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Photoshop Tutorial – Etched Glass Effect


You can make this an etched glass effect, or, by inverting the filter, make it appear as though the shape/type/whatever is moulded in the glass.

Because my glass is light, I will be using a black filled shape. If your bottle or glass is dark, the type/shape/whatever, would need to be white.

So lets get straight on with it. You can click through on my glass image below to get the larger start image, or you can use one of your own. Just remember that any settings I use are relevant to this file 720 X 1000 @72dpi.


Your first step will be to create a new layer above the b/ground layer and then fill it with white … turn off the visibility of the layer by clicking on the little eyeball icon next to the layer. I’ve chosen the ‘Flower Oranment 2’ which is a Photoshop default shape, and I’ve drawn it on the glass …. see image below.


Make sure that you are working on the Shape Layer (or type – making sure the spelling is correct) and go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur, a small dialogue box will appear asking you to rasterize the shape or type, click OK to make that happen and then choose a small amount of blur. I have used 2 pixels on this particular image … which might be a tad too much …. we’ll see.


Next you are going to create a flattened copy of the image and save it to your desktop…or somewhere that you will remember, because we are going to be using it shortly. Go to Save As and when the dialogue box appears, make sure that your uncheck ‘layers’ and check ‘copy’ See image below.


Now, duplicate the original b/ground layer and turn off the visibility of the shape layer and the layer you filled with white. Working on the duplicate b/ground layer go to Filter>Distort>Glass and the Filter Gallery dialogue box will appear. Look at the right hand side of this box and notice where it says Texture, click on the small arrow and a small box will appear that says load texture, click on this and load the file that you previously saved. As you can see, I called mine Flowerdistort. You can fiddle with the Distortion and Smoothing, but you will have to leave the Scaling as is. You can also check and uncheck the Invert box to see which variation you prefer. Once you have the settings as you like click OK to make it happen.


And here is the image with Inverted checked.


And that’s it. Fiddle around with the settings a bit till you get what you want, and remember that if the bottle, glass etc., is dark you will need to reverse the colours i.e. the layer will be filled with black and the shape or type would be white.

7 Responses to Photoshop Tutorial – Etched Glass Effect

  1. Eric October 14, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    I recently found your site and am already a fan! I supply items such as glass etching cream and stencils to crafters and wanted to see if you would test some of my products for free in exchange for feedback. Would you be interested? Please let me know via email if possible. These will be shipped directly to you at no cost. Urgently, waiting for your reply. I can’t wait to hear from you! Eric

  2. John Cook October 27, 2015 at 1:23 am

    Great tutorial, but I notice something small that may have escaped others. The design on the glass appears flat while the glass is rounded. Simply giving the design a rounded curve to match the glass will correct it.

  3. Gracey August 7, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    This is a really nice effect. Presented in an easy to follow manner. I think I may have to write about this in my blog (not copying, but I’ll review the tut and link to you if that’s okay.)

  4. SEO Nottingham January 27, 2010 at 4:34 am

    Wow – what a wicked tut – I may try this on a different shaped glass!

  5. John October 16, 2009 at 10:36 am

    This is nice, but it isn’t etched glass. This is embossed/debossed. Etched is frosted..

  6. admin March 23, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    Hi Tony,

    The best suggestion I can make is to visit our forums at and in General Tutorials find the tutorial and ask Ally…there is also a link right to the tutorial above.

    Ally will help you out.


  7. Tony March 23, 2009 at 8:30 am


    This looks really cool

    The problem I have is that when I load the texture the whole glass has teh effect applied to it not just the pictre (in my case a logo.)

    Anyone any ideas please?

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