Faux Etched Glass Soap Dispenser Gift

Faux Etched Glass Soap Dispenser Gift

Hi everyone! I’m so excited to show you a fun Très Frugal DIY gift idea today – a faux etched soap dispenser.

Of course you could use this paint technique on any glass item – a vase, votive, or pretty up a simple jar – but, to me, there’s something luxurious about dish soap in a beautiful decanter. Even if the actual process of using the soap isn’t quite so luxe.


Faux Etched Soap Dispenser

  • Glass dispenser (available at some dollar stores and most kitchen sections of large discount stores)
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton balls
  • “Frost” medium in either spray or liquid (*see below for types of frost paint)
  • Removable tape – you can use almost any type of masking tape, washi or even painter’s tape
  • Foam make up sponges

Optional: sticker shapes or stencils


*Types of Frost Paint:

Frost paint is simply a translucent white paint giving the appearance of etching without the chemical acid of true etching cream. It’s available as a spray paint, both by Krylon and Rustoleum, as well as others.

It’s also available as a liquid, made by Plaid, which is the product I used because I had it on hand. I’ve used it a few times with great results, most recently on some Pantry JarsThe tutorial below is for liquid frost medium.

The spray paint is definitely faster, however the liquid can be tinted with regular craft paint, which might be kind of fun.


Step 1 – Prep the surface

Remove the stopper from the top of the dispenser and wash and rinse the glass. After it’s completely dry, wipe the entire surface with rubbing alcohol and a cotton ball. The alcohol removes any oil residue from your fingers that might inhibit paint adhesion.

Let the dispenser dry fully.

Faux Etched Soap Dispenser

Step 2 – Tape your pattern

Apply your tape in any fashion you want. You can also cut washi tape into zig zag patterns if you want to achieve a chevron effect.

Burnish all the edges of the tape down to seal the edges. A plastic credit card works well for burnishing.

Faux Etched Soap Dispenser

If you use a chevron pattern you’ll want to match the end seams. Most tapes are thin enough to easily form a tiny crease so the edges of the pattern match perfectly.

Faux Etched Soap Dispenser

Faux Etched Soap Dispenser

Apply tape to the lip of the dispenser mouth. This will prevent potential scratches in the paint from removing and replacing the pouring spout.

Step 3 – Apply the frost medium

Faux Etched Soap Dispenser

Prior to pouring the frost, roll the frost medium bottle on the table to mix.  Do not shake as this will produce bubbles that will wind up on your project.

This is the same reason why you’ll want to use a foam make up sponge rather than a foam paintbrush or pouncer. The makeup sponge is much more compressed and very few air bubbles are created when applying the paint, unlike with the other brushes.

Cover the entire dispenser with the frost medium using the sponge. (For a large soap dispenser, you only need about a quarter-sized dollop of frost medium.)

Faux Etched Soap Dispenser

You will see some texture, which is fine. If bubbles appear, use the makeup sponge to “pounce” up and down to release the air.

Faux Etched Soap Dispenser

You only need to apply one coat of the frost medium. (I’ve tried two and three coats and you really can’t tell the difference at all.)

Remove the tape while the medium is still wet.

Faux Etched Soap Dispenser

You can “cure” the paint by letting it air dry for 21 days. Alternatively, you can cure it by placing the glass dispenser into a cool oven; heat to 350 degrees for 30 minutes; and allow it to cool fully in oven. Once the paint has completely cured the dispenser is washable by hand or top-rack dishwasher safe.

Faux Etched Soap Dispenser

Using tape to create patterns is only one option of many. Sticker shapes work wonderfully, as do stencils. You could create a monogrammed soap dispenser or vase for that hard-to-shop-for person this year?

Faux Etched Soap Dispenser

If you’re looking for a fun, fast and nearly foolproof gift to make this holiday season, try faux “etching” something. It makes a beautiful present.

Best of all, it’s très frugal. C’est bonne! Stay tuned for more November Très Frugal DIY Gift Ideas all month long.

I hope you’ll drop by Just Paint It for some other holiday projects for gifts and crafts and home decor. Thanks, Brittany, for letting me share this fun gift idea today!


Here’s the recap of all the fabulous Très Frugal DIY gift ideas:


  1. Wonderful idea, never heard of that type of spray. Would be great on clear ornament balls for Christmas too! Thanks for an excellent post Colleen!

  2. I am in love with frugal gifts. I had been looking for an etching cream to do a project but this is a great alternative. Thanks for inspiring me to try this product. I would love to send you a picture when I am done.

  3. What a great personal gift idea. I remember a time when “crafts” meant something knitted or a hooked rug. This is so much more creative.

  4. Love this DIY idea – what wonderful personalized gifts these could be – thanks so much for sharing!

  5. Amazing … Loved the patten that you have used, I never thought this way.. This sounds a perfect idea for my antiseptic soap. :)

  6. Heather says:

    I am curious if you have attempted to frost a large window. If so what product works best!
    Thank You ,Heather

    • Heather, I think you’d probably want to purchase the Krylon Frosted Glass spray paint instead. It’s a lot cheaper for a larger area and you can scrape it off at a later date if you need to.

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