Learn how to etch slate with JenniferMaker's tutorial! Make an etched slate cheeseboard and coasters. Image shows four dark gray slate coasters etched with light gray mandala designs.

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Learn how to etch slate for charcuterie boards, coasters, and more!

With charcuterie being all the rage these days (and for good reason — YUM!), custom etched slate is where it’s at. I can’t wait to show you how to etch slate to make jaw-dropping cheeseboards and coasters. Etching slate is such a fun way to create gorgeous gift-worthy items perfect for a wedding gift, for entertaining friends and family, or any other occasion — even just dinner at home!

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A Note About Safety: To make these gorgeous etched slate items, it’s important to stay safe. So important, in fact, that I recommend you wear a respirator, eye protection, and gloves while you use (and clean up) the etching cream. No, I’m not kidding — etching cream is seriously toxic stuff, and no craft is worth risking your health and safety. Please only attempt this project if you plan to take full safety precautions outlined in the tutorial. I can’t emphasize this enough!

Learn how to etch slate with JenniferMaker's tutorial! Make an etched slate cheeseboard and coasters. Image shows four dark gray slate coasters etched with light gray mandala designs.

First, I’ll walk you through preparing your stencil in Cricut Design Space. I’ve got some adorable charcuterie board and coaster designs to share with you, which are perfect for entertaining or giving as a personalized gift! Once you know how to etch slate, you’ll want to make these for everyone.

The etched slate cheeseboard stencils are sized to fit on the 8” x 12” slate boards in my materials list, and can be cut on Cricut Maker and Explore series machines, as well as the Venture. The “Hangry Guests” stencil is ready to cut, and the mandala cheeseboard design is customizable; I’ll show you how to add a name or a short message to make it unique!

Learn how to etch slate with JenniferMaker's tutorial! Make an etched slate cheeseboard and coasters. Image shows a dark gray slate cheeseboard or charcuterie board, etched with a light gray mandala and "The Makers," sitting on a natural fabric background with etched coasters and a cheese knife nearby.

All of my coaster stencil files are sized to fit on 4” round slate coasters, and are ready to cut on any Cricut machine, including the Joy!

Next, we’ll use a Cricut to cut the designs out of permanent adhesive vinyl, then weed and apply it to the slate surface using a piece of transfer tape. Whenever I work with a new material, I like to do tests to find out which techniques give the best results. In the tutorial, you’ll learn my secrets for getting the vinyl to stick super well to the slate, so the etching cream doesn’t bleed underneath the stencil and you end up with nice, clean edges.

Then comes the fun part! We’ll put on our protective equipment and you’ll start learning how to etch slate. Using the vinyl stencil, first I’ll show you how to apply the etching cream to the exposed areas and then we’ll let it work its magic.

Learn how to etch slate with JenniferMaker's new tutorial! An etched slate cheeseboard with a mandala and "The Makers", flanked by four coasters with cute drink designs and "Love at First Sip" etched onto them. Items are sitting on a mint green cutting mat with mandala designs.

I can’t wait til you see the results! They’re truly amazing, and once you have the process of knowing how to etch slate down, you’ll have so much fun etching different slate products to give as unique gifts or to enjoy at home!

Here’s a supply list of what you need to lean how to etch slate and make gorgeous custom cheeseboards and coasters! This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won’t cost you a penny more)! Read my full disclosure policy.


Materials and Tools to Etch Slate: Make an Etched Cheeseboard and Etched Coasters

View my Amazon shopping list with the exact items we used to make this project

Learn how to etch slate with JenniferMaker's tutorial! Make an etched slate cheeseboard and coasters. Get my free etched slate coasters and cheeseboard designs - SVG, DXF, and PDF.

Learn how to etch slate with JenniferMaker's tutorial! Make an etched slate cheeseboard and coasters. Image shows four dark gray slate coasters etched with light gray mandala designs. Want to make this? Design #552 is free at jennifermaker.com/library.

How to Make Your Own Etched Cheeseboard and Coasters

The detailed step-by-step assembly video on how to make etched slate coasters and cheeseboards debuted during Maker Academy Weekend 2023, held online November 1-5, 2023. Get an on-demand pass to watch all 30+ workshops, each with a printable handbook, transcript, audio file, design files, and support with a VIP pass below:

Answers to Your Questions About How to Etch Slate and Make Your Own

Q: Where is your tutorial for this project?

A: These etched coasters and cheese boards are a special project we made for our free Maker Academy Weekend 2023 event! A complete and detailed step-by-step video premiered during the event November 1-5, 2023 — this tutorial video was available to watch for free for 24 hours only during the event. If you missed it, you can get access to the full video, the 15-page printable handbook that details how to make this beautiful project with a VIP Pass to Maker Academy Weekend 2023, which comes with other perks and bonuses, too! Look at all the star ornaments made by our VIP passholders in the lead up to our big event!

Q: What do you use to etch on slate? Will etching cream work on slate?

A: Good news: No need for an expensive laser etching machine here! Etching cream does work on slate, and that’s what we’ll use in this tutorial. I recommend Armour etching cream. When you’re finished etching your slate, you can even scrape the excess cream back into the container and re-use it on another project!

Q: How do you know how long to leave etch cream on slate?

A: If you’ve been following my tutorials for a while, you know that I love doing tests on new materials to see what works best so I can pass that information on to you! When testing, I found that leaving the cream on for at least fifteen minutes gave the best results. You may find that more or less time works for you, so I recommend having some extra materials on hand to do tests if you need.

Q: What surfaces does Armour etch work on?

A: Armour etch cream works on slate, glass, mirrors, porcelain, and glazed ceramic surfaces. There are so many different projects you can customize with etching cream! Want to etch more projects? I’ve got a blog post for that! Check out how to etch easy wine glasses, wine bottles, casserole dishes, Christmas ornaments, glass jars, and even etching in color! And if you like the etched glass look but don’t have a lot of time (or a respirator), check out my tutorial on how to make faux etched wine glasses using none other than frosted permanent vinyl!

Q: Is etched slate food safe? Is slate good for a cheese board?

A: Absolutely! Once all the etching cream is thoroughly washed off, the slate surface is indeed food safe. Slate material is great for a cheeseboard because you can label it right on the board with chalk!

Q: How do you clean etched slate?

A: You can clean your etched slate board, coasters, or other items with a damp cloth or sponge and mild dish soap. Rinse clean and air dry. Do not put your slate projects in the dishwasher. Take note that your slate item will look really dark after you get it wet or wash it. This is a normal characteristic of the natural material, so don’t worry! The slate will lighten back up a little once it’s dry.

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I SO hope you’ll make some etched slate projects after seeing my tutorial! Please share a photo of your etched slate creations in our Facebook group or tag me on social media with #jennifermaker.

Love,

JenniferMaker.com

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Learn how to etch slate with JenniferMaker's tutorial! Make an etched slate cheeseboard and coasters. Image shows four dark gray slate coasters etched with light gray mandala designs.

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