Birthdays are always cause for celebration at our house! We host of lot of birthday parties throughout the year and a long-standing family tradition is the “birthday plate”. It’s a fun way to make the birthday boy/girl feel extra-special on their special day. Today I’m partnering with etchall to share this fun idea with you and show you just how easy it is to make your own DIY happy birthday plate!!!
What You’ll Need:
- etchall Etching Creme
- etchall Squeegee
- etchall etchmask Stencil Material or Oracal 651 Adhesive Vinyl
- etchall etchmask Transfer Sheet or Transfer Tape
- Round Glass Salad Plate (I used this one but you can also find similar ones at places like Dollar Tree.)
- Happy Birthday Cut File (free download)
- Digital Cutting Machine (Silhouette, Cricut, Brother ScanNCut, etc)
- Weeding Tool
- Vinyl Squeegee
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Lint Free Cloth or Paper Towel
- Painter’s Tape
- Heat Gun (Optional)
- Vinyl Gloves (optional)
Step 1: Download the Happy Birthday Plate cut file
Download the free stencil design. The download includes two different versions of the stencil in both SVG and Studio format. One version is the design all in one piece and the other is divided into three parts. The one that is divided into three parts is the easiest to use when working on a circular area such as a plate.
The design is already mirrored since it will be applied to the underside of the plate.
If you are using a plate that is not the same size as the one I used in the example be sure to resize the file before you cut out the stencil.
If you want to add to or change the wording to give the stencil a different look, the font I used is DJB Coffee Shoppe Espresso. For tips on how to create the arched words, check out my post on How to Curve Text in Silhouette Studio.
Step 2: Cut the stencil
Step 3: Weed the stencil
To weed the stencil, remove the positive space (the text and design elements) from the adhesive vinyl. The weeded sections are the areas that will be etched. (This is the exact opposite of weeding a vinyl decal.)
The negative space (the background) will protect the areas of the plate that you don’t want to etch.
I’ve found that it’s much easier to weed the vinyl if I leave it on my adhesive cutting mat.
Note: The inside of the candle flames are probably the hardest areas to weed. Don’t stress over it if you accidentally remove the entire flame instead of just the outline. Your project will still look great!
Step 4: Apply the stencil to the plate
Wipe the plate with a small amount of rubbing alcohol and a lint-free cloth to remove any dust and debris.
I often find that it’s easier to turn the stencil over and peel away the paper backing, rather than trying to lift the adhesive vinyl off of the backing.
Apply the stencil to the UNDERSIDE of the glass plate. I started by placing the design in the middle and then added the wording, which made it easier to line things up.
Pro Tip: An easy way to align the stencil in the middle of a glass plate is to place the stencil decal on your workspace with the sticky side UP and position the plate OVER the stencil.
Working outward from the center of the design, use a squeegee to smooth out any air bubbles. (You don’t have to get all of the air bubbles out, but you do need to make sure that all the edges of the design are sealed.) Remove the transfer tape.
Optional: Use a heat tool to seal the stencil to the glass.
Step 5: Apply the etching cream
Before you apply the etching cream, it’s a good idea to cover your work surface to protect from any accidental drips or spills. You may also want to wear protective gloves, but I’ve never found this necessary.
Cover the edges and any exposed areas of the plate with painter’s tape, taking special care to cover all the edges of the stencil.
Be careful not to scrape the cream across the stencil. This could lift the edges of the stencil and allow etching cream to seep underneath.
Pro Tip: When applying the etching cream, think of it as frosting a chocolate cake with white icing. You don’t want to scrape so hard that you get chocolate crumbs in the icing, so you glide the frosting (etching cream) over the surface, leaving a layer of cream between the squeegee and the glass dish.
Let the etchall etching cream sit for 15 minutes to fully activate. (It doesn’t hurt if it sits longer, but you do need to wait at least 15 minutes to get the best results.)
Step 6: Rinse & reveal
After at least 15 minutes have passed, gently scrape off the excess etching cream and return it to the etchall container. (etchall is reusable, but should never be stored in an unmarked container. By law, etchall has to remain in it’s labeled bottle.)
Rinse the plate under warm water in a NON-PORCELAIN sink. Thoroughly remove the remaining cream, stencil, and painter’s tape.
Pro Tip: Don’t be alarmed if you don’t see the etched design right away. The etching does not usually show up very well when the glass is wet, but is fully revealed as soon as the glass has dried.
Now you’re ready to admire your special plate!
Like what you see here? Share the image below to Pinterest!
This project was a whole lot of fun to make and I hope you’re inspired to give it a try. Whether you’re serving birthday cake, cookies, or pie with ice cream, it’s a great way to make a birthday party even more special. Everyone loves having their own birthday plate on their special day and it can be used for years to come.
Don’t be afraid to get creative with it too! Change up the design a bit to make special plates for other occasions as well such as a baby shower, bridal shower, wedding, etc. or simply to add a special touch to the dessert table at your next get-together.
If you have any questions, leave a comment below or come visit me over in the Silhouette Crafters by Design Facebook group. I’m always happy to help!
Until next time,
Lycia is a lifelong crafter whose goal is to help others find value, confidence, and joy in whatever they create. She geeks out on using technology to supercharge craft projects with Silhouette Studio, Design Space, Glowforge, sublimation, etc.! Lycia teaches these skills and more through online tutorials and videos as well as in-person classes at both the local and national levels.