Need a mark up
October 1, 2010 9:51 PM   Subscribe

I need to make a "stamp" on wine and liquor bottles. What kind of inexpensive and waterproof material/label/stamp can I put on these bottles without having them fall off?

I need to mark these wine and liquor bottles in a way that doesn't have to be very obvious (a small marker will do, and is in fact preferred), can't be easily replicated (so sharpie is probably not the answer), and won't fall off or get rubbed out. There's a fairly large number of bottles that need to be marked so the easier and cheaper the method, the better. It just needs to be a small thing.

Any ideas?
posted by bluelight to Grab Bag (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
etching cream. you should be able to find it at an arts & crafts store.
posted by Ochre,Hugh at 9:57 PM on October 1, 2010

Get a rubber stamp and rub ink on it from a glass marker. Then imprint the stamp onto the bottle. You'll need to bake the bottle in the oven to fix the ink into the surface, so that it can't be rubbed off. Glass markers can be found at art supply stores.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:08 PM on October 1, 2010

rub ink on it from a glass marker

Or you can just get the ink from the source. #700 is designed for almost exactly what you're doing. If you're really worried about tampering, go for #707 ("excellent resistance to water, saltwater, light, and hydrocarbon solvents, such as gasoline and kerosene") or #2000 ("excellent resistance to petroleum solvents and trichlorethylene" [which is some nasty stuff]).
posted by clorox at 2:48 AM on October 2, 2010

What about a glass engraver?
posted by platinum at 3:04 AM on October 2, 2010

Is this something a sticker on the bottom wouldn't work for?
posted by gjc at 5:33 AM on October 2, 2010

Response by poster: Stickers fall off (we tried before)

ideally we'd use a rubber stamp method but I would need some sort of ink that doesn't rub off easily. Having to bake every bottle to ensure the stamp stays on is going to be too much trouble--we will be selling the bottles fairly quickly and need a quick and easy solution.

So, would using a rubber stamp in etching cream work?
posted by bluelight at 5:46 AM on October 2, 2010

Rubber stamp in etching cream wouldn't work -- it's too viscous and needs to be applied in a relatively thick layer. Here's what you would do to use the etching cream:

Get a paper punch in a shape that you like. (Any big crafts store will have a large selection of punches.) Also buy some label paper (either ones that are divided into individual labels larger than the punch you got, or just undifferentiated sheets of sticky-backed paper).

Use the punch to punch out shapes from the label paper.

At this point, you need to decide whether you want the shape itself to be etched into the glass, or the shape to be un-etched glass surrounded by a small area of etched glass. The label paper protects the glass from the etching cream, so you cover the areas you don't want etched with the label paper.

Let's say you want the shape etched into the glass. You take the label paper that you punched the shape out of (not the punched shape itself) and cut a generous margin around the shape (if you buy precut labels in an appropriate size, this will already be done for you). You want to make sure you have a generous margin because otherwise the etching cream might go outside the margins and etch not only the shape but a border around the label paper as well.

Then you apply the label to the bottle, apply the etching cream on top of the label paper and the punched-out shape, wash it off after the recommended amount of time (usually a few minutes), remove the label, and voila!

I could see you doing an assembly-line-type process with this that would make it take much less time than just doing each bottle individually.
posted by pluckemin at 8:21 AM on October 2, 2010

We used these Avery Weatherproof Labels on jars of jam and they stick amazingly well on glass jars, even on the bumpy parts that are on most canning jars. We laser printed them and did a little extra coloring with Sharpies.

You should be able to cut them down to size if you wanted little ones.
posted by advicepig at 9:38 AM on October 2, 2010

Would a wax stamp or seal of some kind work? That was my first thought, if you're trying to tamper-proof bottles that have already been filled. Might not be cost effective, though.
posted by Andrhia at 2:22 PM on October 2, 2010

If you use the right type of ink pad, you'll be fine with a rubber stamp. I have used "StazOn" ink on glass with great ease and success. Just be careful, it will stain your clothes if you drag your sleeve through it.
posted by Nickel Pickle at 2:38 PM on October 2, 2010

I suggest reading this page from a craft forum if you choose to go with an etching cream solution.
posted by jamjam at 6:37 PM on October 2, 2010

The inks that I linked to earlier do not require any baking; once they air dry they're set. I realize I implied that they are the same stuff that's in glass markers; I shouldn't have. These inks are made for bottom coding.

What are bottom codes? They're the numbers and letters found printed on just about any container that was filled in a factory. Soup cans, beer bottles, soda cans, shampoo bottles, spray paint cans, etc. In many cases, the codes are meant to survive for the life of the container. Most of the codes I've run across are printed with a dot-matrix printer, but every once in a while I see something that was clearly stamped on (IIRC, Sangria Senorial has a stamp in addition to the dot-matrix codes).

So there's already a market for inks that can be applied with a rubber stamp to a non-porous surface and last a long time under conditions ranging from a trip through the dishwasher to being doused in degreaser. Soda-lime glass is pretty resistant stuff, however, so if someone really wants to remove ink, paint, or enamel from it then they can. If intentional, rather than incidental, removal is an issue, then I think you'll have to go with etching or engraving.
posted by clorox at 10:10 PM on October 2, 2010

fingernail polish
posted by elle.jeezy at 11:39 AM on October 3, 2010

Water slide decals, perhaps with a coat of spray or brush-on acrylic? Kind of elaborate, though, for what you're doing..

On preview, Blazecock has it, although I'd just buy a stamp pad with permanent (glass-friendly) ink and order the stamp design from one of the many stampmakers on the intertubes.
posted by ostranenie at 1:14 PM on February 1, 2011

Also, seconding jamjam in case you don't click the link--please don't touch anything that has any amount of hydrofluoric acid (like glass etchant).
posted by ostranenie at 1:22 PM on February 1, 2011

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