wear a mask, protective eye glasses and a headband magnifier. You can also minimise the amount of glass dust by using a damp sponge.

Glass Engraving Tools

I also used a  variety of burrs including

  • white Arkansas stone burrs
  • green silicone carbide stone burrs
  • diamond burrs
  • rubber burrs

My drill uses burrs that have a 2.35mm (3.32″) shank

Art Glass Design

There are a couple of ways that I use to put my design onto the glass. By drawing on the design or by transferring the design using carbon paper.

How to draw on glass

Using a fine tipped marker, draw a simple design directly on the glass. This can be easily wiped off if you make a mistake.

For a more complicated design or a design that you want to repeat, try transferring the designby using carbon paper. Draw the design on paper to the desired size to suit the glass, place this design on top of a piece of carbon paper and sticky tape these in place. Use a biro to trace the design.

Engraving an Outline

Once you have your design on the glass you will need a white towel or other type of background fabric underneath the glass so that you can see the marks clearly. using a small diamond burr, trace the design with your drill.

Once you have completely traced the design, wipe off the black markings with a damp sponge and an old towel. You can then replace the white background with a black one. Using the same burr, go over the engraved lines to neaten them up.

Filling in the Design

Use a variey of burrs to fill in the design. The softer stones create  darker shades and rubber burrs can polish back the engraved glass to create darker tones. Diamond burrs create a whiter result where the green and white Arkansas stones have less bright results. I alternate the use of these burrs to get a smooth transition from one shade to another.

Once I have filled in my design to my liking, I go around the outline with a fine tipped diamond burr to neaten up my work.

The Finished Product

This is a picture of my finished glass.

If you would like to see me actually engraving this glass, watch my video here:

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